- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (1 April 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099459329
- ISBN-13: 978-0099459323
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,47,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Behind The Wall Paperback – 1 Apr 2004
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"An achievement of great and lasting brilliance" (Patrick Leigh Fermor)
"This transcendentally gifted writer is, of course, one of the two or three best living travel writers" (Independent)
"A travel book which tells us more about this strange, sometimes terrible region and its people than a library of more pretentious works" (Literary Review)
"An intrepid traveller, who also writes beautifully, with wit and erudition... The result is a rare first-hand account of a country seen through the eyes of one who has experienced what he describes and who is in a position to understand what he sees... He penetrates where most would believe it is impossible for a foreigner to go" (Spectator)
Winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Here is just one example paragraph; nearly every page has one like it. (From page 73): "Where the Great Wall joined the city parapets, they erupted into a temple-crowned gateway blazoned 'The First Pass Under Heaven'. Once it guarded the battle-scarred road to Manchuria, and as I climbed it an angled outwork rose still formidable into view, and a half-emptied moat soggy with rice and cabbages. To the south the Wall lunged toward the sea through hovels where white-haired piglets scampered; here and there the villagers had burrowed their way clean through it, or stripped off its bricks three deep to expose a stupendous core of rubble. But to the north, after stumbling brokenly over the plain, the monster lifted bastion upon bastion into the hills, zigzagged along razor peaks and plunging declivities, scaled the furthest precipices in a megalomaniac sliver and disappeared into cloud-patterned mountains."
I consider myself an educated person but I cannot make heads or tails of this description. He loses me with misplaced clauses and unnecessarily complicated words and I begin to wonder if I'm the problem, since 'The Times' ranked him 45th of the 50 greatest postwar British writers.
If you understand and appreciate writing like the paragraph above, send me your address and you can have my book.
THIS BOOK INMEDIATELY
THIS BOOK IS SET IN CHINA IN 1987, ELEVEN YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF MAO, WHO ALONGSIDE WITH STALIN AND
POL POT STAND AS THE GREATEST MASS MURDERERS OF THE TWENTY CENTURY.
THE AUTHOR GIVES A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE , EMERGING FROM THE MADNESS
OF THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION.
I SPECIALLY LIKE THE CHAPTER ON CONFUCIUS,WHO HAS BEEN RIGHTLY RESTORED,WHILE MAO HAS BEEN THROWN IN THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY,ALONGSIDE ALL THE COMMUNIST GARBAGE.
OTHER BOOKS BY COLIN THUBRON:
1) SHADOW OF THE SILK ROAD
2)TO A MOUNTAIN IN TIBET
3) AMONG THE RUSSIANS
4)THE LOST HEART OF ASIA
THIS BOOK SEXTET MAKES AN EXCELLENT TRAVELOGUE COLLECTION THROUGH THE GREAT LANDMASS OF EURASIA,
FROM THE FROZEN ARTIC IN NORTH SIBERIA TO THE TROPICAL FOREST IN SOUTH CHINA
Now I too want to travel in China and maybe learn some mandarin to make the trip more enjoyable.