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Slow Boats to China by Gavin Young
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Slow Boats to China (1981)

by Gavin Young

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There is a sense that the author drifted into, and along with the notion to travel from England to China using local boats, dhows etc. There are difficulties and hazards, and the story is interesting in its description of people and places along the way, but there is no real sense of challenge or ultimately of achievement. This is not a voyage in the sense of Tim Severin's 'Sindbad Voyage' which covered much the same route. The author does not build his own boat and commit himself (and the reader) to the hazard of failure. It is a journey where the author is carried along by the efforts of others, and the reader is likewise carried along, but ultimately without any great sense of being uplifted. But to be fair the book does not make any great claims for itself, or for the reader. It is purely and simply good entertainment for those that love boats and travel. ( )
  nandadevi | Feb 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140062394, Paperback)

Seven months and twenty-three agreeably ill-assorted vessels are what were required to transport Gavin Young, by slow boat, from Piraeus to Canton. His odyssey teemed with excitement, adventure and colour. Gavin Young's account memorably distils the people, places, smells, conversations, ships and history of the places he encountered in what is his most famous book. The sequel, Slow Boats Home, is also reissued in Faber Finds. 'An unusual and fascinating book.' Hammond Innes, Guardian 'Storms, fleas, pirates, bad food and bureaucrats ... My Young suffered what he did to entertain us.' Anthony Burgess, Observer

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:26 -0400)

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