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    $16.47 $16.39 list($24.95)
    1. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind
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    2. The Scariest Place : A Marine
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    3. Lonely Planet Thailand (Lonely
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    20. Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore

    1. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
    by Rachel DeWoskin
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393059022
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 636
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A smart, funny, insightful peek into modern China through the eyes of a "foreign babe."

    Hoping to improve her Chinese and broaden her cultural horizons, Rachel DeWoskin went to work for an American PR firm in China. Before she knew it, she was not just exploring but making Chinese culture—as the sexy, aggressive, fearless Jexi, star of a wildly successful soap opera. A sort of Chinese counterpart to Sex in the City revolving around Chinese-Western culture clashes, the show was called Foreign Babes in Beijing.

    Living the clashes in real life while playing out a parallel version onscreen, Rachel forms a group of friends with whom she witnesses the vast changes sweeping through China as the country pursues the new maxim that "to get rich is glorious." In only a few years, billboards, stylish bars and discos, international restaurants, fashion shows, divorce, foreign visitors, and cross-cultural love affairs transform the face of China's capital. Foreign Babes in Beijing is as astute and informative as it is witty, moving, and entertaining. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the mouths of babes ... come the truest words . . .
    This is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in a very long time.I have been to Beijing once and I now live in thevery multicultural city of Toronto.The author deftly weaves the scripted story of the soap opera in which she acts with her real story on the streets and clubs and offices of Beijing.In a style of writing that is clear but deeply nuanced and humorous, she relates the lives of young men and women in a rapidly changing China, dealing with their own kind of culture shock, even as she deals with hers.

    The chapter "Model workers" talks of the emerging, very non-Maoist profession of runway models.Brief, capsule biographies of the author's friends in China who are both typical and extraordinary, painters, actors, and fellow office workers, provided me insights that I will long carry with me.The story is told in part with quotations from her actual conversations, quotations from the show script, lyrics from popular songs, and brief quips about historical women recorded in the ancient "Lives of Eminent Women." Together these constribute to a fine tapestry that reveals many truths about our complex multicultural lives without judgement and with considerable affection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Crisp, Clever, Fast-paced, and Funny
    This book is both smart and fun. On the one hand it is about an American babe who stars in a Chinese TV soap with funny stories to tell; and on the other, a glimpse into China's vast cultural landscape that is shifting as we speak.The seduction by the foreign babe is a metaphor for the impact of the West on the middle kingdom. DeWoskin has a smooth as silk grasp of language that is kind to the reader. Well done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Social Commentary - Served Hot and Spicy
    Rachel DeWoskin arrived in Beijing during the mid-90s, among the first wave of Westerners to see the city since the protests and reprisals at Tiananmen Square a few years earlier. During her stay, China relented from rigid socialism, opened up to foreign capital, and incorporated western business practices. On one level, "Foreign Babes" is the story of this process. DeWoskin's descriptions of these cultural convulsions are pithy and delightful. From the introduction of Coke and McDonald's (and the resulting obesity epidemic), to the latest trends in Chinese rock music and performance art, she was a witness and an insider - the perfect guide.

    DeWoskin was not just an anonymous tourist, though, she was a pop-sensation. Starring as an American temptress in China's version of Beverly Hills 90210, her weekly seductions were seen by half a billion people each week. Hundreds of fans mobbed her on the streets of Beijing and followed her through stores, buying whatever random products she put in her bag.

    But the heart of "Foreign Babes" is not the fascinating backdrop of Beijing in bloom, or the glamorous and sexy soap opera, but the relationships between the characters. Sparring across a huge divide of language, politics, and culture, they must shed stereotypes and find a personal space in which to understand each other - not as American or Chinese, but as individuals and friends. DeWoskin possesses an astute social sensibility, a pitch-perfect ear for conversation, and the gift of spot-lighting the most awkward - and revealing - moment in any interaction.

    Just going to China after college was adventurous. Signing on for the TV-show was audacious. Most impressive, however, was DeWoskin's ability to bridge the gaps and surround herself with friends in a foreign country. Impressive, but not surprising, since the author's warmth and grace are apparent on every page.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Telling Look at Late 1990's Beijing
    Having lived for much of the period from 2001 - 2004 in Suzhou, (about 50 miles west of Shanghai), I can categorically say that Rachel DeWoskin's new book, FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA, gets nearly everything right when it comes to Chinese culture and interpersonal relations. Her book is a fascinating account of a city, a country, and a culture in transition. The people around her, and she herself, suffer the contradictions of tradition versus modernity, socialism versus entrepreneurial capitalism, blind patriotism versus Westernization, and government control versus individual freedom, yet everyone zooms ahead to find their own way even as the book's timeline approaches the millennium.

    Ms. DeWoskin arrives in Beijing on something of a lark, a college grad with an English degree, a little Mandarin, and a desire for something adventurous. She has taken a position with the Beijing office of an international public relations firm (we later learn that "P.R." sounds uncomfortably like the Chinese word for an unflattering body part) but quickly finds the work empty of content. She unexpectedly gets offered a spot as one of the two foreign female leads in a new Chinese soap opera entitled "Yang Niu Zai Beijing," or "Foreign Babes in Beijing." She is duped into signing a contract for far less than she's worth to the producers (there are still relatively few attractive young Western women in Beijing in 1995), and a series of acting misadventures and cast romances ensue. DeWoskin can barely separate her real-life feelings for her hunky co-star Wang Ling from their respective romantic roles in the soap opera. In the end, "Foreign Babes" is a huge success throughout China, and Ms. Dewoskin is recognized everywhere she goes as Jiexi, the "loose" Western woman who steals a married Chinese man (Wang Ling's character, Tianming) from his wife and takes him to America.

    The author eventually quits her P.R. job and takes on a series of small acting and spokesperson roles, and even takes a brief turn as a runway model. Along the way, she meets and briefly profiles four young Beijingers (two female and two male, despite oddly labeling their chapters, "Biographies of Model Babes") and describes their lives, beliefs, and aspirations. Each is fiercely independent and nontraditional, seeking to find their own identity and purpose in a newly-opened society. These four people are sometimes misinformed and often obstinate, even foolishly obstreperous, but there's no doubt they are brave, going where relatively few in their country have gone before.

    DeWoskin develops close relationships with each of her four Beijingers, including a live-in relationship with the actor/screenwriter Zhao Jun. The last one-third of the book details her post-Jiexi life, which seems to devolve into clubbing and bar-hopping punctuated by occasional vague hints at working. Two tragedies -- the sudden death of a close Chinese friend juxtaposed against the mistaken U.S./NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade -- bring DeWoskin's relationships and her Chinese life to an abrupt end just as the 20th Century is drawing to a close. It is time to go home, to find her place in her native country.

    Ms. DeWoskin tells her story in casual prose with easy pacing. Her writing is sometimes poignant and other times humorous. The reader feels her confusion about Chinese life and language; she doesn't even learn until later that her Chinese name, Du Ruiqiu (Du for DeWoskin, Ruiqiu to sound like Rachel), actually means "Bumper Harvest." She finds huge cultural gaps and differences with everyone around her. She makes repeated cultural faux pas, but muddles through nonetheless, just like any American in her place. Interlaced with her story are bits and pieces of Chinese history and language. Ms. DeWoskin also offers a number of surprisingly on-target, passing observations about Chinese life and culture: the importance of face, women covering their mouths when laughing, lack of winter heating, foreigners' prices, women holding hands but not hugging, and a host of others. Combined, these little bits add to a greater whole, creating a "Beijing atmosphere" that effectively complements her personal story.

    It is hard not to see FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA as a coming of age story, both for the naïve, young college graduate author and for the country in which she is perpetually an outsider. She uses China and the Chinese for her own adventure story as surely as they use her for her "exotic" foreignness. This book is also a story about cross-cultural personal relationships, about roles assumed and played out, about what is thought and said, and not said, between any two people, complicated a hundredfold by cultural differences and ways of thinking. In the end, Ms. DeWoskin's confused, conflicted, and ultimately lost relationship with Zhao Jun may well serve as a metaphor for the instability, and perhaps the utter hopelessness, of the larger Sino-American relationship.

    3-0 out of 5 stars interesting, and impressionistic
    A good read, funny at times. In a way, this book is not exactly about the "new new China," but "recent new China," for the described events happened more than 5 years ago, a generational period on the Chinese time scale. DeWoskin is charming, self-deprecating, and going out with interesting people including Cui Jian. Do not look for any substantial, observant description of the capital and its people in this chattery book. She is after all a babe, living a half-real, half-dreamy life in Beijing. Never an insider, she is but a sweet, lovely guest who is invited to watch China and be watched at the same time. ... Read more

    2. The Scariest Place : A Marine Returns to North Korea
    by James Brady
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312332424
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
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    3. Lonely Planet Thailand (Lonely Planet Thailand)
    by Joe Cummings, Sandra Bao, Steven Martin, China Williams
    list price: $25.99
    our price: $17.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740593561
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 5289
    Average Customer Review: 3.41 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Hotter than a 'rat-shit pepper', this best-selling guide gives you the goods on surviving crazy Bangkok, exploring exotic landscapes and discovering what lies behind that famous Thai smile.

