Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East Paperback – April 23, 2002
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
It was 1976 when Tiziano Terzani was warned by the fortuneteller in Hong Kong: "Beware! You run a grave risk of dying in 1993. You mustn't fly that year. Don't fly, not even once." Sixteen years later, Terzani had not forgotten. Despite living the life of a jet-hopping journalist, he decided that, after a lifetime of sensible decisions, he would confront the prophecy the Asian way, not by fighting it, but by submitting. He also resolved that on the way he would seek out the most eminent local oracle, fortuneteller, or sorcerer and look again into his future. So after a feast of red-ant egg omelet and a glass of fresh water, he brought the new year in on the back of an elephant. He even made it to his appointments: Cambodia, to cover the first democratic elections; Burma, for the opening of the first road to connect Thailand and China; and even Florence, to visit his mother, a trip that would take him 13,000 miles across Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, and Siberia. In this way, that jet-hopping journalist rediscovered the art of travel, the intricate chains of chance which lead to discovery, and the mass of humanity he'd overlooked in his rush for newsworthy quotes. And he also saved his life.
Terzani's odyssey across Asia is full of revelations and reflections on the dramatic changes underway in Asia. Having spent two decades on the continent, he brings a deep love for the place to his journeys, but also the eyes of someone troubled by the changes he sees. Burma and Laos, finally open to outside contact, are now funnels for AIDS and drugs; Thailand has been traumatized by its rapid development; China is an anarchy fueled by money rather than ideology, where Mao has been transformed into the god of traffic. Surrounded by the loss of diversity wrought by modernism, Terzani asks if the "missionaries of materialism and economic progress" aren't destroying the continent in order to save it. Fortunately, there is a flip side to his occasionally dispiriting commentary, one that Terzani discovers in his hunt for fortunetellers. Through his side trips to seers who read the soles of his feet, the ashes of incense, and even the burned scapula of sheep, it becomes clear that the Orient of legends, myths, and magic still determines people's lives as much as the quest for money. By staying earthbound, Terzani lived to tell of an extraordinary journey through the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of Asia.--Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
"I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn," declares Italian-born journalist Terzani (Saigon 1975; Goodnight, Mr. Lenin; etc.) and readers of this vivid memoir will believe it. In 1976, early on in his career as a Der Spiegel correspondent in Asia, Terzani was warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to fly in 1993 or he would die. When the fateful year came, Terzani submitted to the warning (no easy decision given all the voyages his work requires), and that year traveled, sometimes with wife Angela in tow, by ship, car, bus and train through 11 countries, including Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Mongolia. Dividing his lucid, graceful and unsentimental prose into 27 anecdotal chapters, Terzani takes readers to the International Thai Association of Astrology, investigates the use of raw garlic and red peppers as a bulwark against the AIDS virus and decries the domestic dog butcherings in Hanoi and constant creeping Westernization throughout the continent, which he encounters and laments in myriad forms. Talking with shamans and soothsayers, Terzani finds the Westernized mind "more limited... a great part of its capacity has been lost. The mind is perhaps the most sophisticated instrument we have, yet we do not give it the attention we give our leg muscles." Terzani's ease and candor and his care for local politics, religion and everyday life make for a full journey of mind, body and spirit. (On-sale date: June 19)Forecast: This book was published by HarperCollins UK in 1997; the delay in its issue here lessens its immediacy considerably. As an Italian correspondent for a German magazine who works in Asia for his living and has a strong Luddite strain, Terzani offers an idiosyncratic, decidedly non-American point of view it's this book's great strength, but also a possible liability with the less internationally minded.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
One reviewer here mentioned how all of the fortune tellers the author met predicted that he would live a long life, often stating he'd live well into his eighties, but he died a few years ago at the age of 65 from a brain tumor.
This is not the first time I've heard fortune tellers predict long lives only to be proved wrong when their subjects die much younger. I had a friend who visited a fortune teller for his 25th birthday. She was extremely accurate about his past and present as well as what she believed would be his future, much of which he had planned but never told her. She told him he would have a very long career in politics. My friend was killed in a car accident while riding in a taxi only 2 months later. Another friend told me while stationed in Haiti many years ago that he had his fortune told with a few of his army buddies. The fortune teller told everyone's fortune but when she got to one of the men, she refused to tell his fortune. He was killed a week later.
I don't know, perhaps it's all bunk or perhaps there are folks who can truly see into the future. It's just that maybe they see the future, but not all of them want to tell the truth about when that person will die. Why tell someone they will die young when you can give them hope that they will die old?
Tiziano does not have a specific perspective, he's open minded, but he pines for the old ways that he sees were more human, and contrary to what others have written here, he never states he either supports or opposes communism, he simply observes, loves individuals and people, wishes for the days when we could all be connected to the earth again, and each other in a spiritual way, and not for business. And he's open to all possibilities when it comes to spirituality, true spirituality, not the kind that too often is used to control people. He does not dismiss these religions outright, he only notices they always seem to appear as either a way to westernize a country (Christianity) or fight against that westernization (Islam), like polar opposites, but no real balance or the recognition of a people's true will.
Whatever your perspective, open your mind and take a wonderful journey with this man. You'll long for a time you may know or remember, or have heard of but wish you could experience too, a time that even existed here in the US for a spell.