Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Across China” as Want to Read:
Across China
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Across China

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  354 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Here is Peter Jenkins' vivid account of his adventures in Tibet, up Mount Everest and across China--from the windswept plains of Mongolia to a forbidden fishing village south of Shanghai. And here are the incredible characters he encountered. It became a journey as much into himself as it was across a country. By the author of A Walk Across America.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 12th 1988 by Fawcett Books (first published 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Across China, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Across China

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 03, 2011 Claudia rated it it was amazing
Another travel book from an author I have loved since "A Walk Across America" and "A Walk Out West". (last weekend I read his Alaska book).

Peter had the opportunity to accompany a group attempting to scale Mt. Everest (Chomolungma-it's real name) in 1984. They visit Tibet and after a hair raising drive to the north face, he leaves the climbing group and travels to Inner Mongolia, Beijing, and a remote (and forbidden) fishing village on China's southern coast. He exits China via Hong Kong and go
This book's writing style is very easy to read and informal. This is not necessarily a negative by any means, but I almost feel like this book went too far- that the writing could use a little more complexity and formality. Then again, maybe it is just me being picky and wanting a formal cultural history and not what this book actually is- a travel novel of Peter Jenkins' personal experiences and observations. Although his observations can seem overly enthusiastic about America and quite negati ...more
Aug 22, 2010 Mary rated it really liked it
If you need an armchair adventure trip, this is a good one to read. Jenkin's portrays a good view of what it's like traveling through China in the 80s. The bonus I found with this book was the beginning of 1984 Everest ascent with Lou Whittaker and Phil Erschler. I've read several books from the climber's point of view; it was refreshing to see it through a different set of eyes. Especially one more focused on the journey and culture, rather than the climb. He gives a very realistic view of what ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
Although this book was written in the 80s, it was interesting to hear about the author's experiences in China. He starts his adventure in Tibet with a team trying to climb Everest, but he manages to visit several other parts of China, including Mongolia and a fishing village before returning home. I enjoyed reading about life in the rural parts of China, though I realize that they probably are not quite so remote now as they were then. It was also interesting to read about how someone the author ...more
Dee Renee  Chesnut
Nov 28, 2009 Dee Renee Chesnut rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: armchair travelers
Shelves: 2010
Armchair traveling at its best: I could imagine riding in a truck driven by Parnelli Yak on a mountainous Tibetan road; I could imagine listening to the stories told to introductions of the members of the climbing team; I could imagine the relief of finding my interpreter-guide Ran Ying; I could imagine the frustration of being directed to what was allowed to be seen; and, I can imagine pleasure of the unique experiences Jenkins had when he met the people of Mongolia and China. And I did not hav ...more
May 17, 2011 Jael rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, nonfiction, china, travel
I enjoyed the "Walk Across America" so much that I was sure I'd enjoy this book as well. It dragged a bit in the early chapters - I think there could have been less "how-do-I-tell-Barbara" and more jumping right into it. Once the travelogue started I was hooked. I know so little about China/Tibet and it was really, really fascinating to me.

