The Great Walk of China: Travels on Foot from Shanghai to

The Great Walk of China: Travels on Foot from Shanghai to


10 thoughts on “The Great Walk of China: Travels on Foot from Shanghai to Tibet

  1. Alice Poon Alice Poon says:

    Travel books have never been a favorite of mine, but I had been drawn to this one by a recent 5 star Goodreads review, plus the fact that the author happens to be my publisher.What sets this travelogue apart from others is that its focus is on the author s interactions with the people he met throughout his journey on foot this is possible as the author speaks fluent Mandarin and reads and writes Chinese , which naturally add a spontaneous and human dimension to the places he visited.The author Travel books have never been a favorite of mine, but I had been drawn to this one by a recent 5 star Goodreads review, plus the fact that the author happens to be my publisher.What sets this travelogue apart from others is that its focus is on the author s interactions with the people he met throughout his journey on foot this is possible as the author speaks fluent Mandarin and reads and writes Chinese , which naturally add a spontaneous and human dimension to the places he visited.The author makes it clear at the start that this was not a contiguous journey, but rather a series of walks that spanned six years He could only afford to devote a few days every month to this walking project, and each time he made a fresh start at the point where he had last stopped The direction he took was always to the west At the end of the journey, he covered the provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui, Hubei and Sichuan with a total distance of roughly 2,000 kilometers Almost all the villages, towns and countryside he passed through were off the beaten track I admit that the place names are all unfamiliar to me Through his random and incessant conversations with people from all walks of life he met on the road, readers get a good glimpse of how the locals go about their daily lives and of their thoughts about the past, present and future It is apparent that the author not only has a deep sense of empathy for the lower echelons of Chinese society, but is genuinely concerned about the future of the kids who have the misfortune of being denied proper education.The bright spots of the book are descriptions of otherworldly beautiful scenery of some remote and untouched countryside stretches which, if not consciously preserved, will be trampled and wiped out by blind development.I love this book for its humbling and inspirational qualities, for which I gave 5 stars