    • 148 easy-to-read maps
    • hundreds of places to stay, from squat-toilet guesthouses to luxe spa resorts
    • indepth analysis of the intricacies of Thai culture
    • where to learn Thai massage and master meditation
    • special sections covering Thai art, music, theatre and religion
    • Thai script throughout for easy reference, and handy language chapter with essential Thai words and phrases
    ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lonely Planet fan
    Re: other reviewers' comments on Pattaya: Thanks, Joe, for NOT dwelling on that tourist trap. ANY OTHER brochure, website, or travel agent offers equal information. Lonely Planet's info given is more than plenty to fully enjoy R&R in Pattaya.

    If you want to venture to the true beauty of Thailand, true land of smiles, than use LP as a terrific reference. If you want someone else to plan your whole trip and be part of a tour group, then call a travel agent or buy the "other" books.

    Re: 7th edition: "Loi Krathong" (Festival of Lights - last full moon in November) needs more detailed information for more cities in Thailand and the festival itself. For me, this was THE festival of the year - great to observe pre-celebration, too. The flowers, floats, parades, food, atmosphere... This was one of my highlights of the trip. (We spent pre-festivities in Bangkok; actual festival in Ayuthaya). Joe only briefly mentions that it's "best to celebrate in the North." Don't let this discourage you from celebrating it elsewhere in Thailand.

    Having traveled with various guide books, nothing so far beats the Lonely Planet guide books. But you must keep in mind as a user - all recommendations are merely recommendations. Investigate comments, take in the facts. (The comments are usually funny and helpful anyway). The cultural background information, history, and other side notes help make the difference to buy Lonely Planet instead of the others. Joe Cummings' LP books on Thailand, Bangkok & the phrasebook were superb. I liked his insight. LP helps you be a traveler, not just a tourist. (Other LP books used: Israel, Turkey, Greece, Western Europe, Baltics, Asia, and Hong Kong. They've all been worth their weight and size). If you can take your own luggage off the baggage carousel, you must use Lonely Planet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    Couldn't have been better. I use Lonely Planet books as a loose guide to give me background information as a base for myself to build upon. I don't follow it like a bible, because then one is not being as spontaneous, curious, or as individualistic as they perhaps should be when traveling abroad. This Lonely Planet edition for Thailand had accurate information on accomadation, pricing, culture, food, language, religion, and historical background. Great "atmosphere" descriptions. The maps of the cities and towns were very helpful. I think the author Joe Cummings, did an excellent job as well as those who assisted. (Avoid tourist-trap, phony areas that are fake, and want your Baht.) It took me six years to return to Thailand, my favorite country in the world. How could I have taken so long? I will not make this mistake again. Best people, food, and culture in the world in my opinion.

    2-0 out of 5 stars poorly designed
    I was really disappointed with the newest Thailand edition to the Lonely Planet series. This is a huge volume and is more a history lesson then a guidebook. Learning the history of your destination is great but that information is not necessary when carrying around a guide to find a place to eat. Many of the authors' recommendations are already outdated. The price ranges for places to eat or sleep are not accurate or sometimes not given at all. My main problem is the way this guide links the map to the text. In order to find out where a place is located, you must refer to several different pages when reading the map. Why can't the description of a restaurant also tell the map page and grid point without having to look on a separate index? Poorly designed and not easy to use when on the go. Keep this one on your bookshelf and take a smaller guidebook when traveling. I recommend the Time Out series as my favorite.

    1-0 out of 5 stars same old, same old
    I enjoy writing, but this crummy book isn't even worth the effort. I noticed that removed the 9th edition book, and all the reviews that went with it, possibly to try to help Lonely Planet, which is truly a faint and sad shadow of it's former, ancient (1980's) self.
    This book just repeats the same old info and "who cares?" attitude of the 9th edition.
    What the heck ever happened to LP I don't know, but they have changed from an inspired company to a cynical company that appears to not care about anything much anymore.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The cream of Thailand guides
    I live and work in Bangkok, and when travelling to other parts of Thailand on holiday I always take along the Lonely Planet guide. I've tried Rough, Footprint and a few other lesser known publications, but LP tends to more informative, and considerably more accurate, in fact more so than all the others combined.

    Another thing, I've been buying each new edition of the LP guide since the early 90s, and can't understand the amazon user reviews dated 1999 or 2002, etc, that identify this guide as the work of Joe Cummings alone. Since the late 90s it has been a team project (with Steven Martin initially, currently with a total of four authors), as any look at the title page or About the Authors page will reveal. So if you don't like the tone, blame the whole team (or more importantly the LP editors, who no doubt play a large role in determining how this book reads), not Cummings!

    One thing I did notice about the 2003 edition is that it is considerably shorter than the last couple of editions. Gone are some of the more interesting out-of-the-way destinations in the various regions. I suppose LP felt it had to cut down on the size and weight but I would personally rather see them return to a more comprehensive scope. ... Read more

    4. Lonely Planet India (Lonely Planet India)
    by Sarina Singh
    list price: $27.99
    our price: $18.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740594215
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 8689
    Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    India is as spectacular and as diverse as a Bollywood movie - colorful, exuberant, exciting and loud.This top-selling guide is better than any blockbuster at conjuring up the highlights, be it soaring Himalayan peaks or sun-soaked Keralan beaches.

    • feast your eyes on the sights in our 16-page color highlights section • tease your tastebuds with reviews of thousands of restaurants and cafes • meet and greet the locals using our handy language chapter • find your way with 218 maps, including a full-color country map • follow the safest path with our vital information on health risks, scams and regions in conflict ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
    Anyone planning a trip to India would be wise to take this book along. Start reading it a couple months before the trip (it's a thick book) and take it with you everywhere you go in India. I promise, any question you have, it will answer. Anytime I needed some information on language, customs, curiosities, cuisine, health issues, or even what time the local museum opens (I visited the Orissa State Museum in Bhubaneshwar), I found the info I needed. I like to refer back to it every now and then to dazzle my Indian friends with my knowledge of India and her culture (sometimes I even know more than they do!)
    And I learned it all from this book. This is the 9th edition; in my opinion the 10th edition has a prettier picture on the cover. But the info in this one is reliable and insightful.

    4-0 out of 5 stars If you use it you will get help from it.
    This is the second time to visit India.Both time I took the same Lonely Planet. Always I choose hotel from it and felt not bad. In some small city, hight rank hotel means good servie and the price was not so high as you image it. First all the price listed in the book is as same as in the hotel, so try to cut off nearly 30% off is the very important thing to do during the trip.
    Also I visited Jaisalmer on May, but if you following the book you will never go there in such cray summer. In fact, the summer was high enough, but still interesting. No more tourist means you can enjoy alone, and only myself in the hotel you can get nearly 50% discountdown for low season. If you read you can find a lot of things from the book, but on the trip everything is changed, you never image the book can guide you everything. Try to ask person around you, and get the most reasonable price.
    I will plan to go to india again, by the guide of Lonely Planet, but I think I need a new version.

    4-0 out of 5 stars No one guide has it all....
    One should never rely on just one source for a major adventure, as any trip to India is, and this very complete guide is no exception. This guide has excellent information on the history, culture and people of India, and the color section on Sacred India is a nice touch. It has lots of very practical information on what to bring, what you can and can't photograph, what to read before you go, how to avoid "cultural misunderstandings." It's helpful for preparing people for the assault Westerners often experience--ask for directions and you have a friend/guide for life, often accompanied by a very aggressive demand for money. The health and safety information is also pretty good--except that they say that tap water in cities is OK to drink--ignore this advice! I find this guide limited in its retaurant and hotel selections, especially if you're not a low-budget or student traveller. Also, information changes constantly--internet cafes spring up and close overnight, new restaurants and hotels open up every day, and the political situation bears watching up until the day you leave. And of course no guide book has really good maps. But why limit yourself--the internet is chock full of information on this wonderful, confusing, fascinating country!

