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Tao: On the Road and on the Run in Outlaw China Paperback – 1 Jul 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd; Reprint edition (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846270251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846270253
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,010,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


`"On the Road" Chinese style'
-- Bookseller

About the Author

AYA GODA lives in northern Japan, where she works as a painter. This is her first book.

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By Loxy on 31 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Awesome roller-coaster ride of a book. Two teenagers in love, on the run from the Chinese police. But the author (one of the teenagers, now grown up) doesn't romanticise the tale. She tells the good times and the bad, the funny and the sad. She portrays the Tibetans and other ethic groups as real people, with both strengths and faults. Her romance has moments of giddy happiness, and awful pain. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from the library and knew a friend would be interested, so purchased it for a gift. It is an amazing account of a young artist having to flee China after exhibiting what the authorities deemed controversial pictures.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A compelling read from a unique angle 8 Sept. 2008
By Anna - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Fast-paced and intriguing, this true adventure across China on the run from the authorities shows China, Tibet, and some of neighboring Nepal through the eyes of a Japanese art student who falls in with Cao Yong, a great artist in trouble after his art was exhibited in Beijing.

Aya Goda's storytelling throughout the book is spare and to the point, and the tale is powerful and often moving while never trying to be. An unforgettable snapshot of Tiananmen-era China and ever-more relevant as the world turns its eyes to China and Tibet today.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An Enthralling, Adventurous & Currently Relevant Memoir 18 April 2008
By flourchild - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I wasn't really looking forward to reading this book which was given to me as a gift. Although I waited for the perfect time to read it, it isn't my usual taste. We need that sometimes, though. When I belonged to a book club, I read a lot of things that I really enjoyed but otherwise never would have picked up at a bookstore. When I procrastinated long enough, and had space to read it thoughtfully, I finally began. I have to say, honestly, that after about 50 pages I was hooked enough to be unable to put it down for long. That rarely happens. I can count the books that have done that to me... Life of Pi, Poisonwood Bible, Kite Runner... but I had no such expectation from this book and was thoroughly delighted. I have no interest in China, no interest in art. With Tibet and China in the news so much lately, and with the drama the Olympic torch passing has created, it was a timely read. I have a much more thorough understanding of the reality of life for Chinese citizens. It was not in the format of a lecture on world affairs, however, which I would have found dry and boring despite its current relevance. It was the background upon which the story of two people in love, of different nationalities, unfolded. Their desire for both freedom to be together and artistic expression lead them to try to escape. This memoir by Aya Goda, a Japanese woman who fell in love with artist Cao Yong, is a exciting ride and documents their escapes, failed attempts, and roadblocks. The fact that Cao Yong is an celebrated artist now and has supported this book gives it much in the way of credibility.
It was a bestseller in Japan, but only after many years has an English translation finally emerged. The Australian translator, Alison Watts, has done a great job, and has given us a book of such fluidity that I never got a sense of it ever having been written in any language but English. I understand a paperback version is due out in July. I hope you will find it as intriguing as I did and recommend it to any and all.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Goda rocks 24 April 2009
By James Minibond - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I almost never do reviews but was inspired to do so after reading this book yesterday and then seeing the harsh reviews it received on Times and Guardian (Colin Thubron and Rory Maclean slated it bigtime).

Having hitched and backpacked across every continent in the world since my teenage years, and a avid gobbler of (good) books from Knut Hamsun to Paul Auster...I rate Goda's novel as one of the best travel books I have read. Not quite Kerouac or Thesiger, but miles better than the wry mincing drivel that Thubron and Maclean spew and that entire generation of 3rd rate Brit writers led by Martin Amis have dumped on the world.

Goda is flawed. Sure, she is a bit gushy (but hey girls, especially arty non-lesbian girls, do that). She obviously worships her man, but better that than people like Thubron or Theroux whose writing is all about worshipping themselves as 'heap big white sahib' in savage lands.

Her book has enough talent, and enough colour, to make me read it from cover to cover. Where she skims over facts to punctuate a point, at least it is done entertainingly and with skill, like a Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits. Whereas Thubron or Maclean or Pico Iyer self aggrandisement is neither entertaining nor skilled.

I'd read Theroux on a very slow and long holiday after all the newspapers have been read

I'd only read Thubron AFTER I've read everything including my 5 year old daughter's colouring books and the milk cartoon.

I'd read Kerouac, Thesiger, Chatwin, Naipaul, Chris Stewart and yes, Goda, anytime anywhere (for different reasons though)
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