Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

China Road by Rob Gifford

Carrie says:
It should've read like the road trip from hell--two months traveling 2,998 miles from Shaghai to the China-Kazahkstan border. Instead, it read like the end of a really good date the author never wanted to end, the kind where he keeps delaying the inevitable good-bye. Arguably, a two-month trip through China via taxi, truck and bus may be longest and oddest end of a date on record, but it was a lovely good-bye nonetheless.

Rob Gifford, an NPR correspondent, spent six years, from 1999 to 2005, living in China and reporting on Asian news for Morning Edition and All Things Considered. When it was time to move on to the London bureau, he wanted one last memory of China, one last good-bye, one last road trip from hell. In order to accomplish this, he traveled the length of Route 312, China's version of Route 66, interviewing "Old Hundred Names," China's version of John Q. Public.

Of the handful of books on China I've read in the last few months, this one does the best reconciling the paradox of a modern-day ancient civilization. As Gifford writes, "For every fact that is true about China, the opposite is almost always true as well, somewhere in the country." There is prosperity; there is poverty. Times are changing; times are staying the same. Millions are racing toward the future; millions are clinging to the past. In addressing these paradoxes, Gifford writes about the realities and dreams of Old Hundred Names with respect and compassion. He shares his own paradox--his love of the Chinese and his discomfort with and distrust of the behemoth that is China. That love, of course, is the reason what should've been the road trip from hell was really one last, sweet good-bye.

(But don't take my word for it. Here's what Amazon has to say.) Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment