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9 Reviews
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey into the both Asia and the writer's mind.....
Terzani captures the spirit of Asia in this book. He's a writer with much experience in Asia and this can be seen from his analysis and interpretations of the many nuances of Asian culture and politics. As a Malaysian, I find his description about Malaysia accurate and unlike many other travel books, he managed to look at both the good and bad side of Malaysian...
Published on 18 Feb 2002 by anandkpr77

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Macho macho man
This is an entertaining enough travel book but I was really put off by the machismo of the author. There are many examples of his male chauvinism in the book, such as when he says that the practice of 'hired wives' is a 'civilised' one.

Another thing I found irritating was his superficiality (he constantly jumps from one whim to another, first he says he'll see...
Published on 16 Aug 2006 by M. M.


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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey into the both Asia and the writer's mind....., 18 Feb 2002
By 
This review is from: A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East (Hardcover)
Terzani captures the spirit of Asia in this book. He's a writer with much experience in Asia and this can be seen from his analysis and interpretations of the many nuances of Asian culture and politics. As a Malaysian, I find his description about Malaysia accurate and unlike many other travel books, he managed to look at both the good and bad side of Malaysian life...
If you ever want a good initiation into the world of travel literature, this is the one. Bottom line, buy this book. It is worth every penny you spend...
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual travel book that you might really enjoy!, 6 July 1999
By A Customer
This book, unlike many other travel books I've read, has a humanity and sensitivity that is very appealing to those of us who understand obsessions like not walking on cracks in pavement to stave off failure in your upcoming math test.
Suffice to say that it will gently bring you to reflect on aspects of your life that may normally go ignored; additionally, it will give you a perspective on Asia that is both entertaining...and thought provoking.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A special journey through Asia and more, 2 July 2004
Tiziano Terzani is a wonderful story-teller, and his love for Asian culture and traditions is infectuous. The starting point for this book is a challenge: after a fortune-teller predicted him he would have died in a flying accident, Terzani spend a whole year traveling Asia (he was a foreign correspondant for the German magazine Der Spiegel) by train, bus, feet... or by sea.
During the year, he met several fortune-tellers, in any country he visited. All these interviews are reported in his book, together with Terzani's considerations about the future of Asian traditions confronted with the rising danger of globalisation.
This book was my first encounter with Terzani's writing, and I've soon become one of his biggest fans.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Macho macho man, 16 Aug 2006
This is an entertaining enough travel book but I was really put off by the machismo of the author. There are many examples of his male chauvinism in the book, such as when he says that the practice of 'hired wives' is a 'civilised' one.

Another thing I found irritating was his superficiality (he constantly jumps from one whim to another, first he says he'll see the best fortune-teller in each location he visits, then decides to stop that, then gets interested in the elections in Cambodia, and so on). I was expecting some continuity of thought/action, and more depth in his thoughts. I've noticed men seem to enjoy this book much more than women, and I was really surprised at some of the glowing reviews.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book about Southeast Asia with a mystical bent, 29 Oct 1999
By A Customer
I picked this book up after spending two months in exactly the countries Mr. Terzani travels through in the first three quarters of this perfectly delightful travelogue. I only wish I would have read the book before going.
So much of what shapes these countries is not what is overtly visible, but what is in the hearts and minds of the people who occupy them. And that is something that every traveler hopes to learn -- the why. Mr. Terzani takes a closer look at what some might call mumbo-jumbo in a way that opens the readers eyes to ideas that are very strange to most of us, and yet they have been in practice for thousands of years.
The mysticism of the different cultures in countries from Thailand to Indonesia is an area I had not even been aware of as I planned and executed our trip. It is an area I wish I would have paid more attention to. From reading the book I learned that Malaaca (Malaysia) is "the most bewitched city on earth." Had I known that I may have been more observant when I was there. Maybe I would have seen a ghost or two...
We were lucky enough to be able to visit Angkor Wat, in Cambodia for a few days and it had a profound affect on my wife and me. That affect was heightened whan I read Tiziano's feelings about the temples. He writes: "Personally, I have always been more impressed by the temples in which the work of man seems in itself to touch the devine. There are few places in the world in which one feels proud to be a member of the human race, and one of these is certainly Angkor. Behind its sophisticated, intellectual beauty there is something profoundly simple, something archetypal and natural that reaches the heart without needing to pass through the head."
If you have an interest in Southeast Asia and have been, or are planning to go I would highly recommend finding this book and reading it. It is a beautiful work, interesting and unusual.
Unfortunately I do not believe it is available in the United States (?) I have only just found it in the UK. Good luck and happy trails.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, insightful and wistful, 24 Sep 2008
By 
C. Salmon (south africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I loved this book. I found Terzani's wistful yearning for the world gone, now submerged in materialism and concrete mirroring my own sadness at watching beautiful places ruined by needless development.

At times I found the endless fortune tellers soothsaying a bit boring, but his descriptions inbetween, especially of Singapore, Malaysia and Burma were beautiful. He was insightful and profound, sometimes even quite pigheaded and judgmental, which I found very refreshing in this world of political correctness. One of the best travel books I have read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is amazing at capturing flavor of asia, 16 Dec 2000
This guy is just really clued in to asia and also turns a very precise phrase. I happen to like asia, divination, feng shui; so this guy writing about his material is just an incredible find for me. Friends of mine have their eye on my copy, but I'm not through reading it, so I need to order from UK to get them their own (it's not available in the states). I guess I bought it at some airport while traveling, didn't even realize what gem it was until, several weeks later, when I started reading it and was immediately captivated.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, but lousy execution, 27 May 2007
By 
Nice idea - what's it like to do global travel without planes? But the author seems rather obnoxious - macho, conservative, and perhaps a bit of a bore. He gives up flying to see what it's like to obey a fortune teller, not because flying is wrecking the planet. And though he doesn't like capitalism much (always associated with ethnic chinese) he seems to like fascists and reactionaries much more than socialists of any kind.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 Mar 2013
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Fascinating story. Read this while on holiday in Far east and intend to introduce it as my next book club choice.
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A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East
A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East by Tiziano Terzani (Hardcover - Jun 2001)
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