  2. Wayne Ng Wayne Ng says:

    Traditional travel writing in the manner of Theroux who flaunts danger and discovery, has always been a vital cog in conveying insight and adventure in far flung places Nowadays however most entries reflect a growing trend towards personal journeys with the author front and centre Eat, Pray, Love anybody Graham Earnshaw s Great Walk of China doesn t fall into either but is miles away from the narcissistic, memoiristic inner psycho drama fondled over by many a book clubs Based in Shanghai, Traditional travel writing in the manner of Theroux who flaunts danger and discovery, has always been a vital cog in conveying insight and adventure in far flung places Nowadays however most entries reflect a growing trend towards personal journeys with the author front and centre Eat, Pray, Love anybody Graham Earnshaw s Great Walk of China doesn t fall into either but is miles away from the narcissistic, memoiristic inner psycho drama fondled over by many a book clubs Based in Shanghai, Earnshaw undertook the walk in innumerable stages over years, returning back to his base in the big city then re starting where he had left off a map would have been useful So while that might not sound as heroic as say a two year, continuous adventure through China like Tom Carter, or Chris Rehage s eleven month walk that was recorded on video and went viral plus many others, one must consider who Earnshaw is and what he was attempting to do.He was in his mid fifties and at age twelve had surgery leaving him with one leg shorter than the other, so he was no elite athlete in the prime of his youth looking to prove something to himself or anybody else Nor was he treated with a support team that pre planned intense and calculated short bursts like Alexandre Trudeau s brother to Canada s PM s Justin.Essentially his walk is a long string of vignettes through rural China His purpose and modus operandi are disarmingly simple to talk to people This is where he excels He speaks and reads Mandarin and Cantonese fluently For example he typically asks how change has affected their lives, what are corruption levels like, how much money they make, whether opium and other drugs are present While this might seem obtrusive to western sensibilities, he is no nomadic wanderer stumbling about He has spent forty years in China and is tuned in to cultural norms and sensitivities.These random and spontaneous and completely unfiltered banters with locals are the book s backbone His conversation in Luotian with sand miners went on for pages but could have had a glorious chapter on its own, covering Chinese attitudes toward the Japanese, lingering bitterness over the Opium Wars, language, politics, corruption Other standout vignettes include Mr Zhou, whose father was killed by the Communists leaving his shattered life until he met Earnshaw Meeting honey gypsies who knew of such a thing He could have easily traded up forof such gems for fewer of the countless times he s invited in for tea, the many dinners he shares with farmers, police, communists cadres, students, tycoons While most travel stories are ladened with the author s spin on the locale, he keeps his judgements and elucidations to a minimum, as he s obviously content to let the interactions speak for themselves But it s clear possesses a level of intimacy few have earned and I suspect seldom mastered among sinophiles.Occasionally, but not often enough, he tantalizes us with his own history in China Like his witnessing of a Tibetan burial which drew the wrath of the local police or the first moment he crossed into China with his wife in 1979 as a Reuters correspondent It s also clear he s a romantic in that he s inspired by others who ve attempted such walks, such as Isabella Bird who did it on the backs of coolies with the aid of an interpreter at the turn of the 19th century As Earnshaw traces parts of her journey in the last two chapters, he contrasts her observations of a near bucolic but insular and fearful China to the unbridled exuberance and development of China of today It s moments like these that are captivating Earnshaw doesn t approach his journey with the journalistic rigour which he possess However his observations don t lack acumen He says China s genius is its flexibility, where nothing is allowed but anything is possible He knows that a scant ten years prior, his walk would not have been possible And that though a great leap forward is taking place, rural China is not without vestiges of its past The countless birth control posters and Communist party slogans are both an ongoing and humourous commentary of China then and now, butso when lined up with slogans flogging mobile phones and alcohol Earnshaw leaves his ego behind Remember this is a mature and secure man not needing to do a self makeover Little is revealed about him and how the journey impacted him until the very end This is my only major criticism While I don t want Eat, Pray, Love, China, it s clear this is a very humble, but enormously interesting man going on a humble walk of 2000 km His history and his prior experiences underline this walk, but he purposely sets this aside He could ve opened up the vault a bit and not lost the essence of the book However one must infer that he wanted the people s story left unvarnished In this respect there must be few China travel and adventure novels so authentic and purely dedicated to the nuances and daily minutiae of its people While one can easily find other writers big picture interpretations of China then, now and to come, it d be difficult to equal the stripped down, genuine honesty he brings to his love and fascination to walking among the people of rural China Solid 4.5 stars


  3. T T says:

    Graham Earnshaw is a true man of the People His 30 year tenure in China as a journalist, businessman and, most recently, publishing magnate, have made him a permanent fixture in the Shanghai scene which is exactly why Earnshaw makes it a point of de fixing himself at least once a month to walk in the countryside and speak to the Real China It is an ongoing journey that he has tasked himself with completing since 2004, and though not continuous, Earnshaw has thus far traversed over 3% of the Graham Earnshaw is a true man of the People His 30 year tenure in China as a journalist, businessman and, most recently, publishing magnate, have made him a permanent fixture in the Shanghai scene which is exactly why Earnshaw makes it a point of de fixing himself at least once a month to walk in the countryside and speak to the Real China It is an ongoing journey that he has tasked himself with completing since 2004, and though not continuous, Earnshaw has thus far traversed over 3% of the earth s circumference between Shanghai and Tibet ON FOOT The Great Walk of China, Earnshaw s published travelogue, is an account of just a fraction of his epic odyssey, covering the interior provinces of Anhui, Hubei, Chongqing and Sichuan The walk is a straight line due west through some of China s most rural regions, which is exactly the serene backdrop Earnshaw, fluent in Putonghua and at timesliterate than the Chinese he meets , prefers in a concerted effort to talk to as many People as possible.From the spontaneous hospitality of peasants whom have never before seen a foreigner in the flesh, to the paranoid reactions of low level authorities who simply cannot grasp what he is doing venturing into the countryside, Earnshaw manages to interact with just about every class of citizen imaginable.Earnshaw also brilliantly illustrates the ironies of modern China s identification crisis through villagers who exclaim we are poor out of habit despite clutching state of the art mobile phones, and students, many the first in their family to be literate yet completely devoid of ambition, who vapidly waste their days away in front of televisions.Often, the farmers he encounters hope Earnshaw is a reporter out to expose the rampant corruption of rural officials, while officials are worried that he is there to report on their corruption Are you corrupt Earnshaw toyingly asks one cadre Me, corrupt NowellI m not in a position to be A shopkeeper eavesdropping on their dialogue suddenly howls in delight So it s not that you don t want to be corrupt, ha ha ha Englishman Earnshaw deftly manages some clever responses to his frequent confrontations with backwoods police, all the while maintaining a pleasant, non judgmental and at times romanticized and overly optimistic perspective which distinguishes The Great Walk from all the other China travelogues out there.Our narrator is, unfortunately, reluctant to share much personal insight into Graham Earnshaw the person, and keeps his writings strictly about the Chinese In between chatting with the proletariat, Earnshaw pauses to comment on old propaganda slogans still found on countryside walls, and muse on tiny animals crossing busy roads a metaphor, perhaps, for the People of China s struggle to catch up with their nation s rapid progress


