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Book Title: Riding the Iron Rooster|
The author of the book: Paul Theroux
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 463 KB
Edition: Ivy Books
Date of issue: March 28th 1989
ISBN 13: 9780804104548
Read full description of the books Riding the Iron Rooster:The nice thing about buying books by the box at a used book sale is that I’ll take a chance on something I normally wouldn’t pick up at full price. In this case it was a travelogue.
Paul Theroux’s travels through China took place in the mid ‘80’s, which makes most of the political content somewhat dated (not to mention repetitive to the Nth degree). Everyone in China that he comes across gets questioned about the changes in the political climate, specifically the differences between Mao and the reforms of Deng (the Chinese leader at the time the book was written). Over and over again. Ad nauseam. The book also has a tendency to drag at times.
With that said, Theroux’s humor and keen eye for detail carry the day. The anecdotes that book-end his travels are priceless. The first revolves around his initial journey to China with a tour group and his snarky remarks written about the group and the stops along the way. The drive to Tibet at the end of the book is memorably rendered and caps off the book quite nicely.
Some of the reviews of this book on Goodreads characterize Theroux as someone who “hates people”. That’s kind of a broad brush stroke to peg Theroux as some sort of misanthrope. Sure he poked fun at the travel group but that attitude, for the most part, didn’t carry over to his views of the people he encountered in China. I would assume most people pick up his travelogues for his POV and not specifically the destinations and in this book he's generally pretty even-handed in his portrayals of the people he meets.
Read information about the authorPaul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, through South Asia, then South-East Asia, up through East Asia, as far east as Japan, and then back across Russia to his point of origin. Although perhaps best known as a travel writer, Theroux has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast.
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