    4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent accomplishment, heavy but well worth it
    This edition of "Lonely Planet India" is better than the previous one, which was very very good itself. Despite the immensity of India and the numberless topics and regions that therefore have to be covered, the authors have done an excellent job indeed. Some weaknesses are inevitable, and this is perhaps why this is not one of LP's masterpieces, but it is indeed inevitable for travel guidebooks to be the better, the smaller the region they cover - this is why this book should perhaps be complemented with the individual LP guides to different Indian regions. But in itself, this book does cover most of what a visitor will need or want to know. And in a place that is chaotic and tough for foreigners like India, this may indeed be an essential tool for the less experienced travellers. The coverage of places to stay and eat is absolutely excellent, not just for the major cities but also for minor towns and sites (the authors would indeed seem to have been on every single square foot of land in India !). The section on permits and other legal matters is of immense value to anyone, and well up-to-date. And of course, the sections and special chapters on history, culture, religion, are extremely well written, great for the traveller and the armchair reader alike. Even though the best discoveries are those a traveller will make herself / himself, this guidebook is surely a great tool and help in anyone's discovery of this wonderful land. All in all, a masterpiece despite its limitations. A weakness is of course that things being as they are in India, information is subject to change, and some may have become out-of-date by the time this book was printed. But this is of course inevitable, and it simply means that - as in any country - a traveller should not rely on only a guidebook, but make a considerable effort to grasp as much as possible of current circumstances on her / his own.

    2-0 out of 5 stars pinch of salt
    As mentioned earlier, this book can seem to easy to knock because of its veneration by the wide eyed and uncool. I recommend this book for travel information, ie buses, trains, etc., for the first time visitor. I disrecommend it for its recommendations of hotels and eateries. India is a land overflowing with places to stay and eat, and those mentioned in this book are full of aforementioned hordes of the 'uncool', and correpondingly overpriced.
    I also disrecommend it because info on local points of interest leave a little
    to be desired, the tone of the authors is often a little smug, and by buying this book you are funding the ruination of hard found havens by the unwashed hippy masses. But I suppose that's inevitable. ... Read more

    5. Chinese in 10 Minutes a Day
    by Kristine K. Kershul
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $17.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0944502105
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Bilingual Books (WA)
    Sales Rank: 69227
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction for travellers
    Before buying (or reviewing) a language instruction book, you should consider the purpose of the book. This book intends to give you some basic speaking ability in Chinese in a relatively short amount of time, to help you express yourself while traveling, shopping, eating, and doing other typical tourist activities. It does an excellent job of that. If you're looking for more than that, choose a book that better meets your needs.

    The book is divided into 24 lessons, with the suggestion you study each one for 10 minutes. That's just 4 hours of study, plus however much time you want to spend practicing. This won't make you fluent, won't teach you to read/write characters, and it won't really help you understand someone speaking Chinese to you, but it will give you the basic speaking skills it aims to provide.

    There are flash cards to cut out and practice with, and sticky labels to put on things around your house. The words are written in Pinyin, which is a romanization of Mandarin words based on their pronunciation. Pinyin pronunciation isn't obvious to English readers, so the book includes additional phonetic spelling. For example, it tells you the PinYin word 'jie' is pronounced 'jee-eh'.

    There are a number of exercises so you can practice what you've learned, which helps you remember.

    If you'd like to build a good foundation of common Chinese words and phrases with a minimal amount of study time, then I think you'll be happy with this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 2.5 on a scale of 1-5
    This book is basically a glorified list of vocabulary words. There are no conversations and very few sentences in the book. It doesn't teach much grammar, and seems to encourage using Chinese words with English sentence structures. If this were my only text, it would be very bad, but I'm finding it useful as a suplemetal text. The labels, pictures, and flash cards are all useful, but only when used in conjunction with a course or other book that actually teaches the language, not just the words.

    4-0 out of 5 stars quick way to learn common chinese
    My boyfriend and I are going to be moving to China next year, and since he knows absolutely no Chinese I thought this book would be helpful. Now our whole house is labeled with stickers, and it is working. Its a pretty quick and easy way to learn, I just wish it had the charecters as well.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat useful, but lacks audio
    The system is a pretty good one. There are lots of pictures, pages to help you practice saying and writing the words, etc. The idea of doing just a little bit each day is a good one. Unfortunately, there is no audio tape. Audio is always so important for pronounciation, but this is even more true with Chinese where tones are critical to the word's meaning. I would not recommend this book for that reason.

    5-0 out of 5 stars traveller
    For the traveller this is a great, fairly easy way to learn a difficult language. ... Read more

    6. The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
    by Slavomir Rawicz
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1558216847
    Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
    Publisher: The Lyons Press
    Sales Rank: 1843
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The harrowing true tale of escaped Soviet prisoners¿ desperate march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (209)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Facts, Facts, Facts
    I read this book eagerly, given the fact that the book jacket described Rawicz's journey as "Homeric." Though he may have travelled as far as Odysseus, he certainly doesn't possess the literary skills of a Homer, even with the help of a ghost writer. The Long Walk was a plainly told tale of extraordinary endurance. In fact, I agree with one reviewer who found the tale so extraordinary as to be unbelievable. I might be willing to accept the truth of Rawicz's story had there been some introduction or some verifiable historical facts within the tale itself. Unfortunately, my edition had none of this and the result was fairly implausible. I could easily catalogue the story's absurdities: the fact that the Polish officers all died along the way, leaving only Rawicz and a few untraceable companions at the end; the claims that the party walked for days with no food or no water (read _In the Heart of the Sea_ or _Endurance_ for a more plausible survival tales, and you'll realize how difficult this is); the idea that the party traversed some of the most daunting territory on the earth in handmade fur garments (?!). Even if his story is true, Rawicz never bothers to analyze his experience, or mull over what it might mean. He and his companions managed to reach the relatively hospitable Mongolia and encountered dozens of boats heading for China, yet still chose to walk not only through the Gobi desert but over the Himalayas, with tragic consequences. Without some thoughts about the meaning of the experience and about his post-war life, Rawicz's tale is hardly more interesting than the map that marks his party's estimated route through the wilds of Asia.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Story You'll Never Forget.
    Although The Long Walk is well written, that has nothing to do with why it's a good book. People should read this book because it chronicles perhaps the most extraordinary true story of human endurance in recorded history.

    Slavomir Rawicz is unjustly imprisoned by the Communist Russians early in World War II. He is confined to a cell so small that he literally cannot sit, but must sleep by collapsing with his knees against the wall and his feet steeped in his own waste. He is later transported to Siberia by train, and then marched through the cold countryside to a Soviet Gulag, witnessing the death by exposure and exhaustion of other unfortunate captives along the way. In the prison camp he is set in forced labor, kept in horrendous conditions, over-worked, and underfed.

    Near the end of his rope, Rawicz and a handful of companions orchestrate a daring and desperate escape, and then proceed to run for their lives, on foot, toward freedom in India--4,000 miles away. Then the fun begins. They must conquer the frozen Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, the Himalayan Mountains, starvation, the Soviets, and their own inner demons.

    Slavomir's ordeal overshadows every other survival tale I've every read, including Admiral Scott's Polar expedition and Krakauer's Everest disaster. This is up there with the Donner Expedition in terms of grim conditions and the indomitable human spirit. Trust me. If you've got a teenager who's complaining because they think they have it rough, let 'em read this one. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A great examination of the surviving spirit
    There have have been questions about the truth od this book. What rings true is the deep emotional turmoil of the author as he hangs on to his hatred for his tormentors, and there's no doubt thess dark passions helped spur him on during his long and often seeminly endless trek. It's a sad book. An amazing journey of the mind and the soul can be found in IN THE GHOST COUNTRY by Peter Hillary, a mind-bending account of his haunted journey to the South Pole. Deep stuff.

    2-0 out of 5 stars not believable
    This book purports to describe the travels of a polish
    officer in 1942 escaping from Siberia across China and
    into freedom in India. As a travel book, it doesn't
    hold up. As anyone who has travelled to these areas can
    tell you, no small unsupported group of people is going
    to just walk across those deserts without water or cross through
    Tibet north to south during the coldest months of the year.
    There are no landmarks to speak of presented in the book that
    in any way line up to the geography of where he claims to have
    gone. Beyond that, his story of escape from the russian camp is pure unbelievable melodrama. And for good measure, it contains
    a bigfoot (or snowman) sighting near the end.

    I suppose a few people will believe that some of the worst
    deserts in the world are just there to walk across or that
    you can just kind of find your way over the Himalayas during
    the coldest part of the year to India.

    I also couldn't help but wonder where his companions ended up
    after. Did they all just fall off the face of the earth
    after arriving in India? And on a journey like this, why would
    you only know one of your companions as "Mr. Smith". Most people
    would learn the entire life stories of the others on a trip like
    this supposedly was. Or at the very least learn the names of
    those your moving with.

    If you want to read real survival stories, try something
    about Shakelton or the book Great Heart.

