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Viaggio nell'India magica

Shah Tahir

Editeur - Casa editrice



Anno - Date de Parution


Pagine - Pages


Titolo originale

Sorcerer's Apprentice

Lingua originale

Lingua - language - langue


Edizione - Collana

Piemme pocket


Susanna Bini

Viaggio nell'India magica Viaggio nell'India magica  

L'India è la terra dei miracoli. Santoni, guru, stregoni catturano le folle con fantastici esercizi magici. Nelle grandi città come nei più sperduti villaggi, queste incarnazioni del divino danzano con i serpenti, bevono acido, mangiano vetro, ingoiano pietre, fermano il battito del loro cuore e levitano. Alcuni vivono come re, attorniati da migliaia di devoti; altri vagano di villaggio in villaggio per catturare la lebbra o portare la pioggia. Quando era bambino e viveva nella verde campagna inglese, Tahir Shah imparò i primi segreti dell'illusione da un mago indiano, custode della grande tomba dei suoi avi. Vent'anni dopo è partito per ritrovarlo. Nasce così lo straordinario racconto di un incredibile tour da Calcutta a Madras, da Bangalore a Bombay, sulle tracce di saggi e di stregoni. Tra emozionanti duelli "all'ultimo miracolo", illusionisti immuni al veleno dei serpenti e altri che sanno trasformare l'acqua in benzina Shah solleva il velo di molti sconcertanti e bizzarri miracoli dell'Oriente. E - con sguardo meravigliato e rapito disincanto - ci racconta l'India che neppure immaginavamo esistesse.


Recensione in altra lingua (English):

India is a land of miracles, where godmen and mystics mesmerise audiences with wondrous feats of magic. In great cities and remote villages alike, these mortal incarnations of the divine turn rods into snakes, drink acid, eat glass, hibernate and even levitate. Some live as kings, their devotees numbering hundreds of thousands; while others - virtually destitute - wander from village to village pledging to cure the sick, or bring rain in times of drought.

As a child in rural England, Tahir Shah learned the first secrets of illusion from an Indian magician. More than two decades later he set out in search of this conjurer, the ancestral guardian of his great grandfather's tomb. Sorcerer's Apprentice is the story of his quest for, and initiation into, the brotherhood of Indian godmen. Learning along the way from sadhus, sages, avatars and sorcerers - it's a journey which took him from Calcutta to Madras, from Bangalore to Bombay, in search of the miraculous.

In Calcutta, Shah is apprenticed to Hakim Feroze, a tyrannical master of illusion, who sets out to crush his student's spirit through gruelling physical trials. Eventually, his pupil's skin bruised and raw and his temper strained, the magician unlocks the door to his secret laboratory. The miracles of India's godmen are at last revealed one by one: how to swallow stones, to stop one's pulse, turn water into wine, and many more. Next, as a cryptic test, Shah is sent to ferret out the secrets of Calcutta's Underworld - gaining the confidence of the city's ageing hangman, its baby-renters, and skeleton dealers. Then, just as Shah is making headway, Feroze announces that he's to pack his bags and set out at once, on a 'Journey of Observation'.

A quest for the bizarre, wondrous underbelly of the Subcontinent, Shah's travels lift the veil on the East's most puzzling miracles. The Journey of Observation leads him to a cornucopia of characters. Illusionists all, some are immune to snake venom, others speak through oracles, or have the power to transform ordinary water into petrol. Along the way Shah witnesses a 'duel of miracles', crosses paths with an impoverished billionaire, and even meets a part-time god. Revealing confidence tricks and ingenious scams, Sorcerer's Apprentice exposes a side of India that most writers never even imagine exists.


Shah Tahir

Tahir Shah is the author of ten books, chronicling a wide range of unusual and outlandish journeys. In addition, he makes documentaries, writes screenplays, works as a journalist and photographer. For Shah there is nothing so important as deciphering the hidden underbelly of the lands in which he travels. He shuns well-trodden tourist paths, and avoids celebrated landmarks, preferring instead to position himself in a dusty café and observe life go by.

His most recent book is The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca. He is also the author of Search of King Solomon's Mines which takes the reader through Ethiopia on the quest of the source of Solomon's Fabulous wealth. The search has also been made into a documentary film. His previous work -Trail of Feathers - took him to Peru on the scent of the 'birdmen' who dwell deep in the upper reaches of the Amazon. Before that, he studied magic and illusion under an Indian godman (Sorcerer's Apprentice) and, before that, he searched for the secret puzzle of Gondwanaland (Beyond the Devil's Teeth).

Shah's books and feature articles have appeared in many languages, all over the world. He is regarded as an extremely original author, with a peculiarly observant viewpoint, and a talent for combining hardship and humour. He lives in Casablanca with his wife and two children.

Consulta anche: Sito ufficiale di Tahir Shah