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Tropical Classical: Essays from Several Directions (Vintage Departures) Kindle Edition

6 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages

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Editorial Reviews Review

As a respected and beloved journalist and travel writer, Pico Iyer has earned a reputation and a loyal following, and Tropical Classical is a good indication why. This "best of " collection of essays, book reviews, and articles is segmented into chapters entitled "Places," "People," "Books," "Themes," and "Squibs," covering topics as varied as Paddington Bear, the numeral 9, Tibet, and the accumulation of frequent-flyer miles. Iyer is particularly gifted in conveying incongruous and anachronistic events, cleverly sharing his fascination with the bizarre--and often hilarious--cultural hybrids born when worlds collide. By capturing the essence of such oddities, he gently pulls the reader closer to obscure locales, and in the process alters the way we look at familiar surroundings. Similarly, his coverage of other writers brings an appreciation of the subject as much as the art of writing itself.

From Library Journal

Iyer (Falling off the Map, LJ 5/1/93) again casts a wide net as he brings together a series of lyrical essays on travels to faraway lands. The different directions alluded to in his subtitle include isolated and forlorn Ethiopia; Lhasa, China; and Tibet and its omnipresent Potala Palace with its 10,000 chapels. He encounters people such as Norman Lewis and the 14th Dalai Lama, called a "down-to-earth kind of guy." Iyer writes about books such as Paul Theroux's The Happy Isles of Oceania and Ann Beattie's The Burning House and a number of titles by non-Western authors. Some of the themes in which Iyer delves are the growth of American pop culture worldwide and subtleties of language and numbers. Iyer's unusual choices and beautiful writing earn his work a special niche among first-person travel memoirs. Recommended for large public and academic libraries or where Iyer's works are popular.?David Schau, Kanawha Cty. P.L., Charleston, W. Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1354 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (October 5, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 5, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,469,920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
After hearing Pico Iyer speak I began devouring TROPICAL CLASSICAL only to discover it's not an easy read. There are many jewels of interest and pleasure in these essays, but I delighted most in Iyer's use of simple-looking words I don't quite know. The dictionary always revealed a definition so pure any other word would have missed the point. Like Barry Lopez, Iyer exposes his views of the world in rich detail and focus. He's so full of experience none of these pieces are throwaway blurbs, yet he ends celebrating silence.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Janow on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A "classic" look at Iyers work and his uncanny abiltity to seek out the fascinating. He is a travelers traveler, and makes proper leaps to the heart of the matter. He writes to the soul of those who travel, those who understand the paradoxical nature of the world today. With a fluid style and often giddy manor, i am often forced to test my own conclusions and my evaluations of places and spaces.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Doug Benning on January 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I like Pico Iyer enough to say I have read all his books. This is by far the worst. I struggled to finish it. Filled with book reviews and essays on things like the use of commas it is not what I have come to expect from him. The first 50 pages were ok, but after that it went down hill. I was in Hokkaido Japan over Xmas with this book, hoping to read it near the fire at night. I resorted to my only alternative -- reading Japanese Manga in Japanese (which I can barely read) rather than face this book again. Buy another selection by Pico, not this one.
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