Book: Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls
Author: Marco Polo, Translated Nigel Cliff
Price: Rs. 49
Publication: Penguin Books
Plot: Marco Polo (1254 to 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer, traveller and writer. His travels are recorded in the book, The Travels of Marco Polo written by him only. The book describes his experiences of his voyage to Asia. Polo travelled extensively with his family, journeying from Europe to Asia. Where in midst of his voyage he met the great King, Kublai Khan and served him.
In this book, Marco Polo describes his travel account to the India. The book starts with explaining customs and traditions of Maabar. And then he keeps on moving from there to other parts of the country and telling his experiences, the customs and traditions of the place. He talks about serpents who protect diamonds, he talks about unicorns, about five kings who are brothers, about a kingdom which is ruled by a queen, and how the people collect diamonds and pearls here. There is a king with 30,000 wives about whom he talks, then there is a king who has lived 84 lives before this life. The book has no such specific plot it is just a simple travel account written by Marco Polo.
My Views: If you ask me about the content of the book, I would say that I didn’t find it fascinating at all. In fact, I was very disappointed to read such a bizarre and distressing explanations of Indian customs and traditions. The book only gave a false idea of Indian culture. What I feel is when a person writes about traditions and customs of a place he should take responsibility for his words. Today Marco Polo’s experiences are widely read, and what he wrote about India is something I think was just his imagination only. Reading a book about India’s traditions and customs and finding all fantasy in it, I found it painful and upsetting.
Other than the content, the only thing I liked is his writing style. For me it was more of a poetic style of writing, I like how he repeats his phrases.
Overall I would just say that I liked the writing style but I didn’t like the writings
Recommendations: Read this book for Marco Polo’s different writing style, but not for the content.
Ratings: 3/50 Likes