From the Jacket: Where once the west flowed east to build empires, now it sets out, strictly by invitation of the host country, to develop and construct. So havens are built for the new travelers, the tourists looking for Xanadu. Whenever the ancient civilization of India interacts with the west at many levels, the truth comes bubbling up in all sorts of ways. As "A Passage to India" illuminated the truths of its time, so an international resort brings to light the feelings and behavior of the men that come with the high-tech machinery on the one hand, and the ancient depths and the modern aspirations of the isolated little fishing village on the other. The men and women who represent the overspill of empire are a new breed, as are the local people who are attuned to the jet age. And then there are the great numbers still living in India as it always was. They all have their place within the panorama of this novel. Tully, the descendant of the British consuls, in a sense represents the best the modern west has to offer: he is effective, humane, sensitive to the beauties India has to offer. Rikki, the sixteen-year-old fisherboy, was introduced in early childhood to a world beyond his village by a missionary couple. They are both open to companionship and to the new world the other represents. Certainly neither is a cliche figure, and the story they weave is dazzling and complex.