❦ [KINDLE] ❁ Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven By Susan Jane Gilman ➡ – Motyourdrive.co.uk

10 thoughts on “Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

  1. says:

    About a week ago, Paul read me an article sharing general statistics about American traveling differences between generations It seems today the majority of Baby Boomers tend to take 1 or 2 long vacations a year anywhere between 2 to 6 week s on average Generation X ers tend to vacation often throughout the year flying all over the world but shorter stay aways Very few of any generation are taking off for a year or two to tour the world today That was actually common in the 70 s and 80 s than today I guess I was just a statistic myself I spent two years outside the U.S traveling wild in the early 70 s.So, for some mindless reason.I picked Susan Jane Gilman s non fiction book Undress Me in The Temple of Heaven to listen to through the library OVERDRIVE.GUILTY I ve owned the hardcopy book for about 5 years It took seeing the availability of this book on my iPhone to tempt me to read it All I had to do was press my finger Magic Susan s voice was mine to listen to for three weeks at no charge I expected some horrific hilarious adventures and lots of self realization I expected to relate to hardships from being in third world countries young single white western females DANGER ALERTS I didn t expect the prose to be as intelligent, and mature in sophistication , as it was It was LOVELY to my ears hearing Susan read very detailed descriptions both of the setting and of characters The year was 1986tourism in China wasn t a popular holiday destination by any means let alone low budget backpack trips for two Ivy League graduates who were acquaintances Actually I may have just given a small spoiler away acquaintances..but I ll say no about that other than THAT WORD DIDN T register with me when I was reading most of this book The RED FLAG WENT OFF MORE THAN HALF WAY PAST READING LISTENING to it I enjoyed Susan s writing very much She s a bright woman an excellent skillful interesting descriptive writer.both emotionally and intellectually I also liked her voice easy peasey to be with ok, so I made up that word peasey sue me lol The other thing that I respected and appreciated.Susan didn t write this book soon after returning home There are many years removed from her youthful naive days from when she wrote this book allowing her perspective to carry a greater substantial weight of truth wisdom Too soon after her return she might have been an emotional basket case still processing post travel cultural shock I know it took me years to process my return home There is a very sad story in here that I never expected to read here I am again a magnet to the sadness but once again this book is a cautionary tale to our young daughters who have a travel bug This is a very different book than A House In The Sky , by Amanda Lindhout Sara Corbett..Yet BOTH BOOKS contain realities for potential travel the world bug with no experience Favorite smells on the streets in dusty Shanghai urine, Jasmine, pork, mildew, Sandalwood, and gasoline smells all blended together Yuck A FUNNY LINE. hahanot really..but I laughed. When speaking of China in 1986 Sometimes, it seems like this entire country is run by the New York department of vehicles.4 solid stars I could almost give it a full 5 stars This was a great listening companion I talked back to my Audiobook a few times when I wanted to kill the girls for choices they made.yet..I was pulling for them with all my heart I believe most readers would.

  2. says:

    I m not sure maybe it s me, but I found this book surprisingly fascinating and powerful.This memoir describes Susan s adventures with her college friend Claire in the mid 1980s, as the two impulsively decide to backpack around the world Naive and woefully unprepared, they start out in the People s Republic of China which had only recently been opened to foreign travelers Susan, anticipating a lighthearted journey, finds herself overwhelmed by the stress of being in a foreign country where little English is spoken and the rules are radically different and unpredictable Determined to actually experience foreign culture and to avoid cushioning themselves in a Westernized bubble, Susan and Clair find themselves in roach infested cold water dormitories struggling with the hassles of obtaining food, transportation, and medical care as needed The time period is quite relevant in the 1980s there were no cell phones or internet to facilitate contact with family, get necessary information, or smooth over difficulties To make matters much worse, Claire s behavior becomes increasingly bizarre and unmanageable.There are good moments, too, though Susan writes just as engagingly and vividly about some of the highs of her experience and the people she meets Susan and Claire s chosen traveling style comes at a high price but can also be rewarding And without overdoing the introspection as many memoirists do, Susan does give the reader some food for thought about the Western romanticizing of poverty and foreign lifestyles, and the unwittingly ironic, condescending and patronizing concept of presuming that you can actually absorb a country s culture simply by engaging in reverse snobbery when it comes to choosing your accommodations, food sources, travel modes, etc.I actually found myself gripped by this narrative Susan succeeded in making me feel both the highs and lows of what it might be like to be on your own in a foreign country, anticipating sharing responsibilities and joys with a fellow traveler only to slowly discover that she s probably having a nervous breakdown I don t know whether I can recommend it to everyone, but the story certainly spoke to me even though I ve never had, and probably never will have, similar adventures.

