A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East

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9780006550716: A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East

Warned by a fortune-teller not to risk flying, the author – a seasoned correspondent – took to travelling by rail, road and sea. Consulting fortune-tellers and shamans wherever he went, he learnt to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity.

William Shawcross in the Literary Review praised Terzani for ‘his beautifully written adventure story… a voyage of self-discovery… He sees fortune-tellers, soothsayers, astrologers, chiromancers, seers, shamans, magicians, palmists, frauds, men and women of god (many gods) all over Asia and in Europe too… Almost every page and every story celebrates the mystical and the unknowable. It is a fabulous story of renewal and change… Terzani is already something of a legend. He has written magnificently all his life. Never better than now.’

Yes, the fortune-teller did save him from an air-crash in Cambodia. Looking back afterwards, Terzani reckoned that ‘I was marked for death and instead I was reborn.’

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Review:

It was 1976 when Tiziano Terzani was warned by the fortune-teller in Hong Kong: "Beware! You run a grave risk of dying in 1993. You mustn't fly that year. Don't fly, not even once." Sixteen years later, Terzani had not forgotten. Despite living the life of a jet-hopping journalist, he decided that, after a lifetime of sensible decisions, he would confront the prophecy the Asian way, not by fighting it, but by submitting. He also resolved that on the way he would seek out the most eminent local oracle, fortune-teller or sorcerer and look again into his future. So after a feast of red ant egg omelet and a glass of fresh water, he brought the new year in on the back of the elephant. He even made it to his appointments--Cambodia to cover the first democratic elections; Burma, for the opening of the first road to connect Thailand and China; and even Florence to visit his mother, a trip that would take him 13,000 miles across Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia and Siberia. In this way, the jet-hopping journalist rediscovered the art of travel, the intricate chains of chance which lead to discovery, and the mass of humanity he'd overlooked in his rush for newsworthy quotes. And he also saved his life. Terzani's odyssey across Asia is full of revelations and reflections on the dramatic changes underway in Asia. Having spent two decades on the continent, he brings a deep love for the place to his journeys, but also the eyes of someone troubled by the changes he sees. Burma and Laos, finally open to outside contact, are now funnels for AIDS and drugs; Thailand has been traumatised by its rapid development; China is an anarchy fuelled by money rather than ideology and Mao has been transformed into the God of traffic. Surrounded by the loss of diversity wrought by modernism, Terzani asks if the "missionaries of materialism and economic progress" aren't destroying the continent in order to save it. Fortunately, there is a flip side to his occasionally dispiriting commentary, which Terzani discovers in his hunt for fortune-tellers. Through his side trips to seers who read the soles of his feet, the ashes of incense, even the burned scapula of sheep, it becomes clear that the Orient of legends, myths and magic still determines people's lives as much as the quest for money. By staying earthbound, Terzani lived to tell of an extraordinary journey through the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of Asia.-- Lesley Reed

From the Back Cover:

Warned by a Hong Kong fortune-teller not to risk flying for a whole year, Tiziano Terzani – a vastly experienced Asia correspondent – took what he called 'the first step into an unknown world… It turned out to be one of the most extraordinary years I have ever spent: I was marked for death, and instead I was reborn.'
Travelling by foot, boat, bus, car and train, he visited Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Consulting soothsayers and shamans wherever he went, he grew to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity.

"Terzani is already something of a legend. He is a wonderful journalist. But he is much more than that. His book is not the self-important tale of a journalist but the progress of a modern, sceptical and emotional pilgrim – and wilful showman… part autobiography, part journey through the comforting past, the unbearable present and the unwelcoming future, and part prophecy… He has written magnificently all his life. Never better than now."
WILLIAM SHAWCROSS, 'Literary Review'

"One of the most interesting and unusual travel books I have ever read."
FIONA PITT-KETHLEY, 'Daily Telegraph'

"A great book written in the best traditions of literary journalism… profound, rich and reflective."
RYSZARD KUPUSCINSKI

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Terzani, Tiziano
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Warned by a fortune-teller not to risk flying, the author - a seasoned correspondent - took to travelling by rail, road and sea. Consulting fortune-tellers and shamans wherever he went, he learnt to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity. William Shawcross in the Literary Review praised Terzani for his beautifully written adventure story.a voyage of self-discovery.He sees fortune-tellers, soothsayers, astrologers, chiromancers, seers, shamans, magicians, palmists, frauds, men and women of god (many gods) all over Asia and in Europe too.Almost every page and every story celebrates the mystical and the unknowable. It is a fabulous story of renewal and change.Terzani is already something of a legend. He has written magnificently all his life. Never better than now. Yes, the fortune-teller did save him from an air-crash in Cambodia. Looking back afterwards, Terzani reckoned that I was marked for death and instead I was reborn. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006550716

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Terzani, Tiziano
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Warned by a fortune-teller not to risk flying, the author - a seasoned correspondent - took to travelling by rail, road and sea. Consulting fortune-tellers and shamans wherever he went, he learnt to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity. William Shawcross in the Literary Review praised Terzani for his beautifully written adventure story.a voyage of self-discovery.He sees fortune-tellers, soothsayers, astrologers, chiromancers, seers, shamans, magicians, palmists, frauds, men and women of god (many gods) all over Asia and in Europe too.Almost every page and every story celebrates the mystical and the unknowable. It is a fabulous story of renewal and change.Terzani is already something of a legend. He has written magnificently all his life. Never better than now. Yes, the fortune-teller did save him from an air-crash in Cambodia. Looking back afterwards, Terzani reckoned that I was marked for death and instead I was reborn. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006550716

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Book Description 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 197mm x 23mm. Paperback. Warned by a fortune-teller not to risk flying, the author - a seasoned correspondent - took to travelling by rail, road and sea. Consulting fortune-tellers and shamans wherever he went, he.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 384 pages. 0.280. Bookseller Inventory # 9780006550716

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Book Description FLAMINGO, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Warned by a fortune-teller not to risk flying, the author - a seasoned correspondent - took to travelling by rail, road and sea. Consulting fortune-tellers and shamans wherever he went, he learnt to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0006550711

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East, Tiziano Terzani, Warned by a fortune-teller not to risk flying, the author - a seasoned correspondent - took to travelling by rail, road and sea. Consulting fortune-tellers and shamans wherever he went, he learnt to understand and respect older ways of life and beliefs now threatened by the crasser forms of Western modernity. William Shawcross in the Literary Review praised Terzani for 'his beautifully written adventure story.a voyage of self-discovery.He sees fortune-tellers, soothsayers, astrologers, chiromancers, seers, shamans, magicians, palmists, frauds, men and women of god (many gods) all over Asia and in Europe too.Almost every page and every story celebrates the mystical and the unknowable. It is a fabulous story of renewal and change.Terzani is already something of a legend. He has written magnificently all his life. Never better than now.' Yes, the fortune-teller did save him from an air-crash in Cambodia. Looking back afterwards, Terzani reckoned that 'I was marked for death and instead I was reborn.'. Bookseller Inventory # B9780006550716

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