China.. by Train!!

RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER (1989) 3.5/5 YES Travelogue Rs.78 (Bookchor.com) Paul Theroux [4.01/7150 ratings Goodreads]

Review #433 (Book Review #133) :

And after 86 long days, finally completed a big book RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER written by a well-known traveller and writer Paul Theroux. This was my 2nd read of him, I have read his other book THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR long back, which was about his travels in India.

This book was about his travels in China which he did during the 80s. This book was first published in 1989 and won Thomas Cook Travel book award. Paul Theroux is better known as a travel writer and he born in US in 1941. He published his first ever book WALDO in 1967 and his last work is DEEP SOUTH (Source: Wikipedia)

This book contains his travels through Chinese mainland. He travelled for 1 year in China, starting his journey through the train Trans siberian express from Europe and travelling all though the vast mainlands of Russia, Mongolia and then each and every part of China, he took trains and travelled tha vast expanse of China during summer and winter. He travelled vast plateaus, deserts and snow covered cities and towns as well in his year long journey.

His book contains lots of political views, discussions, his personal views and many chinese commoners views. It was highly concentrated on the communist Mao Zedong’s happenings, thought and what people thought of his long cultural revolution period. The book ends in beaitiful Tibet.

I bought a second-hand copy, having 486 pgs in total. Well the book was a good read, but I found the writer a nagging person, even in his 1st book (which I read and based on India) he was always complaining about the locations and trains and people, here too he continued the same, he himself was a nagging person and he complained about others being bad. After reading 2 books from him I have my own perception of his character, and it seems for him he is the best (or maybe his race) but all others are lesses individuals. This was the only negative I found after reading 2 books of him. But if you ignore his self-boasting views, this book was a good read. The 1st one (TGRB) can be ignored though. You may ask me, when I already knew that his travelogues contains many complaints, why did I bought another one, that is because I love trains and train readings always entice me.

And he had given vivid descriptions of the train he boarded, the sceneries, the change in landscapes and the people, his fellow travellers and outsiders (though with a nagging attitude) so I recommend the book with rating 3.5/5. I too wanted to go by train on these routes and I am very enticed by the train Trans-siberian!!

GRuchirG. (“Jee” Ruchir “Ji”)

Jai Raam ji ki 🙂

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About GRuchirG ("Jee" Ruchir "Jee")!

Well, I am an Indian, by birth and by soul, and my hobbies are Traveling, reading novels, listening music, watching movies, and writing Reviews/Blogs/Stories. "kaun kehta hai aasma mein surakh nahi ho sakta ek patthar to tabiyat se uchaalo yaaro" (Who Says you can't make a hole in the sky, Just throw a stone with all your will-power) You can do what you want to, you just have to be true with yourself, you are not answerable to anybody but yourself. So never lose hope and just try and try till you die..
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