  4. Dan Tasse Dan Tasse says:

    This frickin goon The premise sounds so strong Walking from Shanghai to Tibet But the guy is a crummy writer and traveler, and liar is a bit strong so I will just call him a phony.Writer Dude needs an editor He just writes down every damn thing that happens on the road, interesting or not.Traveler he is so smug He spends half his time being so holier than thou to other travelers past and future because he can speak Chinese, and half his time being holier than thou to these poor noble s This frickin goon The premise sounds so strong Walking from Shanghai to Tibet But the guy is a crummy writer and traveler, and liar is a bit strong so I will just call him a phony.Writer Dude needs an editor He just writes down every damn thing that happens on the road, interesting or not.Traveler he is so smug He spends half his time being so holier than thou to other travelers past and future because he can speak Chinese, and half his time being holier than thou to these poor noble savages of China He s careful to use the right politically correct words, but he always treats Chinese people like charming, lovable simpletons Ugh I d pull out some choice quotes but then I d have to open this book again.Phony I skipped ahead to the end b c I wanted to see what happened in Tibet Dude never gets to Tibet The book ends with him somewhere in Sichuan, saying well, Tibet is hard, I ll just eventually get to the edge of Tibet within Sichuan province and call it a day and he never even gets there I mean, can t blame him, walking across Tibet is hard, but then call your book Travels on foot from Shanghai to Sichuan AND, this isn t all in one go he heads out for a weekend to the last place he stopped, walks some , and heads back to Shanghai Again, can t blame him doing this all in one go would be nuts but it still feels a bit like a false promise


  5. Prctaxman Prctaxman says:

    How can I objectively review a book written by someone I know and work with I m reading this book at a long, slow pace, and finding this to be a memoir, a set of experiences I can easily relate to I m a third of the way through.will continue picking this up and down as I m in the mood for it..but am reading it not because I feel obligated to do sobut because I want to


  6. Mark Mark says:

    enjoyable book for me, filled with bits of humor and dashes of daily life


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The Great Walk of China: Travels on Foot from Shanghai to Tibet [KINDLE] ✿ The Great Walk of China: Travels on Foot from Shanghai to Tibet By Graham Earnshaw – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk What kind of people would you meet if you decided to walk across the world s most populous country The Great Walk of China is a journey into China s heartland, away from its surging coastal cities Thr What kind of Walk of MOBI õ people would you meet if you decided to walk across the world s most populous country The Great Walk of China is a journey into China s heartland, away from its surging coastal cities Through surprisingly frank conversations with the people he meets along the way, the Chinese speaking author The Great PDF/EPUB or paints a portrait of a nation struggling to come to terms with its newfound identity and its place in the world.

  • Paperback
  • 341 pages
  • The Great Walk of China: Travels on Foot from Shanghai to Tibet
  • Graham Earnshaw
  • English
  • 05 February 2017
  • 9881900212

About the Author: Graham Earnshaw

Is a well Walk of MOBI õ known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Great Walk of China: Travels on Foot from Shanghai to Tibet book, this is one of the most wanted Graham Earnshaw author readers around the world.