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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Comments for Riding the Iron Rooster

Riding the Iron RoosterRiding the Iron Rooster: 09/15/07

I like trains and recently I've had some good luck with reading travel memoirs as part of the Armchair Traveler Challenge but this book was a huge disappointment.

Riding the Iron Rooster chronicles Paul Theroux's train travels from England to and then through China in the late 1980s. Here he is traveling a fascinating route through numerous countries and a constantly changing landscape and all he does is complain. The entire book is one long-winded winge about his passengers, the trains, his schedule, the countries and so forth.

The only interesting item in the entire book is his account of the Chernobyl melt-down as he heard about it while in Mongolia compared to what he heard about upon returning home.

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Comments (2)


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Comment #1: Sunday, September, 16, 2007 at 18:15:10


Thanks! You saved me a read - doesn't sound like something that would interest me. I hear enough complaining in my real life. Don't need to read about it."

Comment #2: Sunday, September, 16, 2007 at 20:10:30


Bummer ... I've got this one on my TBR shelf and it looks like it would be such a great book, with that wonderful subject matter. I have another of his as well - The Kingdom by the Sea. Have you read it? "