Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Com

J. Maarten Troost, Author
J. Maarten Troost, Author Broadway Books $22.95 (382p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2200-5
Reviewed on: 06/02/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
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Troost, J. Maarten. Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, Or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid. Broadway. 2008. c.304p. TRAV~ Troost tackles modern China with his trademark wit and unstinting honesty. A genuine pleasure to read, this book is recommended for all public libraries. Background: Troost initially traveled to China to see if he and his family could move there and escape Sacramento's pollution and crime. Rather than a refuge, he finds a country changing fast while skipping over nuisances like human rights, copyrights, and pollution controls. Troost (The Sex Lives of Cannibals) is ruthless in his portrayal of China as terribly polluted (""In no way was I ready for the swirling filth that constitutes air in Beijing""), a nation of knockoffs and rip-offs, and cruelly authoritarian in its treatment of Tibet. The author is constantly besieged by offers of questionable Rolexes and Mont Blanc pens and badgered by taxi drivers, beggars, and entrepreneurial women offering massages. A sojourn in the Chinese countryside provides welcome respite for the author and continued entertainment for the reader.--Lee Arnold, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
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