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Paperback Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far-East Book

ISBN: 0679722165

ISBN13: 9780679722168

Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far-East

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Book Overview

Mohawk hair-cuts in Bali, yuppies in Hong Kong and Rambo rip-offs in the movie houses of Bombay are just a few of the jarring images that Iyer brings back from the Far East. This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Loved It!

While I agree that Video Night is abit dated, I still loved the book. And I was delighted to see Murni's restaurant mentioned in the book. I have heard about her for years from my friend who traveled many times to Bali and other places in Indonesia. What a pleasure to read this book.

Late 80s Asia

Pico Iyer has written an interesting set of annecdotes on Asia during the late 80s boom years. It covers the isolation of Burma, the sex trade in Thailand, the night life in Nepal, and everything inbetween. The book takes a deeper view beyond the stereotypes to understand the complexities of the cultural merging.The book really has two main values. First, it gives an annecdotal view of a lifestyle that, while only 15-20 years ago, is already gone. Hong Kong 1986 is a place in transition that is different than Hong Kong today. While many books today provide political and economic viewpoints on the times, and the changes, they don't accurately cover an expats view of life and cultural exchange.The second value is in understanding aspects of the culture that still apply. India's polyclot of ethnic groups and interaction with the West applies today. Pico Iyer is adept at capturing cultural traits that last, and perhaps even grow, despite the pressures of a globalizing world.I'm not a universal fan of all of Iyer's material, but this is certainly one of his better works. It's more readable, and the concepts more universal and lasting than some of his other books.

Flawless reporting from ground zero of "west" meeting "east"

This book is excellent. Iyer is not trying to - nor does he in any way claim to - "interpret" or "explain" the countries or people or cultures he is visiting. His goal is to report from the fault line where the colossal mass of Western money and consumer culture bumps up against the even more colossal mass of Asian societies and cultures. This collision produces many fascinating, humorous, and poignant situations which Iyer captures perfectly in his excellent writing. In each country he visits, Iyer is able to identify and bring to the page exactly those details that perfectly symbolize the situations he is writing about.What especially impressed me was that Iyer does not romanticize or glorify or exoticize what is beautiful about the lands he travels to. Nor does he denigrate their shortcomings. He is a fair and honest observer of what he has chosen to observe: the ground zero of "west" meeting "east".As someone who has studied in both China and Thailand (as well as two other Asian countries which were not in the book), I can vouch for the accuracy of what Iyer is reporting. Sure, a scholarly author might have added more details about Chinese philosophy or Thai history. But for his chosen topic, Iyer's accounts are complete and flawless. The book is certainly entertaining, but it is also informative and thought-provoking as well. Well done, Mr. Iyer.

a most unusual type of travel essay book on Asia

I am slowly working my way through Iyer's collection of travel essay books,passing them on to friends when I am through. He seems unusually able to capture the spirt and sense of places and even more so, the local people. When I read his comments on places I've been, I say "yup, that's right"; when I read those on places I have not been, I say "let's go". He injects just the right amount of personal reactions/interactions into the essays; just the right amount of detail to make the reader feel he/she is really there. I read this one the way to/from HongKong this year; nothing could have been a better preview or review.

Fascinating book on West meets East, East meets West.

Each chapter deals with a different country, i.e., Nepal, Philippines, Burma. And each country seems so different, yet all are changing so fast. All I know is that I went out and bought every other book Pico has written.
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