    5-0 out of 5 stars When freedom calls
    This book is the story about a young Polish officer who is imprisoned and tortured by the Soviets. In a mockery of a trial he is sentanced to twenty-five years in a Soviet prison camp. It is here the real story begins.

    In the middle of Siberia, this Polish officer plans the unthinkable: escape! He selects six other companions to attept this act of deparation with him. In planning his escape, another reviewer indicates that he receives help from an unexpected source. You will not believe who assists him in his quest for freedom!

    The balance of the work deals in the trek across Siberia, Mogolia, the Gobi desert, and finally the Himalayas.

    In the annuals of human history you would be hard pressed to indentify a person whose sigle mindedness approaches Slavomir Rawicz.

    This is a terrific book! ... Read more

    7. Maximum City : Bombay Lost and Found
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375403728
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-21)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 757
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    8. Rick Steves' Best of Eastern Europe 2005
    by Rick Steves, Cameron Hewitt
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1566917867
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-04)
    Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing, Rick Steves
    Sales Rank: 87017
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Who but Rick Steves can tell you where to ride an Austrian mountain luge or visit the 3,000-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti in Berlin? With Rick Steves' Best of Eastern Europe 2005, you can experience Rick's favorite destinations in Eastern Europe, including Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Ljubljana, and Dubrovnik-economically and hassle-free. Completely revised and updated, this guidebook includes color maps and photos, opinionated coverage of both famous and lesser-known sights; friendly places to eat and sleep; suggested day plans; walking tours and trip itineraries; clear instructions for smooth travel anywhere by car, train, or foot; and Rick's newest "back door" discoveries. America's number one authority on travel to Europe, Rick's time-tested recommendations for safe and enjoyable travel in Europe have been used by millions of Americans in search of their own unique travel experience. ... Read more

    9. St. Petersburg (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    by Catherine Phillips, Christopher Rice, Melanie Rice
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789497271
    Catlog: Book (2003-12)
    Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
    Sales Rank: 17786
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Includes: Vasilevskiy Island, Petrogradskaya, Palace Embankment, Gostinyy Dvor, and Sennaya Ploshchad. ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book - Great Photos - No Brainer
    For background information I have travelled to Russia (in a cold October) and I own 20 Eyewitness books but I have never visited St. Petersburg. I confess that up front but all I need is the book to do the review, since I have used many DK books elsewhere. I love these books. I really like the Paris book, Rome, and the one for Prague, and Stockholm, and South Africa, and .... The new India book is exceptional and it works well for Moscow and St.Petersburg. You get all the detailed material similar to other great travel books plus you get great visuals.

    On a cold day back here in the USA (or Canada) or elsewhere, have a glass of wine and sit in a nice chair or in the garden on a warm day and read this book. For a moment you will be back in traveling. The photos are that good. These are the best all round travel books and are very good for cities.

    As I said, the photos and descriptions and the cutaway drawings are excellent and more than make up for any lack of small detail. But there is lots of detail here. The book includes the history of the city and many details on the art, art galleries, parks, culture, historical figures, cutaway views of historical buildings, and many other things of interest. The history is summarized at the beginning of the book with historical time lines and cross referenced to the culture and political figures. A solid effort - lots of stuff to see and absorb.

    It has the other things too such as maps, accommodations, transportation, and the rest.

    You will be (very much) pleasantly surprised with the depth and quality of this book and it makes a nice souvenir to refresh your memory when you get home. Again just great colors and photos.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good book, replaced by a newer edition.

    This book has been replaced by a newer edition (published at a cheaper price!). Look up 0789497271, or look under "Our Customers' Advice" above. It is still a great guide for your journey of Discovering Russia.

    It is always best to get the most current guidebook, as attractions, hotels, restaurants and transportation options do often change--AND THEN VERIFY THAT INFORMATION!

    Marc David Miller, Discovering Russia, New York

    4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures, great background make this guide a must
    I travelled to St. Petersburg in November 2002 and found this guide to be of great assistance in planning what I wanted to see, getting background information and in follow-up reading after I returned. The pictures are beautiful, and the background information is extensive and helpful in understanding what you are going to see. There are extensive maps and diagrams to sites such as the Hermitage Museum and background information that was very helpful. For example, I read about the top sights in the Hermitage so I could be sure to look for them in my quick guided three hour tour. I also knew something about the murder of Rasputin before I toured the Yusupov Palace where the murder took place.

    The one drawback is that the 1998 publication date makes this book not very useful in information on new hotels, restaurants or prices. For example, there was nothing about the relatively new "Vodka Museum" which is near St. Isaac's cathedral, where my friends and I had a fun visit.

    Compare guidebooks and I think you will see that this one is by far the best for detail, pictures and general information.

    Highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ideal for a short visit or for travel planning
    If I was taking just one guide, 'Eyewitness Travel Guide to St. Petersburg' would be my first choice. Although it is starting to age (published in 1998) it is a good visual and historic guide to St Petersburg, with enough color photographs to both inspire and guide you.

    As other reviewers have noted, this book is ideal to use to review with a tour guide the sights and areas that you want to see because of its diagrams, pictures and suggested itineraries.

    It is also ideal for the cruise ship visitors who will be in St. Petersburg for less than three days, as the photos give a good appreciation to the visitor of what there is to see, especially in a limited amount of time.

    The history and art sections are reasonably good for a guide book.

    The restaurant and hotel suggestions are a bit stale, and the pricing is out of date (although the range of pricing is still reasonably accurate).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Does a good job overall
    I just returned from three months in St. Petersburg, and I found this book to be mostly useful. The maps and descriptions of museums and major historical sites are quite good. The sections on food, drink and gifts are well done, but very brief. The recommendations for travel outside of St. Petersburg are also good, Repina is particularly beautiful in the summer. As a student, one major problem I had with this book was the restaurant section. For the most part, the establishments recommended were either foreign run or clearly catering to foreigners, and rather pricy for a student on a budget. I could have found phoney western food on my own, I would have appreciated more native choices in town. I found it worthwhile to combine this book with the Lonely Planet travel guide, as that book gave more complete background information on more varied places, including better places to eat. In short, this is an excellent book for a casual traveler, but it needs a suppliment for a longer stay. ... Read more

    10. River Town : Two Years on the Yangtze
    by Peter Hessler
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060953748
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 8345
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In the heart of China's Sichuan province, tucked away amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this vast and ever-evolving country, Fuling is shifting gears and heading down a new path, one of change and vitality, tension and reform, disruption and growth.

    Its position at the crossroads came into sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the ways of Fuling -- and about the complex process of understanding that takes place when one is immersed in a radically different society. Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that, much like China itself, is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (104)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
    River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze is a skillfully written 'fish out of water story.' For people that have never been to China, they will enjoy the anecdotal stories of Peter Hessler, a 26 - year - old Peace Corps teacher that has been thrown into the thorn bush of a new situation. In his book, Hessler recounts the times that he gets pricked by the Chinese culture. An important theme in the novel is Hessler's time as a teacher in China: "Teaching as a foreigner was a matter of trying to negotiate your way through this political landscape." (Hessler 41) Hessler relates such stories as his dealings with communist slanted textbooks and the quirky differences between the students of China and the western world. I would recommend this book to those people that know very little about China because if the reader knows a lot, the quirky stories that are told become very mundane. Another theme that the book grapples with is the political climate of China. At one point in the book, Hessler tells the story of when he encountered a propaganda sign: "The people build the people's city; if it is built well, the city will serve the people!" (Hessler 313) Such stories serve to show the pervasiveness of the communist ideal into everything that is in China. This political climate is also described in the context of the socio-economics of China. Hessler, in one account, describes how newly weds had to share a bed with a total stranger on a boat trip. He speaks about these terrible conditions, but refuses to give a counter argument. Maybe there shouldn't be any counter balances to such a story as this, but this may be the flaw of this book - that it only reports the stories of Hessler, but refuses to interpret any of that information on a grander and more global scale.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Effort--Hessler's River Town Lives On
    A good friend of mine loaned me a copy of Hessler's River Town during the summer of 2001--just a couple of months before I hopped on a plane to move to China. It's hard to imagine how a book can so significantly affect one's experience in a new land, but this one certainly has.

    I've read the book several times now in the two and a half years I've been living in China, though the experience is different with each reading as I come to know China better. Hessler's work serves as a perfect introduction to the "fishbowl" conditions of a Westerner living in or visiting China's interior. The beauty of his work lies in the fact that it is the result of three distinct gifts that Hessler possesses: his skills as a researcher, his ability to connect with people he meets in meaningful ways, and his skill as a writer.

    I have been fortunate enough to visit Fuling and meet some of the people whose lives were touched by Hessler during his time there: the restaurant owners, the college officials, the priest. In every case, the mention of his name brings about genuine smiles and stories of the ways in which he connected with Fuling's residents during his time there several years ago.

