Book Review: ‘Snakes, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll’ by Romulus Whitaker & Janaki Lenin

Unique and interesting memoir

Book Title: Snakes, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: My Early Years
Author(s): Romulus Whitaker & Janaki Lenin
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-9356997127
Date Published: Jan. 30, 2024
Price: INR 453

Snakes, Drugs and Rock n Roll by Romulus Whitaker & Janaki Lenin Book Cover

Book Review

Romulus Whitaker, affectionately known as the ‘Snakeman of India’, emerges as a legend in wildlife conservation through the vibrant pages of his autobiography, “Snakes, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: My Early Years.” From his unconventional upbringing in rural America to his adventurous escapades across India and beyond, Whitaker’s life story unfolds with candid humour and vivid recollections, offering readers a delightful glimpse into his colourful world.

In this captivating memoir, Whitaker traces his lifelong fascination with snakes and the natural world, revealing pivotal moments that shaped his unconventional path. From discovering a shed snakeskin as a child to pursuing his passion for reptiles despite societal expectations, Whitaker’s journey is marked by a fearless pursuit of his inner calling amidst a backdrop of familial and societal influences.

Throughout the book, Whitaker paints a vivid portrait of his surroundings, from the lush wilderness of the Nilgiris to the bustling streets of Mumbai. His encounters with an eclectic cast of characters, both human and animal, add depth and richness to the narrative, highlighting the enduring bond between man and nature.

As Whitaker reflects on his adventures, he offers candid insights into his own nature, including his penchant for hunting and the moral complexities that accompany it. Yet, amidst the exhilarating escapades and daring exploits, Whitaker remains grounded by the guiding influence of his mother, whose unwavering support and moral compass shape his journey of self-discovery.

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The cover image features vibrant colours and wildlife imagery, capturing Whitaker’s fascination with reptiles. The writing style is vivid, colourful, and conversational, with humour and wit. The language is accessible and engaging, appealing to readers of all ages. The cover image and writing style aim to captivate readers and offer a glimpse into Whitaker’s life and adventures.

With its blend of humour, adventure, and introspection, this memoir is a captivating read that will resonate with readers of all ages, inviting them to embark on a thrilling journey through the eyes of a true conservation pioneer. “Snakes, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll” stands as a mirror image to Whitaker’s indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication to wildlife conservation.

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