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Robin Magowan is a poet, and these travel vignettes are written with an extravagance of language, crammed with metaphor and simile, that was sometimes striking but more often came off as pretentious and overdone. Furthermore, he's a seeker of exoticism, and that's not necessarily a good thing; there's an insistence on seeing everything as manifestations of the mystery of the East, or as emanations of the deep national character of such and such people, that illuminates a lot less about the place ...more