Jim's Reviews > Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid

Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost
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's review
Oct 07, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: asia, nonfiction, travel, humor-humorous
Read from March 13 to 15, 2012

It is amazing how this funny and witty travel writer so thoroughly discourages readers from traveling to China, but Troost gleefully acomplishes this task, at least for me. I now have little interest in putting China on top of my vacation itinerary. What is really good here, is that he captures an underlying sentiment that China is going down a dangerous path---unsupportable disparity of wealth, unfettered construction, massive pollution and resource destruction, and a lifestyle that seems likely to lead to great unhappiness. Troost is roundly critical of the government, business class, and, dare I say, the culture. If he thought they might block him upon entrance on this visit, I wonder if he could make in next time (well, without shelling out a whole lot of bucks). His descriptions of much of the country are disheartening. Still, I found myself reading aloud many passages to colleagues and friends, and we all laughed heartily, so I recommend it especially if you like satirical, sarcastic travelogues. Yes, there are dated shots at Bush and Republicans (which is ok with me, but look away, friends of the elephant).
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Reading Progress

03/13/2012 page 48
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Lesa (new)

Lesa Parnham Jim,Love Troost, this book was my least favorite, yes a lot of it is true, but having been to China a person can't help but fall in love with certain parts and people of the Middle Kingdom!


message 2: by Yi (new)

Yi "he captures an underlying sentiment that China is going down a dangerous path---unsupportable disparity of wealth, unfettered construction, massive pollution and resource destruction, and a lifestyle that seems likely to lead to great unhappiness." - totally agree!!!! It's a fascinating country to some, but rather "scary" place to be for people like me. It's sad to see this great country going down such a destructive path.


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