As Troost relates his gonzo adventure - dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai, eating yak in Tibet, deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as cattle penis with garlic), and visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead) - he reveals a vast, complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think.
This insightful, hilarious narrative brings China to life as you've never seen it before.
©2008 J. Maarten Troost; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
While extremely informative, the book was quite funny. The narrator was likely a factor in presenting an audiobook which caused me at numerous points to burst out laughing.
This book is about the travel all over China of a man from California whose family was considering moving to China. He traveled not only to Beijing and the coastal cities, but also to Tibet and the northern provinces. He did this as an individual who spoke very little Chinese.
Just so good. I have enjoyed all of Maarten Troosts books, and recommend them all --- especially with this narrator who delivers wit and lot better than I've heard in ages.
Troost spends quite a bit of time traveling around China, and recording his voluminous observations. It is great fun listening to Troost as he encounters strange foods, pollution, and more phlegm than one man can deal with. His wry humor will cause you to laugh out loud at places, so be wary of listening to this in public places.
Although Simon Vance does a fantastic job narrating author Troost's voice, he falls far short on the Chinese people quoted. They sound like bad imitations of Chinese people from 1930's pulp movies. Also, Vance butchers a number of Chinese words on place names in the text. A little consultation with a Chinese speaker would have helped a huge amount.
Yes, if it is a good book.
To be fair, I stopped listening halfway. I imagine that travelling in China must be challenging at times. However, it seemed the author did not find anything during his travel in China that he enjoyed or liked. The constant complaining wore me out, and I stopped listening. Perhaps other readers who have listened to the entire book would have different conclusions from mine.
I have read his other books. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book.
The authors point of view is very funny.
Hotel at the top of the world. Similar humor.
He's performance was incredible. I will look for him w hen making future purchases.
Talking to the lamps.
This is a great look at China.
I love reading about other countries and their cultures. As I am the proud grandmother of a smart and savy, seven year old Chinese boy, who came to us when he was four, I was hoping to gain some insight re/his heritage. I was disappointed with the author's condescending manner, and his "cutsy" humor. To me, he often came across sounding like the "ugly American." I would be embarrassed to have my Chinese friends read this book.
out standing in his field
I was really looking forward to the profound insights of a seasoned traveler with a sophisticated cultural palate. Halfway through the book, I was still hopeful. All I got was what to hate about China (pretty much everything) and why (it stinks, you can't breathe, Mao is still god, everything is fake, what isn't fake is being either destroyed or copied into obscurity, the people are rude and mean-spirited when they aren't inscrutable, and the culture is inexplicable - but the food is great if you like eating poisonous invertebrates, western pets, genital organs, and raw meat).
And some of the insights _not_ offered up were amazing. How could you wander innocently into a gay bar and order a drink without recognizing the place for what it was (whimsically punching in the only floor number that was unlabelled in the elevator might at least have been a reason to be wary)? Or worse, what American male, having just checked into a seedy motel in the middle of the night, could honestly say that he doesn't know what the girl on the other end of the line is offering when she says, "Ma'sah'gee"? And what about the young man who assaulted him by the ATM, screaming at him and repeatedly slapping the back of his head - why tell me about the incident without offering any sort of interpretation, however naive or biased?
A co-worker was born in China, and while she admits she would not want to raise her children there, she did appreciate the view from Tai Shan (Mr. Troost claims one cannot see more than 10 feet in any one direction through the smog). Nobody she knows thinks highly of Mao and his likeness is not everywhere.
I give it one star for the deliciously sarcastic wit, which carried me through the first couple chapters before it got old, and after that it was
Audible, can I get a credit refunded? I will happily delete the files and forget I ever heard of the book.
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