  3. says:

    Early in Susan Jane Gilman s memoir of her ill fated 1986 trip to China, standing in a filthy Shanghai toilet, Gilman declares to her traveling companion, We are two young, brilliant Ivy League graduates If we can t use a public bathroom in the People s Republic of China, who the hell can Sadly, this episode is all too typical of Gilman s experiences in China.To be fair, Gilman recounts her story through the eyes of herself as a young, naive college graduate But I ve certainly met perceptive and sympathetic twenty year olds I groaned at the younger Gilman s cultural observations of life in China, the limits of her worldview defined, apparently, by the boundaries of New York City all this from an aspiring young writer and an honors graduate of Brown University And Gilman is positively eager to discuss her education and ascension from an upbringing she unselfconsciously describes as underprivileged I picked up this book after reading some positive reviews there s a glowing blurb from Alexandra Fuller on the back cover but I can only assume that the reviewers were reading an entirely different book In the introduction, Gilman attests to the authenticity of her story, but what follows is an endless series of thin, clich d characterizations and petty melodramas, saccharine denouements And, thoughtfully, Gilman provides all of her non American characters with ridiculous accents Germans include yah in every sentence, Australians oi , and the Chinese never seem to get those R s or L s right.Gilman wrote this book over twenty years after the events it portrays, but is this really the best she could come up with Is it possible to travel 8000 miles around the world and experience nothing much unique or authentic than could be had from an armchair perusal of Lonely Planet s guide to China What a shame.

  4. says:

    A page turner Two girls, fresh out of the Ivy League which the author feels the need to remind you of constantly decide to take a year and circumnavigate the globe, starting in China In 1986, China was only just open to tourists, and only in certain areas While the girls want to do everything in legit fashion, to do it the way the locals do, they quickly realize that they are in over their heads While I spent most of the story feeling a bit irritated towards these naive girls, it was definitely an exciting story, one I couldn t put down until it was finished.

  5. says:

    In my experience, spontaneous is rarely the best modus operandi to ensure travel satisfaction especially not if you don t specifically prepare for the specific destination in which you want to be spontaneous And double especially when the place to which one is traveling is a place that is morally and ethically opposed to Spontaneity The author and her friend launched that adventure 20 years before the book was written, and it has taken all those years to move the author to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard That says something right there when a reporter writer needs a lot of distance in time and space, a reader can be sure there are parts of the story that won t ever land on the page.That said, and their whiny ness notwithstanding, I enjoyed this tale I didn t expect to, but I did It confirmed some of my deeply felt suspicions the set of bones that have carted me around all these years will not find their way to China in this lifetime , and that the guy from It s A Wonderful Life had it right Youth is wasted on the young I must admit to comparing my 20 year old self with Susan and Claire, and a look in the mirror showed I was sporting a rather smug mug If the book had gone on much longer it would have lost some of its shine for me, but as for the epilogue, or interview that was included at the end, that was REQUIRED for me to be as satisfied with the reading experience I really needed some of those loose ends tied up as was done in that last part And it just leaves you wondering about Claire Hoping she is as settled and happy as Susan appears to be.

  6. says:

    I wanted to like this book I really did I love travel stories and memoirs However part way through the book I found myself almost despising the author I have never run across such a narcissistic, selfish and self absorbed author before What ever made her write this story is incomprehensible Susie as she is known in the book, gets the idea to hop around the globe off of a placemat at IHOP Young, inexperienced and looking for adventure armed with The Lonely Planet she heads off to Hong Kong and then into China with her friend Claire Susie does not hesitate to take advantage and use anyone who will make her trip easier Given she had never travelled before she is rather shocked at what the world is about That is why you are traveling Her partner, either has a mental breakdown or starts to suffer from mental illness along the way Susie is too self absorbed to realize this and chocks it up to Claire being jealous she has hooked up The amazing part is that after delivering her friend back to the US she returns to Asia, yet you do not hear one word about the rest of the trip just a lot of whining about China, foreigners and how hard China was She really should have stayed home Travelers like her are why foreigners are not to keen on visitors I have been to every continent and spent 3 weeks in China years ago Aside from the fact that there is lots of rice served it is not as bad as she made it seem It was my first Asian country out of 4 that I have been to And yes I have had the experience of waking up to a snake in my bed and rats in the rafters If I wanted my own bed then I should have stayed home.

