- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Flamingo (21 September 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780006550716
- ISBN-13: 978-0006550716
- ASIN: 0006550711
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Customer Reviews: 99 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,96,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Fortune-Teller Told Me Paperback – 21 September 1998
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From the Back Cover
Warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for a whole year, Tiziano Terzani – a vastly experienced Asia correspondent – took what he called 'the first step into an unknown world… It turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years I have ever spent: I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn.'
Travelling by foot, boat, bus, car and train, he visited Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Consulting soothsayers and shamans wherever he went, he grew to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity.
"Terzani is already something of a legend. He is a wonderful journalist. But he is much more than that. His book is not the self-important tale of a journalist but the progress of a modern, sceptical and emotional pilgrim – and wilful showman… part autobiography, part journey through the comforting past, the unbearable present and the unwelcoming future, and part prophecy… He has written magnificently all his life. Never better than now."
WILLIAM SHAWCROSS, 'Literary Review'
"One of the most interesting and unusual travel books I have ever read."
FIONA PITT-KETHLEY, 'Daily Telegraph'
"A great book written in the best traditions of literary journalism… profound, rich and reflective."
About the Author
For 25 years Terzani has lived in Asia, witnessing and reporting on its wars and revolutions. Born in Florence, educated in Europe and the US, Terzani became Far Eastern correspondent of Der Spiegel in 1971. In 1975 he was one of the few Western journalists to stay behind in Saigon and to witness the North Vietnamese take over the city. In 1984 he was living in China when he was arrested, accused of counter-revolutionary activity and expelled. His last book was translated as GOODNIGHT, MISTER LENIN: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE END OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE (Picador 1993/4).
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Top international reviews
It's also beautifully written, and somehow even more relevant to Asia today. It was written in 1993, so in some ways it's already an historical document, but Terzani's sense of Asia is so precise -- he spoke fluent Chinese -- that he anticipates most of the changes we see today. It's really an extraordinary book
This is a man happy to engage with many of the riches one can find in life (dining with wealthy and mixing with the glitterati) but as his conscience pr bites he begins to bemoan the loss of innocence on cultures that seem hell bent on subscribing to modern western lifestyles.....
Of course there is something insidious about the slow encroachment of westernised thought on those countries our author visits, but progress is progress and life will adapt to survive...
Disappointed by the slow self indulgent, at times soporific nature of this book.....I almost found myself wishing he'd just get on the damn plane...
He was very aware that there are many fraudsters, but couldn't resist still trying to find one that he could really believe!
I am still unsure whether he really felt that fortune tellers are genuine!
It is so nice and interesting that I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in far east culture and travelling mixed with a little of contemporary history in a nice narrative structure.
The English version seams pretty much as good as the Italian one.
There are many other interesting books from Tiziano Terzani, but not sure if a traslation exists.
Tiziano Terzani is a great writer and journalist and this is an amazing story (really easy reading) to get into the Far Eastern culture.