Customer Reviews for

Lost on Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation

Average Rating 3.5
( 63 )
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(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Highly recommended

If you are headed to China you must read this book first. Then you won't be completely blind when you land. After reading the book and then traveling in China it made my China exper5ience much more interesting.

posted by timebandit8 on November 2, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

surprisingly accurate and often funny too

I was a Chinese language and history major. I lived in China from 1992 to 2002 and have had the pleasure of traveling all over the PRC. When this air force intelligence officer I go to church with (he was also a Chinese language major) gave me this book to read, I figur...
I was a Chinese language and history major. I lived in China from 1992 to 2002 and have had the pleasure of traveling all over the PRC. When this air force intelligence officer I go to church with (he was also a Chinese language major) gave me this book to read, I figured what the heck. When the author gets to Beijing, a China hand named Dan helps him out with things. I was wondering if this China hand could be the Dan I used to work with back in Guangdong in the mid to late 90s. Sure enough, last night around 1 am, I had just finished the book (bad ending) and was reading the acknowledgments and read the name "Dan Friedman" who was the guy I used to work with. That made me smile at how small this world is getting. The author points out that if he'd been in his 20s with lungs of steel, that China (Shanghai in particular) would be a pretty hip place to live, and he's right. I was a young cowboy and had no problems dealing with China head on. There is no doubt about it. China is racing, and only those who want and can run very fast will enjoy it. If you enjoy peace, tranquility, cleanliness, modesty, honesty, you should stay out of China. I have not read any other works by Mr. Troost, but his reaction to China is the reaction of a normal person traveling around the country. To the negative comments here, I would point out that this is a guy that lived in the South Pacific for many years, not exactly great breeding gound for snobby arrogant ugly americans. The book is accurate. There is more to China than what's in the book, but the book isn't wrong about anything either. It's clear the book had to be wrapped up as the author offers no brilliant conclusions, but there's really nothing brilliant anyone can say either. China is working very hard to be the largest economy in the world. All other priorities in China are secondary. After 10 years of crappy air, I decided that I had had enough. I now live in Hawaii, perfect weather, perfect air, and I appreciate it! I go to China every once in awhile. If you are planning a first trip to China, do 3 days in Shanghai, 3 in Beijing and 3 in Chengdu, then go to Xinjiang and spend 10 days wandering around Urumqi, Kashgar and Hotan. Take trains, ferries, overnight buses are a hoot. Eat hotpot everywhere. Have fun, travel broadly, be happy, don't get ripped off, be safe. aloha.

posted by TexanJF on January 12, 2011

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    surprisingly accurate and often funny too

    I was a Chinese language and history major. I lived in China from 1992 to 2002 and have had the pleasure of traveling all over the PRC. When this air force intelligence officer I go to church with (he was also a Chinese language major) gave me this book to read, I figured what the heck. When the author gets to Beijing, a China hand named Dan helps him out with things. I was wondering if this China hand could be the Dan I used to work with back in Guangdong in the mid to late 90s. Sure enough, last night around 1 am, I had just finished the book (bad ending) and was reading the acknowledgments and read the name "Dan Friedman" who was the guy I used to work with. That made me smile at how small this world is getting. The author points out that if he'd been in his 20s with lungs of steel, that China (Shanghai in particular) would be a pretty hip place to live, and he's right. I was a young cowboy and had no problems dealing with China head on. There is no doubt about it. China is racing, and only those who want and can run very fast will enjoy it. If you enjoy peace, tranquility, cleanliness, modesty, honesty, you should stay out of China. I have not read any other works by Mr. Troost, but his reaction to China is the reaction of a normal person traveling around the country. To the negative comments here, I would point out that this is a guy that lived in the South Pacific for many years, not exactly great breeding gound for snobby arrogant ugly americans. The book is accurate. There is more to China than what's in the book, but the book isn't wrong about anything either. It's clear the book had to be wrapped up as the author offers no brilliant conclusions, but there's really nothing brilliant anyone can say either. China is working very hard to be the largest economy in the world. All other priorities in China are secondary. After 10 years of crappy air, I decided that I had had enough. I now live in Hawaii, perfect weather, perfect air, and I appreciate it! I go to China every once in awhile. If you are planning a first trip to China, do 3 days in Shanghai, 3 in Beijing and 3 in Chengdu, then go to Xinjiang and spend 10 days wandering around Urumqi, Kashgar and Hotan. Take trains, ferries, overnight buses are a hoot. Eat hotpot everywhere. Have fun, travel broadly, be happy, don't get ripped off, be safe. aloha.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    A well researched first hand account of China

    The smog, the traffic, the crowded way of life was hard to imagine. The author painted a very good picture of this country's inability to cope. I couldn't imagine taking a family to live in China after reading this book. There appeared to be no way to escape the pollution and lack of sensitivity of China's rulers. In my opinion they care mainly about making money and not about the quality of life of its people. Thanks Mr. Troost. This was a well written account. I felt that I was travelling with you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining read

    Good points descriptions of less well known places in China; such as Tibet and Wesyern China. Less liked: continuousfocus on only the negative aspects of Chinese culture. Then there Tourette type rants against George W Bush that had nothing to do with China

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 1, 2009

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    Posted April 23, 2010

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    Posted August 20, 2010

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