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The River at the Center of the World: A…

The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze, and Back…

by Simon Winchester

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What a journey. I enjoyed every page of this voyage up the Yangtze River. It's full of history and current views of China. It was not an easy trip, but I appreciate that Winchester made it so that I didn't have to. ( )
  gbelik | Jan 26, 2016 |
Story of the Yangtze - OK, but longwinded. I start to think that Winchester gets paid by the word!
Read in Samoa Jan 2003 ( )
  mbmackay | Nov 27, 2015 |
Simon Winchester travels up the Yangtze and uses his trek to write about Chinese history and its various Yangtze-based focal points. A bit uneven (rather like the river, perhaps?), but overall I was intrigued by Winchester's tale. His visit to a Tea Research Institute was very amusing, and his interactions with his interpreter formed a noteworthy subtext to the journey.

A bit glib in places, and there were elements of over-generalization at various points. But Winchester manages to convey at least some of the conundrums of modern China. ( )
  JBD1 | Jan 22, 2014 |
This is the fourth Winchester book I've read (the two OED books and the other China book being the first three). It's also the earliest, and while I enjoyed this book, I liked his later ones a little better. He seems rather fair in his assessments of China and its people, but how would I know?!? ( )
  BooksForDinner | Mar 7, 2013 |
Painful and cliché-ridden. ( )
  peternh | Dec 19, 2011 |
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Looking at the old river from the opposite banks of a yellow ribbon

Like reading an ancient scroll--- pictographs of man's flailing against the eddies of oft told histories.... LI BAI, TANG DYNASTY, 8TH CENTURY
This book is dedicated to Lucy and David Tang--- a small token of a great delight
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312423373, Paperback)

British born author Simon Winchester lived in Hong Kong before setting off on a journey up the Chang Jiang or Yangtze River as it is most often referred to in the West. In The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze and Back in Chinese Time, he chronicles his adventures across China along the 3,964-mile River. Employing nearly every mode of transportation--including boat, train, jeep and shoe leather--Winchester recalls his passionate exploration of the countryside, while providing important and engaging historical information. His recollections of the Chinese people are often less complimentary, as he exudes an air of disgust at the country's apparent disregard for pollution, its awkward modern architecture and decaying historical monuments.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:04 -0400)

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Rising in the mountains of the Tibetan border, the symbolic heart of China pierces 3,900 miles of rugged country before debouching into the oily swells of the East China Sea. Connecting China's heartland cities with the volatile coastal giant, Shanghai, it has also historically connected China to the outside world through its nearly one thousand miles of navigable waters. To travel those waters is to travel back in history, to sense the soul of China, and Simon Winchester takes us along with him as he encounters the essence of China--its history and politics, its geography and climate as well as engage in its culture, and its people in remote and almost inaccessible places. This is travel writing at its best: lively, informative, and thoroughly enchanting.… (more)

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