Feb 272010
 
Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost

Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost

It’s a travel book, most fun because Troost has a keen eye, a sharp tongue, precise wit, and he is no sissy when it comes to difficult journeys (See Getting Stoned With Savages.)  So it is especially appealing in a literary sense to see through his eyes how much there is to not like about China: First, the pollution; second, the overwhelming crowds; third Chinese disdain for foreigners; fourth, their preoccupation with international recognition.  The book lingers a little too long, and his inability to speak Chinese is a barrier.  Nevertheless, I take away an insight (and laughed aloud on more than one occasion) I have not been able to find anywhere else. January 2010.

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