image links to Amazon
THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
Riding the Iron Rooster is a book by Paul Theroux describing a year of travels by train through China in the 1980s. As usual, his focus is on his observations and experiences, mainly gained through interactions with local people he encounters along the way. He covers a lot of territory, including Xianjiang, Manchuria, Mongolia and Tibet. Theroux provides an exceptional view into China in the eighties right after the insanity of the Mao regime only as he can, with humorous commentary and biting honesty. Riding the Iron Rooster is not quite honestly our favorite Theroux work, but like virtually everything written by Theroux, absolutely worth reading.
Click here to see reviews and prices for this book on Amazon.
A FEW OTHER A5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL BOOKS FROM PAUL THEROUX (click here for more)
Paul Theroux is one of our favorite travel writers, someone who deserves credit for shaping and defining the genre. We at A5 Travel Books love his rich description of people and settings, and his biting sense of humor. He has written numerous travel essays and works of fiction, several of which were turned into movies. See more from Paul Theroux here.
LEAVE YOUR OWN REVIEW HERE
GREAT QUOTES FROM RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER
"The bigness of China makes you wonder. It is more like a whole world than a whole country. "All beneath the sky" ("Tianaxia) was one Chinese expression for their empire, and another was "All between the four seas" (Sihai). These days people go there to shop, or because they have a free week and the price of a plane ticket. I decided to go because I had a free year. And the Chinese proverb We can always fool a foreigner I took to be a personal challenge. To get to China without leaving the ground was my first objective. Then I wanted to stay for a while - in China, on the ground, going all over the place. The railway was the answer."
- Paul Theroux, introduction to Riding the Iron Rooster