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Some interesting observations on Burmese life and Buddism. He has a good eye for a surreal story and draws out a number of amusing incidents, such as the Rangoon express which doesn't go to Rangoon.


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Given the potential for opening up of Burma and loosening of the junta, this is a timely explanation of some of the ethnic groups and discussion of the Burmese approach to politics. Oct 03, Tom Bentley rated it it was amazing. Richly eccentric and fascinating work.

Lewis insinuates himself into a s Burma that is elusive, overrun with combative tribal and foreign forces, bureaucratic in the most head-scratching of ways, culturally distinct, layered, at times hysterically amusing and at other times incoherent and threatening. His language is as intrepid as his willingness to toss himself into a boiling pot of oddity. I just spent a week in Myanmar in much more refined circumstances—I wish I had Lewis's impulses to Richly eccentric and fascinating work. I just spent a week in Myanmar in much more refined circumstances—I wish I had Lewis's impulses to seek the uncommon.

Jul 25, Ryan rated it it was ok.

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Liked the parts where he went upcountry through the wilder, less populated minorities areas, and also the slow river boat journey back down the Irrawady, reminiscient of Heart of Darkness, complete with mock attacks from indigenous natives in this case rebels. Descriptions of cultural life and festivals of endless variety as well, though of less personal interest.

Last 2 pages summarizes his positive view of the country's prospects, sadly things went badly in the decades after as the military Liked the parts where he went upcountry through the wilder, less populated minorities areas, and also the slow river boat journey back down the Irrawady, reminiscient of Heart of Darkness, complete with mock attacks from indigenous natives in this case rebels.

Last 2 pages summarizes his positive view of the country's prospects, sadly things went badly in the decades after as the military junta rose to power. Dec 17, Charles Yee rated it really liked it.

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The vividly descriptive book filled my mind with the scenic pictures and interesting characteristics of the Burmese people. Every inch a page turner, it gives us an insight into the history of Burma, its state of affairs and the relationships among its government, people and nature during the time before it was ruled by the military junta. Feb 17, Flora rated it it was amazing. If you read this before you go to Burma. But I read it after returning and it was exactly right in feeling, atmosphere and observations. Lewis is my favorite travel writer.

May 07, Sarah Gregory rated it really liked it. A good travel book by a brave man. Like Colin Thubron, he likes to meet and talk to people gaining insights that way. Feb 13, Kate rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , autobiography , travel , geographic-asia.

Apr 14, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: travel. Quotes to follow. Apr 22, Sarah rated it liked it.

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Gentle travels in Burma. Ex colonial world - so different. Lovely to get a perspective from those days.

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Max Thomson rated it it was amazing Jun 05, Joe Harris rated it really liked it Sep 18, Nick Whitehead rated it really liked it Oct 01, Andy rated it it was amazing Aug 28, Koen rated it really liked it Mar 09, Carmen Teira rated it really liked it Nov 11, Ina Cawl rated it it was amazing Jun 10, Duncan Bay rated it it was amazing May 23, Rahul Malik rated it it was amazing Jan 28, Vizara rated it it was amazing Jan 14, James Elliot rated it it was amazing Aug 24, Danny rated it really liked it Apr 19, Eulipion rated it really liked it Jun 15, Kaiyan Yeo rated it it was amazing Jul 23, JWhitelaw rated it it was amazing Oct 08, Sarah rated it really liked it Sep 06, Johnson rated it liked it May 31, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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