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Lost on Planet China Audible – Unabridged

3.8 out of 5 stars 196 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 52 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.com Release Date: July 8, 2008
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001CMOOD4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I like Maarten: he's half Czech, I'm half Czech; he's actually lived in Port Vila Vanuatu with his wife, I've actually lived in Port Vila Vanuatu with my wife. In addition, he is much funnier than I am. His books about the South Pacific ("The Sex Lives of Cannibals" [SLC] and "Getting Stoned with Savages" [GSWS]) were hoots, and very accurate from what I can attest to from having spent time in some of the same places (Vanuatu and Fiji).

In "Lost on Planet China" (LPC) Maarten is still funny, but much less so in this book than in his two previous works. I counted five personal "laugh out louds" from LPC, as opposed to the dozens and dozens of "laugh out louds" I experienced from both SLC and GSWS. I found his personal opinions usually reasonable (having spent some time in China, I disagree with some of those other reviewers apparently offended by Maarten's honesty), but some of his jokes began to become repetitious (example: by the time he is blaming George Bush for not getting served meatballs in Xian I actually closed the book for a day - this was approximately tenth time a similar "W" attempt at humor was clumsily inserted). But mostly, the editing of LPC is horrible. He mentions at the end (in his Acknowledgements) that his editor was giving birth during the time she was editing one of his chapters. Actually, it reads as if she was giving birth during the last 1/4 of the book. This end section is disjointed, confusing (example: a reference is made to something that apparently happened earlier during Maarten's trip, but which seems to have been redacted out of an earlier chapter), and frequently just plain boring.

This book is like we've started on a very interesting trip of discovery together with a person you know with a reputation for being funny.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
J. Maarten Troost has taken us to a small atoll in the South Pacific and to the volcanic Vanauatu in his previous books, Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stoned With Savages. Now he turns his wit and observational skills on that great unknown,China, in his latest endeavor, Lost on Planet China, and what a marvelous travelogue it is!

Told with his trademark wry humor, Lost on Planet China follows Troost as he starts off in the big cities of Beijing (which has given me a whole new perspective on the 2008 Summer Olympics), Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I was flabbergasted at the amount of pollution in China; it seems its entry into the twenty-first century is coming at a very high price. But like Troost, it was the western travels through Tibet, Leaping Tiger Gorge, and Dunhuang that I found the most informative and interesting. Troost's writing is such that I could feel the thin air and experience the death-defying trails seemingly first hand; his interactions with the peoples of China were fascinating glimpses into lives that I doubt I'll ever experience. I love that Troost chose to visit not just the obvious tourist stops such as the Terra Cotta Warriors and the Great Wall, but also smaller islands like Putuoshan. I came away with a real flavor for the history and the feel of China.

I enjoyed this book immensely, though I do wish Troost had told me two things that continually popped into my mind throughout the reading: Where did he get the money for such an extended trip (not that it's actually my business, but I'm curious), and what was his reunion with his wife and two young sons like once he finally left Planet China?
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Format: Hardcover
As a China born, now California resident, I felt quite curious to read what an American had to say about my home country.

In the beginning, I will admit, I was somewhat offended by the way he portrayed us but then as I began to remember my last visit to my hometown (1 hour's drive from Bejing) and read more, I realized he was right. We do have quite a lot of pollution. We are possibly the rudest people on the planet. And the traffic is hell (what is considered good driving there, which is not crashing into someone, is quite different here.)

Some parts, like the beggars and the takeover of Tibet made me cry. I used to think Tibet was better off with China but after reading this, I realize I was grieviously blinded. Now I want to kick all my fellow Chinese out of Tibet. I do wonder though, if he gave the beggars money.

A lot of parts made me laugh. Hard. But I won't give any specifics away.

I learned a lot. Seriously, my mother didn't even know that you can bargain for taxi rides. Though we refrained from speaking english there to make sure we weren't cheated. The Mao Regimen especially was an eyeopener. I knew he was bad, but not Hitler bad. It really shows how censored China is.

And yes, it's true. We Chinese are proud. And we also hate Japan (most of us anyways - you'd be hard pressed to find someone not). And we can get REALLY crazy. One actress was told to wear pants with a picture of the Japanese flag on it for a photoshoot. Big mistake. China shamed her, crowds threw eggs at her, and people relentlessly bashed her on the internet. Poor dear. This was worse than when the Chinese actresses were shamed for being in Memoirs of a Geisha.
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