    After you enjoy the book, you will be glad to know that Hessler continues to live in and write about China, with articles appearing from time to time in National Geographic and the New Yorker. There are follow-up pieces about return trips to Fuling available online as well.

    If you are planning a move to China, to visit, or you simply want to learn more about a small, complex corner of our world, Hessler's River Town will not disappoint.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent, apolitical piece
    This is a brilliant book. This young man came to China with an open mind and is fundamentally different from much of the young expatriate population here, both in terms of his intellingence and his goals in coming. (Typical personalities: "I'm a Loser Back at Home, but when I come to China I'm a Big Man on Mulberry Street." Another: "I'm Young and Bored and Trying to Convince Myself That There is a Communist Revolution Somewhere.")

    Some books that have been written have also tried specifically to address the political issues of this vast country. It is more interesting to someone who is not a professional protestor/ academic to see what happens in practice when some of the Romanticized Sacred Cows of Academics are implemented in Real Life (see: Communism, Authoritarianism, Big Government). This is also not taken from the perspective of people that are constantly whining about Human Rights.

    In my opinion, the author does a good job of not reinterpreting China in terms of some of these Sacred Cows, be they of whoever.

    The prose is clear, elegant and not overwrought with detail. But the reading is not overly light, either. It's just the things that any person would think about if they came here to teach. Or that any person might want to know if they wanted a perspective of China independent of political slants of any type.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well-written, marvelous, provocative.
    Peter Hessler spent two years working as a Peace Corps volunteer while teaching literature in the remote Sichuan province in southern China in the late 1990's. Being one the first Peace Corps volunteers in China and possessing an intense curiosity of his new surroundings has resulted in this superb travel memoir that provides the reader with an intimate glimpse into the hill city of Fuling and the history and politics of larger China. During his stay he eyewitnessed the incredible events of the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong and the building of the Three Gorges Dam.

    Hessler reaches far beyond the average tourist by making a commitment to learn Mandarin and become acquainted with the locals and their individual stories. At the beginning of his stay he was easily started by the overt treatment of the locals of having seen a foreigner but was soon transcended more into Chinese society as his new knowledge and appreciation deepened. Throughout his narrative Hessler frequently ponders Chinese politics and their affect on his students in relation to the United States and as a result brings up numerous provoking issues and concerns. Highly recommended, especially for those interested in China or Peace Corp volunteers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very good read
    The man is very good at observing human behavior and even better at writing about it. I was very sad when I hit the last page of this very enjoyable read. 'Nuff said! ... Read more

    11. The Japanese Way : Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs of the Japanese
    by Noriko Takada, RitaLampkin
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0844283770
    Catlog: Book (1996-11-11)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill
    Sales Rank: 16870
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    For All Students Ideal for a variety of courses, this valuable handbook helps students understand how people of today's Japan think, do business, and act in their daily lives. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A thorough guide and a must...
    As many seasoned travellers are acutely aware, visiting foreign countries without adequate research into the language and culture can turn a business trip or holiday into a nightmare. Since WW2, most European countries use English as a second language and therefore are accommodating to the ignorant visitor. In other terms, one can 'get by' without too much confusion or fuss. A few years ago, on my way to the U.S. to visit friends and family, I made a two-day stop over in Japan. Because of my limited stay and time constraints, I chose not to do any research on the language and culture. This was a big mistake. The reason being is that Japan's culture - behaviour, customs and attitudes are so different to Western modes of living. My two-day stop over was a personal disaster for many reasons. If only I had done at least a little research, my short time in Japan would have been much more meaningful. ~The Japanese Way~ is a gem of a text that covers the essentials for any one to successfully 'get by' while visiting this fascinating country.

    This text is a crucial reference to the most common aspects of the culture to the more specific traits in Japan's social framework. In the contents page is a list of 89 subjects ranging from body language and gestures to gender roles and business cards. For example, taking a taxi in Tokyo can be expensive and sometimes frustrating because the address system, house numbers, are not assigned according to grid location or position on a specific street. The buildings are grouped in blocks and are numbered according to the time in which they were built! Requesting a specific residential home, in other words, is an exasperating exercise and most of the time the driver will not be able to find it. (The lesson learned here is to purchase a map and use public transport.) This text also provides the basics in language - Hellos and Goodbyes and some basic rules on politeness and rudeness. These basic phrases and suggested approach to social situations are invaluable, even if you're only planning a short visit.

    If you're planning to travel to Japan sometime in the future, I highly recommend this invaluable book, because it literally covers just about everything you will need to know to ensure your stay is fulfilling, memorable and problem free.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Shagadelic!
    Joyous day! A very informative and helpful book . . ... Read more

    12. Lonely Planet Shanghai (Lonely Planet Shanghai)
    by Bradley Mayhew
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740593081
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 5656
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Shanghai fuses the faded glamour of its colonial past with China's dreams for the future. It's the world's fastest-changing city: blink and it's different. Use this definitive guide to keep up with the frenetic pace.

    • special sections: Shanghai's diverse architecture, from Art Deco to 21st-century, and the magnificent Bund
    • excursions to Hangzhou, Suzhou, Putuoshan and other sites around Shanghai
    • the latest word on the rebirth of Shanghai nightlife - from the best bars to where to dance the tango
    • eat your heat out: Shanghai's famous snack food and world-class restaurants
    • walking tours that bring the city's colourful past alive
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is worth it's weight in gold!
    A friend of mine and I visited Shanghai May-June 2004. Reading this book beforehand was incredibly useful. It does, however, seem to give the impression that the e.g hotels and nightclubs it enlists are the only ones at these price levels, but we found heaps more. Not unexpected in a city of 13 million people.

    We both agreed the book is worth it's weight in gold. Traveling in China where hardly anyone speaks English or are able to read the western alphabet can be a tedious task. Getting this information on location might be feasible for Chinese speaking travelers, but practically impossible for forreigners. Read the book in total beforehand! Make notes! We had so much fun in China, and we owe much to this book. It should have included more on the Chinese language (pronouns, a short dictionary etc) and more extensive information on Hangzhou.

    ...and don't eat the ¥180 meal in the Oriental Pearl Tower. It's absolutely horrible and the service is below street-corner-eatery level.

    - Peder -

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Shanghai starter kit
    Shanghai changes so rapidly; any guide that is written on this city will be half way out of date by the time it sees publication. Keeping this in mind, this is a swell guide book.

    I used this book about a year and a half ago to negotiate my way around Shanghai for 7 weeks. It served in a pinch for most of the major landmarks in the city; additionally, it was an ok guide for the nightclubs and restaurants. (chances are, the club and restaurant info is getting a bit outdated by now...)

    This book will give you a good jumping off point for exploring an amazing city. You may, however, wish to buy a detailed Shanghai map before you go.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Standard Lonely Planet quality but needs to be updated.
    This is a decent guidebook but I must confess that I like Lonely Planet and I'm very familiar with their format. If you use this along with another guidebook and a really good map then you will be fine. Be warned that Shanghai is a very dynamic city and it is constantly changing. This edition is already out of date so Lonely Planet needs to release a new version ASAP. Overall, it gives you good background about Shanghai and I wouldn't go there without it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Ok but so far out of date its not useful
    First, I should point out that most (~70%+) of LP¡¯s Shanghai guide is just reprint of what is in their larger China guide. No need to get both.

    While the condensing, arrogant, and at time sophomoric attitude that characterizes LP¡¯s china guide in general is absent here it is unfortunate that this guide is so far out of date that it could just as well be about another city. Its high time for a new edition.

    An example; the book talks about a development, ¡°xin tian di¡± that is worth keeping an eye out for some time in the next ten years. (Xin tian di was completed years ago).

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of the few, one of the good
    It is refreshing to see a travel book that is as well integrated, considering the publisher is undergoing a transformation in their editorial dept to include costlier photos. The book's descriptions are diverse in central city, suburbs, provincial environs, as well as covering common aspects of China travel. Lots of practical advice and categorizing tourist expenses into budget, medium priced, & first class. This book has 22 pgs of photos and 9 maps with marked key lists. The photos go well beyond the media touristy stock photos to include children, people at work, everyday scenes, empty freeways, but no massive bicycle or bus traffic jams which I'm sure exists.

    About the first half of the book included general history and descriptions, getting there, and getting aclimated. Then the back half of the book has specific discussions on diverse topics from the usual hotel, eats, and entertainment, to shopping, expat & gay bars, and children's activities. There are many warnings that all things in Shanghai are expensive, more than the US. There are day excursions to famous Suzhou (Venice of the East) and Hangzhou (West Lake) which are very touristy with the natives. There is only one visit "off the beaten path" to Putuoshan, an island and overnight ferry about 150mi SE.

