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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

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The bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals returns with a sharply observed, hilarious account of his adventures in China—a complex, fascinating country with enough dangers and delicacies to keep him, and readers, endlessly entertained.

Maarten Troost has charmed legions of readers with his laugh-out-loud tales of wandering the remote islands of the South Pacific. When the travel bug hit again, he decided to go big-time, taking on the world’s most populous and intriguing nation. In Lost on Planet China, Troost escorts readers on a rollicking journey through the new beating heart of the modern world, from the megalopolises of Beijing and Shanghai to the Gobi Desert and the hinterlands of Tibet.

Lost on Planet China
finds Troost dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai; eating Yak in Tibet; deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as Cattle Penis with Garlic); visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead, very orange); and hiking (with 80,000 other people) up Tai Shan, China’s most revered mountain. But in addition to his trademark gonzo adventures, the book also delivers a telling look at a vast and complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think. As Troost shows, while we may be familiar with Yao Ming or dim sum or the cheap, plastic products that line the shelves of every store, the real China remains a world—indeed, a planet--unto itself.

Maarten Troost brings China to life as you’ve never seen it before, and his insightful, rip-roaringly funny narrative proves that once again he is one of the most entertaining and insightful armchair travel companions around.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 02, 2008 – Troost, J. Maarten. 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. Broadway. 2008. c.304p. TRAV~ Troost tackles modern China with his trademark wit and unstinting honesty. A genuine pleasure to read, this book is recommended for all public libraries. Background: Troost initially traveled to China to see if he and his family could move there and escape Sacramento's pollution and crime. Rather than a refuge, he finds a country changing fast while skipping over nuisances like human rights, copyrights, and pollution controls. Troost (The Sex Lives of Cannibals) is ruthless in his portrayal of China as terribly polluted ("In no way was I ready for the swirling filth that constitutes air in Beijing"), a nation of knockoffs and rip-offs, and cruelly authoritarian in its treatment of Tibet. The author is constantly besieged by offers of questionable Rolexes and Mont Blanc pens and badgered by taxi drivers, beggars, and entrepreneurial women offering massages. A sojourn in the Chinese countryside provides welcome respite for the author and continued entertainment for the reader.--Lee Arnold, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Customer Reviews

Funny but overly critical

Troost is funny. I've got to give him that. I found myself laughing a lot and enjoying his honest and unfiltered opinions of this country. However, as a teacher in China I find it unfortunate that his first impression of the country and the people was so overwhelmingly negative. When exploring and trying to understand another culture should we not try and separate ourselves from our own cultural biases? Unfortunately, this book is very unsuccessful when it comes to objectively or evenly compassionately describing China's culture, history, or people. Maybe I am bias myself though, because I do love many things about this country.

Lost on planet china

Hiarious,frightening,and so very this in two days on my vacation.i know now why so many Chinese are here in America,they are killing their own country.wlcome back Mr Troost.

Lost on Planet China - What a Stupid Ending

Did not find the ending humorous!

Lost on Planet China
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Essays & Memoirs
  • Published: Jul 08, 2008
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings