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Weaker than later offerings but still a must for Delisle fans
on 8 March 2012
I would tend to agree with the reviewer 'Sinbad' - it is not as good as his later works. This feels more experimental, more raw, and the subject matter intrigues less because much more is known about China than Burma and North Korea. But I still liked the book, because it has all the qualities one associates with Delisle, his sardonic wit, his keen sense of observation, as the outsider looking in. The book I think will also serve as a historical snapshot, a document of a China in full-throttled transition from socialism to capitalism. I also think it is worth reading just to see how Delisle as an artist develops over the years. For these reasons, it's still a good book. And if you have ever visited China, you will appreciate the book even more. You will surely laugh with recognition as he struggles to comprehend the lighting system in his hotel room. The book is still a must if you are Delisle fan. It only drops a star because it is a good book that has been surpassed by the author's later, better books.