    The book is well made to stand the rigors of travel, bound in signatures, so pages and maps won't drop out after the spine has flexed with rough use, or maps can be carefully razored out for separate pocket use. The 8-page language section has the essentials, including the word for toilet and toilet paper and the men and women characters on p57. I wonder if pronunciations can also be given in Shanghainese dialect as it appears to be Mandarin.

    The most objectionable format issue was the 6 pages of publisher's advertisements (p212-218) which were stuck between the glossary and index, and maps with site lists at the end. These adverts should be placed in the foreword or left out. And the inside of the front and back covers are non-functional, adverts in front and metric conversions in back. They could have been maps and not-to-be-missed sites. And the metric conversions did not include conversion of area, esp sq meters to sq ft and sq km to sq miles.

    Having read Yatsko's New Shanghai (0-471-84352-0, 2001), which has no maps and only 4 pgs of stock pixs, I was anxious to see more. I was pleasantly surprised. When trying to locate the famous Fudan University, however, I was disappointed that there was nothing in the index, which is a scanty 4 pages, with only a few Chinese locations. After scanning the map's key lists which are not indexed, the only Fudan U entry was the last entry on the last page. This turned out to be wrong. In the Harvard U based Let's Go China (0312270348, 2001, p281), I found an obscure reference to take Bus 910 to Wujiaochang, a NE suburb as discussed on p63. Only after looking at the MapQuest-like city map at ShanghaiGuidedotcom did I find Fudan U's location, whose own website had a campus map in Chinese and no street address or directions, a common mistake with website designers. Wujiaochang is a traffic circle, like in DC and Boston. Fudan U is just west of it on Handan Lu. Fudan U could have been marked on Map 3, which includes Tongji U and Shanghai Normal U. This area needs to be emphasized of its location and proximity to the Pudong SEZ.

    As a reader of the author's prior co-authored book, Odyssey's Uzbekistan (962-217-582-1, 99), I considered it excellent in photography and description guides and sidebar stories.

    As a feature LP has a website to support its books, however the support area is not linked from the home page. Only after searching LonelyPlanetDotcom was I able to locate the upgrades area, but they did not have any updates for China (Taiwan, Japan, and Central Asia had Acrobat PDF files).

    This book was written within the round-eye tourist and expatriate's perspective. For the squinty-eye overseas Chinese, those able to blend-in and reading and speaking Mandarin, Taiwanese, or Cantonese, I'd like to see your coverage broadened to include dirt-cheap accommodations and native business interests, especially in the Pudong SEZ and other high-tech areas similar to the Zhongguancun SEZ in Beijing. Or at least include a detailed list of resources, websites, or tourist guides written in Chinese. ... Read more

    13. Lonely Planet China (Lonely Planet China)
    by Damian, Harper, Marie Cambon, Katja Gaskell, Thomas Huhti, Bradley Mayhew, Korina Miller, Mielikki Org
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740591178
    Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 8912
    Average Customer Review: 3.36 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Discover China with its teeming cities, mountain temples and ancient palaces.Walk the Great Wall and take your last chance to visit the famous Three Gorges-this exceptional guide shows you how.

    • NAVIGATE – 235 maps with Chinese script and English
    • COMMUNICATE – Mandarin, Cantonese, Tibetan and Portugese language chapter
    • DINE OUT – the mysteries of Chinese cuisine explained
    • GET ABOUT – sections on Yangzi River cruises and Beijing’s traditional hutong
    • UNWIND – China’s national parks make an idyllic getaway
    • EASE YOUR MIND – watch the sunset from a sacred mountain
    ... Read more

    Reviews (50)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very hard and very well-managed and great endeavour
    This edition of "Lonely Planet China" is excellent. It is better than the previous one, which was very good itself but had some weaknesses. Despite the immensity of China and the numberless topics and regions that have to be covered herein, the authors have done an excellent job indeed. Most of LP's masterpieces are guidebooks to much smaller countries or regions (it is indeed inevitable for travel guidebooks to be the better, in overall terms, the smaller the region they cover). But this one is an exception: despite its hugeness, China has been covered with superb maestry by people who do know about it. Having said this, we cannot diminish the importance of LP's guidebooks to Beijing and Shanghai - if you are planning to spend much time in those cities, it may be a good idea to get those guidebooks also, since this huge and heavy book cannot cover as much of those cities as the authors thsemselves would obviously love to. The same obviously applies for Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet, all of which have generated their own LP guidebooks. Xinjiang is instead wonderfully covered in "LP Central Asia". This is not to persuade you to get more and more guidebooks, but China is indeed an immense place and one book can hardly be enough to cover it all in depth. In this book itself, its excellent coverage of some regions is stronger than others: it is better on the Coastal towns than it is on the deep interior of China, which reflects indeed the number of tourists who go to these places. Having said this, this book does nevertheless contain most of what a visitor will need or want to know about big China. And in a place that is chaotic and tough for foreigners like China, this may indeed be an essential tool for the less experienced travellers, and a greatly useful aid to the more experienced ones too. The coverage of places to stay and eat is absolutely excellent, not just for the major cities but also for minor towns and sites (the authors would indeed seem to have been to everywhere in China where the government did not stop them from going !). The section on permits and other legal matters is of immense value to anyone, and well up-to-date. And of course, the sections and special chapters on history, culture, religion, are extremely well written, great for the traveller and the armchair reader alike. Even though the best discoveries are those a traveller will make herself / himself, this guidebook is surely a great tool and help in anyone's discovery of this wonderful land. All in all, a masterpiece despite its limitations. A weakness is of course that things being as volatile as they are in China, information is subject to unexpected changes, and some may have become out-of-date by the time this book was printed. But this is of course inevitable, and it simply means that - as in any country - a traveller should not rely on only a guidebook, but make a considerable effort to gain as much as possible of current circumstances on her / his own, which is in fact part of the wonderful travel experience.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate, sloppy, semi-literate, overrated
    This book is only touted as 'the' book to have by those who have looked at no others, and have spent little time in China. Inconsistent in its presentation (opening times and prices may be included or may be just forgotten), often ill-informed and unhelpful in its descriptions of sites, only partially and superficially updated from the previous edition, this book not only fails to bring China to life, but also fails to do what LP is supposed to be good at, and tell you the cheapest ways to do things and the cheapest places to stay. Lazy updating has failed to find many newer, cheaper, and better value for money hotels and restaurants, and transportation information is too sketchy to be of much use. Not a few of us have already left our copies in the trash in China. Those wanting a single volume budget guide would be much better off buying Rough Guide, even though it's older, and those wanting some genuinely helpful and informed cultural information should buy Blue Guide (both available on this site).

    2-0 out of 5 stars Beware the book
    To echo the words of other readers, this is disappointing and out of date.

    On the second point, bear in mind that many prices have increased (sometimes more than doubled) since this book was published.

    On the first, try to ignore almost every recommendation on accomodation and food that the guidebook makes. In many locations the majority of listed restaurants are Western and those that are Chinese are poor quality, high priced and seem to be recommended only for having an English menu. Go somewhere else, point, go for pot-luck or learn a little Chinese before you go and you'll enjoy everything much more.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good for package tourists; not for exploration
    They say that everything you hear about China is true somewhere. Everything you read in LP China may also be true somewhere but unfortunately not always where you are. Originally published in August 2002 this book is well past its prime. It is still superior to the Rough Guide but could use a serious update. Speaking of which the overleaf promises guidebook upgrades on the Internet but they discontinued this in favour of user discussion.

    Pricing - the cost of tea in China, you say? Like most things in China, prices are in constant flux and I question the value of including them. They are more misleading than helpful. Tourist attractions will generally be higher than what the book says but other prices will be close.

    Locations - I live in the city of Wuhan and in the last two year it has undergone tremendous changes. There is simply no way for a printed book to keep up with them. For example, in the last six months the bus routes in WuChang have changed four times.

    If you are going to travel around China be flexible! Expect that nothing in the guidebook will be where you expected. Expect to bargain for everything, hotel prices included. Remember that any guide book is only a starting place. As I have travelled around southern China I have used this book as a starting point and then asked the locals what they would do. Most have never been to the "tourist sites" but can show you a great street restaurant just around the corner.

