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Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven | [Susan Jane Gilman]

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

They were young, brilliant, and bold. They set out to conquer the world. But the world had other plans for them. Best-selling author Susan Jane Gilman's new memoir is a hilarious and harrowing journey, a modern heart of darkness filled with Communist operatives, backpackers, and pancakes. In 1986, fresh out of college, Gilman and her friend Claire yearned to do something daring and original that did not involve getting a job.
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Publisher's Summary

They were young, brilliant, and bold. They set out to conquer the world. But the world had other plans for them.

Best-selling author Susan Jane Gilman's new memoir is a hilarious and harrowing journey, a modern heart of darkness filled with Communist operatives, backpackers, and pancakes.

In 1986, fresh out of college, Gilman and her friend Claire yearned to do something daring and original that did not involve getting a job. Inspired by a place mat at the International House of Pancakes, they decided to embark on an ambitious trip around the globe, starting in the People's Republic of China. At that point, China had been open to independent travelers for roughly ten minutes.

Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche, an astrological love guide, and an arsenal of bravado, the two friends plunged into the dusty streets of Shanghai. Unsurprisingly, they quickly found themselves in over their heads. As they ventured off the map deep into Chinese territory, they were stripped of everything familiar and forced to confront their limitations amid culture shock and government surveillance. What began as a journey full of humor, eroticism, and enlightenment grew increasingly sinister-becoming a real-life international thriller that transformed them forever.

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is a flat-out page-turner, an astonishing true story of hubris and redemption told with Gilman's trademark compassion, lyricism, and wit.

©2009 Susan Jane Gilman; (P)2009 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (66 )
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3.7 (31 )
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3.8 (31 )
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  •  
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 06-07-14
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 06-07-14 Member Since 2010

    Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
    ratings
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    69
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    "If only this book had NOT been abridged!"
    What made the experience of listening to Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven the most enjoyable?

    The conciseness, prose and reality. The social commentary and intense descriptive prose of some very real, but difference, characters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven?

    I cannot narrow it down to one single moment. There were many.


    What about Susan Jane Gilman’s performance did you like?

    The easy tone and NOT over-emotionalism which is often the case with americans who read their own works.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Several, but I can say the most moving was when she went BACK on her travels to learn and explore more. Not staying insular in the USA.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book by accident as I normally NEVER read any book that has been abridged. I am only sadder now that it was abridged. How much more enjoyable and pleasing the read would have been if it was read in its entirety.
    Abridged books should be banned. My opinion, of course, but I want to read all that the author says and not have some other entity decide what to cut. Bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karin Warriewood, Australia 07-12-10
    Karin Warriewood, Australia 07-12-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "excellent"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Would have loved to hear the unabridged version though. I thought the author's reading was excellent. She even managed some of the accents.
    I would recommend this book to anyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah San Diego , CA, USA 03-19-10
    Sarah San Diego , CA, USA 03-19-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story -- terrible listen"

    I really would have liked to listen to this story. I really thought it was interesting. But I just couldn't. I usually think that hearing a story in the author's own words is a good thing, but in this case it was detrimental. I had to put the audiobook down about 1/4 of the way through as Gilman's voice was just too grating to my ears. A shame, really.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 02-04-10
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 02-04-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
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    "A Fabulous Journey & A Wonderful Listen"

    This is a book I would recommend to anyone. The author's true story of her travels as a young woman are something that we can all relate to; her naivete and enthusiasm. The book is very funny at times, but bad things did happen to Susan and her companion. The book is very well read by the author, I was only sorry that the story was abridged, I hated to miss a single word of this fascinating journal. Do yourself a favor and download it now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Ramsey, NJ, United States 11-07-09
    Christine Ramsey, NJ, United States 11-07-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    92
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    "really good."

    It kept me on the edge of my seat.
    Try it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LYNN 03-05-12
    LYNN 03-05-12
    ratings
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    Performance
    Story
    "Hooked!"
    If you could sum up Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven in three words, what would they be?

    I'm a fan of nonfiction, travel, and suspense - this narrative has it all! Couldn't


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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