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Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China Paperback – 30 Mar 1989
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"[Theroux's] books have enriched the travel literature of this century...China, with its guard down, its buttons undone, and its fingers greasy, looks even more magical with a little of its mystery revealed." USA Today"[A] very funny, beautifully written, wonderfully observant, and deeply insightful description of the vagaries of life and politics in China." -- Conde Nast Traveler"Fascinating...the portrait that emerges is a luminous, almost uncanny, and situationally accurate one. Theroux is particularly good at catching the surreal quality of China." The Miami Herald"Theroux's genius is in his clear-eyed rendition of a fresh world and the deeper observations he attaches to it." The Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Paul Theroux has written many works of fiction and travel writing, including the modern classics The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, My Secret History and The Mosquito Coast. Paul Theroux divides his time between Cape Cod and the Hawaiian islands.
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Sometimes he is a bit repetitive but rarely boring and very amusing at times. In this day of photos, selfies etc etc it is refreshing to read a book which is so descriptive that it was only near the end that I realised I could 'see' China and didn't need any photographs. I highly recommend it. But maybe I will have to edit these comments after having been there myself.
The book is about Mr Theroux’s long trip through China by train in the 1980s.
As ever, Paul Theroux really delivers in this book. His dry, witty style makes even mundane events entertaining. It is a real ‘page-turner’ and I very much enjoyed reading it. I also feel that in spite of the fact that China is a totally different country today compared to the 1980s, the traveller can still take a lot from this book. It surely still ranks up there as one of the best travel books on China.
I would recommend this to anybody who likes travel writing, especially those people who have or are planning to visit China.
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