    This book is great for those thinking of going to China but who will never make the trip, or for those who are going on a package trip to fourteen cities in eight days. For those who want to explore China on their own I would advise caution.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Complete Crap
    This book is so bad. If I could give it 0 stars believe me, I would. Many of the things listed in this book no longer exist. I went to one city and all 4 places listed in the LP as budget accomodations were no longer in business. Maps were incorrect. Attractions were listed with one address and placed elsewhere (and incorrectly) on the map. It would help greatly of it had more Chinese of the locations listed so you can show cab drivers. I finally gave up, chucked it into the trash and continued my 4 month trip through Asia without consulting any guidebook and had a much nicer time. Down with the Lonely Liar! You don't need a guide book. Just talk to other travelers. ... Read more

    14. National Geographic Traveler China (National Geographic Traveler)
    by Damian Harper
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792279212
    Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic
    Sales Rank: 4713
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The National Geographic Traveler

    • In-depth site descriptions and background information
    • Insightful features on history, culture, and contemporary life
    • More than 280 vivid color photographs
    • 31 detailed, full-color maps
    • Mapped walking, biking, and river tours
    • Specially commissioned artwork
    • Clear, easy-to-use design
    • Complete visitor information plus hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and festivals
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great guide to doing advanced research!
    I ordered five different guidebooks on China to plan an upcoming trip. This one was defintitely the best at giving an overview of the various cities and attractions -- the descriptions are just the right length to give you a good overview, the book doesn't shy from giving recommendations and opinions, and there are many beautiful pictures to give you a better sense of each place. My wife and I both fought over this book as the one to read before our trip! NOTE: this is NOT a subsititute, but rather a complement, for a book that lists hotels, restaurants, etc. -- it does not give all the useful info. We'll probably leave it behind when we go on our trip, but will be very grateful we were able to use it in planning where to go, especially for a country as vast as China. This is the perfect "advanced reading & planning book" -- by far our favorite for China! ... Read more

    15. To Asia with Love: A Connoisseurs' Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
    by Kim Fay, Julie Fay
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $16.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0971594031
    Catlog: Book (2004-07)
    Publisher: Global Directions Inc/Things Asian Press
    Sales Rank: 11701
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    Book Description

    Off the beaten path tips for adventuring, eating, shopping and sight seeing, from contributors who live, work, teach, write and travel there. Not your regular travel guidebook. Booking your trip, means how to find a boat to take you down the Mekong River, instead of where to get a cheap airline ticket. ne chapter lists opportunities for giving back to the countries you visit. ... Read more

    16. Fruits
    by Shoichi Aoki
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $18.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0714840831
    Catlog: Book (2001-01-06)
    Publisher: Phaidon Press
    Sales Rank: 3534
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

    If you ever wondered where the catwalk got its claws, then the portraits gathered in photographer Shoichi Aoki's book Fruits, from the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo, point the way to an extraordinarily imaginative and invariably stunning glut of mongrel fashion heists. A best-of collection from the fanzine of the same name, and published for the first time outside Japan, Fruits keeps its style clean: front-on, razor-sharp images, ranging from the deadpan to the manic, of the sharpest collages of sartorial influence that, usually, little money can buy. From off the peg to off the wall, kitsch to bitch, each person bears a combination and philosophy as distinctive as DNA. All shades of aesthetic are raided, with exquisite, scrupulous attention to detail. Punk is a favorite, as is, appropriately, Vivienne Westwood, alongside Milk and Jean-Paul Gaultier, and the occasional Comme des Garçons. Many of the outfits, though, are second-hand or self-assembly, such as a skirt drooping petals of men's silk ties, Wa-mono, when tradition Japanese clothes are topped with, say, an authentic bowler hat, EGL (elegant gothic Lolita), and a swathe of tartans, pinks, and turquoises. The most malleable feature, unsurprisingly, is hair, with dreadlocks, mohicans, back-combing, and crops dyed an irradiated spectrum. While the eye is drawn, obediently, to the mannequins, the background is often worth a look, either for the vending machines against which a number are shot, or the ubiquitous Gap store and bags, a constant reminder of the global mass market.

    One enterprising man wears a genuine British paperboy's delivery bag, and, to pick but one profile, Princess, 18, is trying to be a doll and is currently preoccupied with body organs. Mmm. All the subjects are asked the source of their clothes, as well as their "point of fashion" and "current obsession." The scope for sociopsychological discussion is vast, particularly with the preponderance of infantilization, through dolls, bonnets, pop socks, and Barbie, but this is a joyous documentation of the innovative, celebrating the inspirational polytheism of street fashion, captured with provocative, political zeal. Best let the street cats prowl. --David Vincent ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Truly captures how young Japanese Teens dress
    After visiting Japan last year and having spent most of my time in Harajuku (where most of these pix were taken)--all i can say is this book truly captures how young Japanese teens dress. Hypercolored clothing, crazy extreme mismatching, a gaggle of plastic accessories, technotoys and unnatural hair color is standard-- it's anime character meets candyraver meets barbie in Super Mario land.

    You may think these teens are the few "extreme" dressers in their society, but you're wrong. I would estimate that 80% of teens in Japan's metro areas dress this way, if not more extreme.

    In fact, the teens in Fruits are a bit *subtle* compared to what is going on in Japanese fashion today. It's not uncommon to see girls in elaborate french maid outfits with metallic makeup walking out of the train station. Walking everywhere you see these hello kitty psycho sweethearts, riddled with fake blonde hair, white lipstick, and mile-high op-art platforms. I've turned a corner and seen gangs of japanese guys and girls looking like Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill, replete with fake black tan, dreads, ghetto fabulous hip hop gear and all. Scrupulous attention is paid to every part of the body. Only about 5% of Japanese girls i observed did NOT wear some kinda of intricate rainbow patterned/bejeweled nail art. And the best part is seeing all these vividly dressed youths swarming all around you in hordes.

    Fruits, although on target for year 2001, is almost out of style now, given that Japanese fashion trends change every minute. If you can't get enough of Fruits, then you really need to take a trip to Japan (Tokyo) which I stress is vital for anyone in the fashion, arts, or other trend industry. It's like living in the future--talking toilets, automatic servamatrons, futurism galore, towns called Sunshine City, bridges named Rainbow Bridge--it's pop-culture infantilism crossbred with sophisticated technology, the most fascinating hybrid found only in Japan. I guarantee you will be visually stimulated and inspired to no end at the hallucinatory flourescence that is Japanese youth culture. Now go book that ticket.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eye popping fashion passion (with a healthy does of humor)
    From the highly worshipped pages of Japan's premiere street fashion bible comes FRUITS, from the magazine of the same name, created and photographed by Shoichi Aoki. From its beginning in 1994, FRUITS magazine covered the wide world of street fashions sported by young Japanese crowd of the Tokyo suburbs. This edition of FRUITS, from Phaidon publishing, is a collection of full page portraits from the magazine. It's the first time many of these images have been published in the western world.

    Be prepared to enter the wild and wacky world of Japanese street style; a mixture of thrift store chic, designer handbags and accessories, anime and manga color, traditional Japanese clothing and home created "couture", sure to grab your attention, if not to make you laugh out loud. Creativity and ideas abound (notice I didn't say they were all "good" ideas.) Witness fever pitched fashion passion, eye popping cartoon creations worn with complete self confidence. Getting your picture in FRUITS magazine is your fashion street cred badge of honor, and these kids pursue it with all the style muscle they can muster.

    Rasta cowboys, EGL (elegant gothic Lolita) baby dolls, anime space cadets, rockabilly punks, designer samurais; these are but a few of the style hybrids on display. Mixing vintage finds, designer labels (like W<, Jean Paul Gaultier and the prolific influence of Vivienne Westwood), and their own customized experiments, these Japanese teens create a world where the only limit to style is their own imagination.

    You need this book. It's that good.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Fruits is a Fraud
    Fruits purports to be photos of people picked at random from the streets based on their unusual outfits. In my opinion, all the subjects are models, dressed by a designer. Maybe they thought that westerners would not notice that all or most of the women and men subjects are photographed more than once. Some show up again and again. In my opinion, the photographs are staged and the outfits are not the creations of the people who are photographed. Notice too, how all the outfits are top notch from head to toe. You would expect to see a few ugly or poor decisions if the photos were of real people. Take a look if you are interested in how to try and dupe the public.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Selling Japanese Fruit to the World
    I love the work by my fellow photographer Shoichi Aoki. Like me, he shoots the cool trendsetters on the streets of Tokyo. Since he started his magazine FRUITS in the mid-90s he has taken countless of photographs of the coolest street fashion that the world has seen sofar. The best of these shots are compiled in this book.

    Aoki first started documenting street fashion in London in the mid 80's. He has told me that he taught himself how to take photographs from books. At the time Japanese fashion wasn't free at all. Inspired by the free street fashion of London the young Aoki decided he wanted to do something about Japanese staleness.

    In the early to mid 90's things were beginning to change in Japan. The Harajuku area in Tokyo had its main thoroughfare closed off on Sundays and this was attracting more and more bands and show offs. The 'pedestrian heaven' (hokoten) as it was called became a laboratory and incubation center for new trends in music and fashion.

