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Book Title: A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East|
The author of the book: Tiziano Terzani
ISBN 13: 9780006550716
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 792 KB
Date of issue: December 1st 1998
Read full description of the books:The premise is wonderful. A skeptical journalist is warned by a Hong Kong fortune teller to avoid air travel for the year 1993, and decides to heed the warning partially as a personal challenge (considering the amount of travel that his job requires) and partially to playfully indulge the superstition. So he travels by land and sea through Asia (as I am doing) and as he ruminates on how much more rich and alive the world becomes when eschewing airplanes & -ports, he gets into the habit of regularly visiting fortune tellers and magicians in the towns he goes to, wondering what THEY might have to say.
Those parts of the book are delightful, and Terzani picks out a lot of nice details in his descriptions of people and places. If the book were only that it would've been a lot thinner and I would've liked it a lot more. Sadly each chapter is plagued with extended rants about how modernity is killing these once-beautiful Asian countries, and how everything is becoming westernized and homogenous with the advent of television and whatever. Not only have these aspects of the narrative not aged well, it betrays a kind of prudish attitude that is pretty boring to read about. I also consider the idea that modernity is a threat to culture to be a bit myopic, and the author makes the common mistake of using "modern" and "western" interchangeably, which in my opinion handicaps his credibility as a thinking traveler.
Read information about the authorTiziano Terzani was an Italian journalist and writer, best known for his extensive knowledge of 20th century East Asia and for being one of the very few western reporters to witness both the fall of Saigon to the hands of the Vietcong and the fall of Phnom Pehn at the hands of the Khmer rouge in the mid-1970s.
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