2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Careless with the facts,
This review is from: Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life (Hardcover)
Prospective purchasers of this book would do well to read the reviews on the Amazon.com site, which appreciate the virtues of the work but do note the unacceptably high number of inaccuracies. I found the same, and even in the first three pages (on the author's ascent of Mt Fuji) I was bemused by the allegedly rapidly fluctuating levels of oxygen (a violation of the second law of thermodynamics on this sacred site?), translating Fuji as 'eternal life' (that's 'banzai' from the war newsreels, 'Fuji' itself may be an Ainu word without any specific Japanese meaning) and a rather loose use of the term 'altitude sickness'. These infelicities do not relate to the main theme, the sun, but they suggest Saturday Supplement journalism rather than the best of non-fiction writing and undermine any confidence I could have in the main argument. As an American reviewer suggests, hold off buying until there is a fully revised second edition. Five stars for presentation and topic, zero for spoiling an otherwise fine work.
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Initial post: 28 Jan 2012 04:07:42 GMT
Richard Cohen says:
The anonymous reviewer is not a careful reader. I recount what I felt on the mountain. However subjective my experience, it is accurately reported. I nowhere in the chapter mention oxygen levels, nor do I define altitude sickness, only chastising myself for not taking altitude pills. The meaning of Fuji? Even Saturday supplement journalism might help 'Colonist' here. Says Wikipedia: 'The origin of the name Fuji is unclear. A text of the 10th century Tale of the Bamboo Cutter says that the name came from "immortal" (不死 fushi, fuji?) and also from the image of abundant (富 fu?) soldiers (士 shi, ji?) ascending the slopes of the mountain. An early folk etymology claims that Fuji came from 不二 (not + two), meaning without equal or nonpareil. Another claims that it came from 不尽 (not + to exhaust), meaning neverending.' I took my own definition from what locals at Fuji told me, and see no need for a correction.
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