Babs'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
Jun 20, 2009

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Read in June, 2009

I've read Troost's two previous travel essay books - Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stoned with Savages, both of which I enjoyed. So, I was very happy to see another Troost book and on China. This book was not quite as entertaining as the other two - perhaps because Troost is now married with two small children. :^) Or maybe, because as Troost claims, Planet China is a bit scary! Or it might be that in this book Troost is a visitor whereas in his other two books he lived "on location."

Personally, I have only been to Beijing and the immediate surrounding areas (on the way to the Great Wall at Badaling), but I was shocked to read about how much Beijing changed between when I was there in 2001 and when Troost was there a few years later. The Beijing I visited had clean air and streets that could be crossed without fearing for your life. The Great Wall at Badaling had many visitors but I didn't feel like I was being pushed and shoved while climbing it.

Still, I'll look forward to the next Troost travel essay!

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