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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kung Fu - Afro Botty style
Benjamin Zephaniah describes his encounters with people and places in China with a wry, warm humour. are just some of the people whom he meets, on his journey to the famous Shoaling temple. It is interesting to see how appreciation of other cultures is shaped through global media [especially pop music] - the dread-locked Zephaniah is accosted a number of times, being...
Published on 2 Mar 2011 by miraum

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3.0 out of 5 stars Zephaniah propaganda
I wanted to do a bit of 'faecal sandwich' review of this book but found I only had enough to do a 'faecal on toast' one instead, so hear goes; this book is about our friend Ben on his second outing to China, to visit the Shaolin temple. He's well into a bit of the old Kung fu and wants to find a good instructor. What makes this story is the people he meets and how he...
Published 21 months ago by the deadly goldfish


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kung Fu - Afro Botty style, 2 Mar 2011
Benjamin Zephaniah describes his encounters with people and places in China with a wry, warm humour. are just some of the people whom he meets, on his journey to the famous Shoaling temple. It is interesting to see how appreciation of other cultures is shaped through global media [especially pop music] - the dread-locked Zephaniah is accosted a number of times, being identified with Bob Marley, Eddy Grant and even Lionel Ritchie. The encounter with the insistent autograph seeker on the aeroplane, who wants an autograph from Bob Marley at any cost, undaunted and even dismissive of the fact that Benjamin has told him that he is a poet and not the dead musician. Zephaniah also has his own expectations of the iconic Shaolin temple, which he has to review in its present reality, as he meets 'stiff-eyebrow' Iron Breath, who teaches him Kung-fu, the pizza eating Fat Thumb [a would-be monk from Birmingham], and the calm and collected Yan li, who surprises him with a karoake rendition of `I will survive` . A delightful and warm-hearted book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent quick read., 24 Feb 2014
I really enjoyed this quick read. It's fun, quirky and interesting and a beautiful way of introducing another culture.

Benjamin Zephaniah takes the reader on a very enjoyable journey by introducing some interesting characters such as the "Kissy Kissy" woman, Fat Thumb and of course his Sufi (teacher) Iron Breath.

I now want to go and visit China myself.

Maz
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and entertaining, 6 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Kung Fu Trip (Quick Reads Edition) (Kindle Edition)
Excellent! I'm writing this review months after reading it but I can remember chuckling and enjoying the wit and humour!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different view, 30 Mar 2013
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A. Pilling - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kung Fu Trip (Quick Reads Edition) (Kindle Edition)
Took me an hour to read but shorter doesn't mean no depth. Showed that first impressions aren't always right. Concise, simple and entertaining. BIOZ never disappoints!
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5.0 out of 5 stars usual high standard from BZ, 15 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Kung Fu Trip (Quick Reads Edition) (Kindle Edition)
Read it in one enjoyable sitting. So vivid I felt like I was travelling with him. I could smell the journey. BZ's philosophy always leaves me calm, reflective and smiling. Nice one!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Zephaniah propaganda, 19 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Kung Fu Trip (Quick Reads Edition) (Kindle Edition)
I wanted to do a bit of 'faecal sandwich' review of this book but found I only had enough to do a 'faecal on toast' one instead, so hear goes; this book is about our friend Ben on his second outing to China, to visit the Shaolin temple. He's well into a bit of the old Kung fu and wants to find a good instructor. What makes this story is the people he meets and how he deals with the situation. If the account is accurate, then he deals with each encounter in a very admirable and accepting way. The Kung fu side of things is minimal and gives a glimpse of the dangers and pitfalls that can happen to unprepared travellers going there for this purpose as well as highlighting the fact that outside the temple,( like everywhere else now a days) has fallen victim to the tourist trap. I thoroughly enjoyed this travel writing book but it warns you on the cover that it is a quick read and doesn't lie. Some of the characters mentioned are glossed over and only certain aspects important to the writer and not the reader are mentioned (Imagine your funny uncle Bob describing his holiday and you get the picture) The writer is very much a self promoter in this book. You will see what I mean. It mentions that the book includes his political view. This turns out to be a paragraph or two of the writers child like view of politics as he gets angry that his mate gets nicked for terrorism and blames the government / police etc for life's ills. I found myself reluctantly going on to Wikipedia just to check out his background after the constant suggestion in this book that he's mistaken or famous people, corrects them and tells them he's only did a bit of this and that and was on telly a bit etc. All credit to the writer, he's made a success of himself despite bing dyslexic and (according the wiki) was inprisoned for burglary previously. Summery, good light book but i wish he kept his travel writing about the travel and didn't use the subtle marketing to promote other books and himself. Don't expect many adjectives or an insight into temple life. GLD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Afro Botty Style Writing from a man of the people, 15 Aug 2012
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Benjamin Zephaniah has written a book that will make you laugh and cry in the same breath. Kung Fu Trip propels you into the mysterious world of martial arts, where nothing is what it seems and everything is larger than life. There is the Kissy Kissy Woman who is more frightening than ten Kung Fu fighters, and Smelly Thumb who might be taking Benjamin for a ride financially and then there is the taxi driver who learns about "Afro Botty" style fighting from Benjamin himself in a delightful misunderstanding between two different yet similar cultures: glorious characters tumble from the pages of a boom that is far too short and we are swept along in a journey of self discovery as Benjamin seeks to find himself in the land of ancient dragons. A great book for all ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, 10 Aug 2012
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I read this on the flight to Majorca and it made me laugh so much that other passengers started looking at me funny. No, really. And it took almost precisely the flight time of about 2 hours to read it.

(If you're going to Majorca this year too and want something about the same length for the trip back, I recommend Tim Winton's Land's Edge: A Coastal Memoir. Brilliant. But don't go looking for any Kung Fu-practising Rastas in it because you won't find them.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun short read, 30 July 2014
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This review is from: Kung Fu Trip (Quick Reads Edition) (Kindle Edition)
Utterly hilarious this is a really good short read and makes me want to read more of Benjamin Zephaniah work. I am so impressed with his get up and go. A fun short read that is well written and thought provoking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Enough To Make Her Reading List..., 13 Aug 2014
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Dr. House (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kung Fu Trip (Quick Reads Edition) (Kindle Edition)
To Make Her Reading List... hints at violence not probable tho!
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