    "In Japan," Aoki told me recently, "everybody had always dressed the same. Whatever was popular was worn by everyone. Everybody would wear Comme des Garçons or Ivy or whatever brand was 'in'. But suddenly Harajuku became free. People started to feel that it was cool to coordinate your own clothes. Harajuku fashion became really interesting and fun." He recalls: "You had this small group of trendsetters, perhaps 10 to 20 people. Whenever they came up with something new, others would soon imitate them. But these imitators weren't as cool as the original trendsetters so the trendsetters didn't want to be identified with them."

    "To differentiate themselves again they came up with new things. It just escalated. They kept on trying to escape from their imitators right into "decora" (fashion style sporting lots of decorative stuff and strong bright colors). They figured nobody would follow them into wearing clothes that crazy."

    FRUITS shows these 'crazy' trends in all their details. The book has virtually no text, just page after page of exquisitely printed color photographs. Aoki's photographs are unique in that he shows the full body, from head to toe, in actual street situations. This is much better than shots done in the studio. It is like photographing animals in the wild opposed to photographing them in the zoo.

    Full body shots makes it possible to not only see the pants, skirts, dresses, coats and sweaters, but also the shoes, socks, stockings, hats and wild hairdos in all their glory.

    Short descriptions explain what each person is wearing, their age and their 'obsession'.

    If you want to put to rest the myth that Japanese people are not creative and original, you just have got to read this book. You'll find it a great inspiration.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fruits
    This book rocks the crazy street styles. Great source for design for anime or comic book characters. ... Read more

    17. Lonely Planet Vietnam (Lonely Planet Vietnam)
    by Nick Ray, Wendy Yanagihara
    list price: $22.99
    our price: $15.63
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740596773
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 813352
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    18. Sightseeing
    list price: $22.00
    our price: $15.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0802117880
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-09)
    Publisher: Grove Press
    Sales Rank: 143119
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    Book Description

    Sightseeing is a masterful new work of fiction, a collection of stories set largely in contemporary Thailand and written with a grace and sophistication that belie the age of its young author. These are generous, tender tales of family bonds, youthful romance, generational conflicts and cultural shifts beneath the glossy surface of a warm, Edenic setting. Through his vivid assemblage of parents and children, natives and transients, ardent lovers and sworn enemies, Lapcharoensap dares us to look with new eyes at the circumstances that shape our views and the prejudices that form our blind spots. Gorgeous and lush, painful and candid, Sightseeing is an extraordinary reading experience, one that powerfully reveals that when it comes to how we respond to pain, anger, hurt, and love, no place is too far from home. ... Read more

    19. An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan (Bestselling Backlist)
    by Jason Elliot
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $12.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312288468
    Catlog: Book (2001-10)
    Publisher: Picador USA
    Sales Rank: 27386
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Part historical evocation, part travelogue, and part personal quest, An Unexpected Light is the account of Elliot's journey through Afghanistan, a country considered off-limits to travelers for twenty years. Aware of the risks involved, but determined to explore what he could of the Afghan people and culture, Elliot leaves the relative security of Kabul. He travels by foot and on horseback, and hitches rides on trucks that eventually lead him into the snowbound mountains of the North toward Uzbekistan, the former battlefields of the Soviet army's "hidden war." Here the Afghan landscape kindles a recollection of the author's life ten years earlier, when he fought with the anti-Soviet mujaheddin resistance during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

    Weaving different Afghan times and visits with revealing insights on matters ranging from antipersonnel mines to Sufism, Elliot has created a narrative mosaic of startling prose that captures perfectly the powerful allure of a seldom-glimpsed world.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Shining a Light on a Land in the Shadows
    Elliot provides an open-window to the joy of unplanned, uninhibited, exploratory travel. His traveling savvy is only matched by his ability to express his excitement and knowledge of this land in the shadows. He manages to incorporate history, current events, geography, sociology, politics, and religion into an entertaining prose that inspires the reader to look for other such books, so that the reader can expand his knowledge of this crossroads of the world. Even though Elliot shows an amorous relationship with the Northern Alliance, this book does not directly engage the current situation in Afghanistan. This bias toward one ethic group, in a country of multiple ethnicities, can be overlooked, since it seems to stem from his genuine concern and appreciation of the people he encountered and assisted him on his journey. This book is an engaging read for those of us with nomadic tendencies who like to travel, sleep and eat with the indigenous people.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
    Afghanistan's current inaccessibility to Westerners presents a paradox of sorts: on the one hand, travelogues have a long tradition of providing armchair portraits of countries and people not easy visited, and on the other hand, in extreme cases such as contemporary Afghanistan, the difficulties in moving into and around such a country make such travelogues all the rarer. We should be therefore be grateful for this book, in which Jason Elliot recounts his travels and impressions from a trip made in 1979 as a teenager, and a trip 20 years later when he had learned Persian. It's a very traditional and endearing piece of travel literature, full of evocative descriptions of the sights and sounds, and most importantly, the people. While the book has plenty of the other usual travelogue elements-detailed descriptions of perilous trips in overstuffed decrepit vehicles, beautiful descriptions of obscure but astonishing ancient ruins, digestible tidbits of history, and asides of longing for unattainable women-the book's greatest value comes from Elliot's sensitive treatment of the Afghans he meets and befriends. Far from being the religious totalitarianists commonly associated with the country, virtually everyone he meets-almost every one of whom is male-is unstintingly curious, tough, enduring, and most of all, warmly hospitable. When he does encounter the Taliban, he notes how other Afghans warily regard them as powerful outsiders, with no constituency save themselves. Indeed, Elliot, writing in 1999, seems to scoff at the notion of them ever controlling the entire country, as their brand of Islam is so at odds with the forms widely practiced in Afghanistan over history. Elliot spends a fair amount of time and effort in trying to get to various Sufi shrines, and he does a good job of trying to explain the mystical nature of Sufism.

    The book does suffer a little bit from Elliot's going back and forth between his two visits, and occasionally one loses track as to which visit an anecdote dates from, but the perspective he gains from having traveled in the country twenty years apart more than makes up for it. Elliot vividly conveys the troubles the Soviet forces had in the war, as well as the classic guerilla tactics used by the Afghans. He takes great pains to point out that the Afghan resistance was not a religiously based one, despite the connotation the word "mujaheddin" has taken in the West, but another struggle in a long succession of resisting incursions by more powerful states. What also emerges from almost every Afghan mouth is a sentiment of having been "abandoned" by America following the Soviet withdrawal. He makes no direct judgment on the matter himself, but like any good reporter, lets the people speak for themselves. In the end, one is left lamenting the destruction of Afghanistan during its tenure as proxy Cold War battleground, and the resultant forces that have allowed the Taliban to impose their will-a least for the moment. If only one thing is totally clear from their history, it is that the Afghan people will only live so long under the yoke of oppressors.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible
    I'd have given it no stars, but I can't. Poorly written, with awful spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Elliot romanticizes to an amazing degree, with lines about"Arcadian villages" and so on. He's extremely anti-western, yet incredibly patronizing towards the Afghans. For instance, he chastises one western writer for calling his rural guides "smelly and verminous", but later goes on describe his companions in a hut as "stinking" and we get to hear many times about the lice in his clothes. He never gets out of his own head long enough to truly become a writer, constantly comparing what he sees to other things that have meaning to him, so the average reader never understands what he's seeing. What's a Jaffa cake? Apparently there's a Chinese made mine that looks like one. Add to that his frequent use of words in Persian/Dari/Pashto with no translations, which is incredibly arrogant and annoying. I'm glad this book is out-of-print. It's not worth your time or money

    5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting & moving book.
    Beautifully written, its an account of a curious westerner's travels through afghanistan. It is at sometimes humorous and sometimes sad, and gives us an insight in to the soul of the afghan peoples. A book that I will read over and again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Next best thing to being there and no dust
    Having just returned from what one of my colleagues jokingly but fairly accurately describes as Sopranostan - the land of loveable killers- I started reading Jason Elliot's book with a bit of nostalgia and prejudice. The prejudice against a tourist travel book faded about page three and the nostalgia heightened with every succeeding page. The Afghans are truly lovable people. They just want a chance to live in peace but killing is a big business there and warlords and terrorist leaders, not to mention narco-traffickers continue to pay to have people killed. Things are much more peaceful now than they were while Jason was in country but rockets still fly at night over Kabul and mines still kill people every day in the rural areas. Jason captures the spirit of the land and its people without giving in to academic aloofness or polemics. It is a great book and easy reading. ... Read more

    20. Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei (Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei)
    by Simon Richmond, Marie Cambon, Damian Harper, Richard Watkins
    list price: $21.99
    our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 174059357X
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 44486
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