Of course, I cringed in annoyance when he asked some of the Tibetan folks how they had their babies with no hospitals close by. Um. Yeah. Seriously, dude? But
May 23, 2014 Jb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1984. China is emerging from years of oppressive Mao decrees. Hardly anyone owns an automobile. Landscape colorless and drab. Populace mostly circumspect because, who knows, Maoists may return. Foreigners still "guided." It's a story about Tibetans and yaks. Mt. Chomolungma (Everest) climbers. Mongols and a kang. Delicious foods (don't ask about ingredients). Windswept plains. Author is well-known for his "walking" trip books and I expected this to be one. Though it's not it's still ...more
Michael Harris
Apr 05, 2012 Michael Harris rated it really liked it
After enjoying the earlier "walking" books, I picked this up and found it also well written and very enjoyable. Starting with a Mount Everest expedition from the Tibet side. He tells wonderful stories of the local people and then with an interpreter he leaves the expedition at base camp and journeys through many "uncharted" places in China. This adds another dimension to my reading books about China.
David Ward
Across China by Peter Jenkins (William Morrow 1986) (915.1). Peter Jenkins came to fame when he wrote Walk Across America. He was 22 years old and a new college graduate with no firm plans, so he started walking. Along the way he found religion, a wife, and fame. Then he got divorced and found that fame was fleeting. So what did he do? He started walking. Across China. And wrote another book. My rating: 6/10, finished 1988.
Dec 14, 2011 Sara rated it liked it
Call me spoiled, but I just really couldn't get into this one as much as Walk Across America 1 and 2 and the Alaska. It wasn't really him though, the Tibet half was good. It was when he was in China that there were so many restrictions and sketchiness with the people trying to not get caught by the government that he really couldn't meet their true personalities.
Kathryn Michaels
May 13, 2007 Kathryn Michaels rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
A great travelogue that first get my interested in cultures across the globe; specifically the peoples of the Himalayan mountains. A great book for Everest climbing lovers. Jenkin's goes on part of his journey with climbers in order to gain access to certain areas. Exhilarating !
Very interesting information about how regular Chinese people live (i.e. not the often viewed communist soldier types). On a personal note about the author, he leaves on this journey just before his wife is going to give birth. Small wonder they later divorced.
May 13, 2007 Kathryn rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
A great travelogue that first get my interested in cultures across the globe; specifically the peoples of the Himalayan mountains. A great book for Everest climbing lovers. Jenkin's goes on part of his journey with climbers in order to gain access to certain areas. Exhilarating !
Jan 21, 2008 Kristy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Wow, what an interesting book. A majority of it follows a team as they climb Mt Everest. Then Peter goes off and around other parts of China. Thankfully the book concludes with a summary of the Mt Everest climber experience.
Oct 13, 2009 Margaret rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I thought it was going to be more about the climb of Everest but instead it was a wonderful view of China in the late 70s early 80s. A lot of things I never really knew about both Tibet and China and their relationship.
Jan 03, 2011 Cheri rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed reading about China, felt it was worth the read for that, but I found his writing style to be a bit... irritating.

So I read it, learned from it, but wasn't all that impressed. Certainly not seeking out another.
Pat Mackinnon
Aug 24, 2015 Pat Mackinnon rated it really liked it
Interesting to see how closed to foreigners China was in the 80s.
Apr 13, 2008 Rickard rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel-writing
So-so engaging book about a half attempt at Everest (he didn't stay till the end) and then a half attempt in discovering China.
Dec 21, 2015 Trene1968 rated it really liked it
excellent...i enjoyed this book very much!
Aug 12, 2012 Bette rated it it was amazing
I loved Jenkins descriptions of the Chinese people and land.
Dark Star
Feb 02, 2015 Dark Star rated it really liked it
Great travel write with many wonderful black and white photos and rich with the stories of the peoples who lived there. Fascinating read.
May 08, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I would like to read this book again. I think the first time I read it, I was comparing it to his first two books.
Jun 16, 2016 Jasmine rated it liked it
Enjoyed reading about China from 30 years ago. The writing is not great, and I think I would be unwilling to read it if I didn't have a personal connection to the places in the book.
Aug 12, 2008 Rick rated it did not like it
A let down after his 'America' books. I felt he should've concentrated on the walk without getting into the climb and felt disappointed that the walk only covered part of China.
Dan Smith
Jun 13, 2012 Dan Smith rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story by an adventurous sole.
Jeffrey Ray
Nov 11, 2010 Jeffrey Ray rated it really liked it
Very interesting. I think I read it in about 3 days. It is longer, but I couldn't quit reading it.
Oct 16, 2008 Cindy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to learn of different cultures
This is a third book by Peter Jenkins. I did not find this book quite as interesting as his first two books. This time he tells of going to China and his experiences there.
Jul 27, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
Some people are adventurous and make opportunities.
Crystal rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2010
Brett Miller
Brett Miller rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China's Ancient Silk Road
  • Danziger's Travels: Beyond Forbidden Frontiers (Paladin Books)
  • Behind the Wall: A Journey Through China
  • Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China
  • Tales of the North
  • North of South: An African Journey
  • Coming Home Crazy: An Alphabet of China Essays
  • From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet
  • Spanish Fly
  • Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana
  • Trixie Belden Boxed Set #1-#3
  • Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu
  • The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze & Back in Chinese Time
  • To Timbuktu: A Journey Down the Niger
  • China (Lonely Planet Guide)
  • Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo
  • Will the Boat Sink the Water?: The Life of China's Peasants
  • China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power
Born July 8th, 1951 in Greenwich, Connecticut,

Peter is the eldest of the six children of Frederick and Mary Jenkins.

Graduated from Greenwich High School in 1969.

Attended Woodstock in summer of 1969.

Graduated from Alfred University in 1973 with a BFA, majoring in Sculptor/ Ceramics.
Began his Walk Across America on October 15, 1973 in Alfred, New York. It ended in mid-January of 1979 in Florence, Or
More about Peter Jenkins...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »