Beastly Tales from Here and There
by Vikram Seth
"An old man and his wife possessed
A zebra of enormous zest," (p 87)
- and so begins a tale by Vikram Seth
Adapting tales from China, Greece, the Ukraine and his homeland of India, and presenting them in rhyming verse, Vikram Seth has created a small masterpiece of fables for our time. You will meet again the tortoise and the hare, and you may recognize the greedy crocodile, but there are other tales with characters not so familiar with strange names and traits, but each with a message that can be comprehended by young and old. So short that it can easily be read in one quick session and so enjoyable that it is difficult to put down, this collection of fables adds to Seth's oeuvre an added dimension. So, if you are not ready to tackle the fourteen hundred plus pages of his novel of India, A Suitable Boy, and are not ready for a modern novel written in rhyming couplets, Golden Gate, you may still be ready for this delicious morsel of a book.