Summary and book reviews of Himalayan Dhaba by Craig Danner

Himalayan Dhaba

By Craig Danner

Himalayan Dhaba
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  • Hardcover: Jun 2002,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2003,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

Mary, a newly widowed American doctor, travels to a remote hospital high in the Indian Himalayas to work with a colleague of her late husband. She arrives to find this other doctor missing, the hospital abandoned, and herself the only medical provider within a hundred miles.

Caught between shattering loneliness and harrowing self-doubt, she struggles to overcome daunting medical and cultural obstacles in a yearlong odyssey of healing and redemption that connects her with a cast of unexpected characters.

Chapter One

The Patient

She’s waiting out a sudden shower of fifty kilo bags of rice, a gathered clutch of angry chickens flapping like their heads are off. It’s raining rolls of razor wire and wooden crates of tangerines, a blood-red set of luggage for a couple on their honeymoon. The driver honked through eighteen hours of blindly climbing hairpin turns; the bus hit every dog that dared to cross the road from Chandigarh. Mary’s so exhausted she can barely stand among the crowd - she’s praying that her bags are there, the one box in particular. At last she sees her canvas duffel sailing through the mountain air; she waves and yells to get the man to treat her box more carefully. But his ropy muscles flex and stretch across his shirtless arms and back, the sun gleams off the lines of sweat that trickle down his dusty flank. He doesn't look or heed her shout before he drops it to the ground - the box lands in the mud and dust: the sparkling sound of ...

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Introduction

Mary, a newly widowed American doctor, travels to a remote hospital high in the Indian Himalayas to work with a colleague of her late husband. She arrives to find this other doctor missing, the hospital abandoned, and herself the only medical provider within a hundred miles.

Caught between shattering loneliness and harrowing self-doubt, she struggles to overcome daunting medical and cultural obstacles in a yearlong odyssey of healing and redemption that connects her with a cast of unexpected characters.

There is Amod, the waiter in the local dhaba, who secretly adores and watches out for the doctor. Phillip is a young and lonely British traveler who lands in the doctor's care before he is kidnapped deep into the ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
Author Blurb Pete Fromm, PNBA Award-winning author of How All This Started and Night Swimming
Don't miss it. Mr. Danner is a born storyteller, and writing with rare competence, he has given us a unique and unforgettable world.

Author Blurb Neal Stephenson, Hugo Award-winning author of Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash
Himalayan Dhaba moves from gorgeous descriptions to telling insights to surprisingly gripping action with the speed and intensity of a bus plunge.

Author Blurb Pete Sinclair, author of We Aspired The Last Innocent Americans
Danner never makes a slip. He is a writer not only of place and person, but also of the soul.

Kirkus Review

An engaging debut novel...A fresh spirit animates this tale, one carefully constructed, simply narrated, and briskly organized.

Salem Evening News

Himalayan Dhaba is not so unlike something Paul Theroux might have written earlier in his career, and part poetry, for it is beautifully written and elegantly shaped.

Winner, Pacific Northwest Book Award

First novelist Craig Danner tackles themes as lofty as the peaks that tower over his characters, while grounding his story in the closely observed details of rural life in northern India. A sense of spiritual craving permeates the book, propelling the story as swiftly as a thriller. Danner skillfully entwines the urgency and occasional despair of his heroine's medical work with the majesty and wonder of the mighty Himalayas.

Salem Statesman Journal

Prose that sings...a vision that pierces the clouds at the top of the world and allows us to see beyond ourselves.

The Bellingham Herald

A breathtaking display of enormous talent.

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