  7. says:

    One of the reasons I love book clubs is because they push you to read outside your comfort zone, discovering books you never knew existed Susan Jane Gilman s Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is such book for me The true account of Gilman, an accomplished journalist, who set off to tour the world with one of her college classmates, this story is a WILD ride Namely because the two start their journey in 1986 in China, landing in a country whose borders had been open for all of ten minutes What happens to them leaves you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages but for anyone who s traveled especially abroad this book is full of plenty of reminders of the graces that come with stepping outside your comfort zone and developing camaraderie with fellow travelers you meet along the way.A few favorite lines No one ever tells you this, I said despairingly, waving at the turquoise tiled walls, the bare, hissing light fixture All those travel magazines People with their vacation photos They just make it look so easy I suppose, travel is a bit like the Internet there s a protective anonymity to it Cast into a situation with people you never have to see again and shielded from repercussions, you turn brazenly candid.Lee was thirty six If we d met in the States, we d have had absolutely no reason to sit together and probably nothing to say But here We had the special camaraderie of the displaced, of sad people with suitcases.

  8. says:

    I picked this up from the free book pile at my job The cover and title led me to believe that I was letting myself in for a self indulgent remembrance of the author s various sexual escapades while backpacking around the world But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was nothing of the sort, but a rather chilling and compelling tale It was a quick read, and definitely a page turner in the second half.

  9. says:

    Not judging the book by its title, which might lead you to believe it is quite a sexy book it s not , I really just expected this to be another backpacker s account of her jaunt through Asia As someone who, like many others, has done the jaunt herself, I found a lot to relate to so, excuse me as I write this review from a very personal viewpoint The book is set in China in the mid eighties, a couple of years before my own first, brief encounter with mainland China Susan Gilman and her not very well known friend, Claire Van Houten hatched a plan on the back of a paper placemat while out late one night of conquering the world on a trans planetary trip They decided to start in China and the descriptions Gilman writes of encounters with bureaucracy, once grand but now falling apart ships and other transport barely held together with spot welding, hotel and travel agent staff who tow the party line as far as only presenting what was allowed to be presented and no , not to mention other backpackers, is spot on Anyone who travelled to China in the late 1980s right up to the mid late 1990s will relate to this book on some level and probably really enjoy it for the nostalgia factor Places too, ring true from freakishly tiny and sparse, swimming pool tile lined guesthouse rooms in Chunking Mansions, a backpacker icon that is still existing in that state as far as I know If you haven t been there or read the book yet, I don t want to give anything away as her expectations versus reality play by play about the place is brilliant And this is just the first part of the journey.Yangshuo is another centre of the backpacking world in China and, in those days, was one of the few places foreigners could go and decompress from all the experiences had during travel in China To have been struggling, quite out of your depth, with renegade bus drivers, unknown animal parts served up in soup, and language barriers for weeks on end then, finally coming upon the then little village of Yangshuo with its rows of caf s serving Western style food from English, French, and German menus just seemed like a godsend I really liked how Gilman placed their visit to Yangshuo in the story as sort of the beginning of the end as that is exactly how the place feels to many who ve travelled there You get a sense of having slogged your way round in relative hardship and this is the intrepid backpackers reward banana pancakes all around Don t get me wrong It wasn t just the reminiscing factor that I enjoyed about the book There is also the storyline of what it is like being with someone you barely know, 24 7, for weeks on end In this case, the increasingly bizarre relations between Gilman and her friend Claire whilst travelling in a country with a high difficulty rating, as far as backpacking goes, make for an interesting thread that runs throughout.Call me non imaginative, but I do like books that go back and tie up lose ends Gilman does this in her Afterwards chapter really well For readers who haven t travelled to China, you could easily get a sense that what the book describes is how it still is to travel around the vast country In some places it really is still like that, but China has been hurtling towards a developed travel infrastructure at an alarming pace Even 10 years after the book was set, it was sad to my Western nostalgic sensibilities to already see beautiful old temples crumbling or being replaced by white tiled square boxes of buildings In fact, the first time I went to Shen Zhen on the mainland near Hong Kong in 1989, it was a small village with dirt roads I remember an old man pulling his cart full of pigs past me The next time I went there in 1998, it was full of gleaming white sky scrapers I actually had to check my journal to see that I was indeed thinking of the right place I was In 9 years the place had become unrecognisable Gilman s modern description of the places her and Claire had been to really expresses the changes that have taken place Changes that would have to be seen to be believed otherwise.In short, although I had low expectations of the book, I was pleasantly surprised I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in travelling independently in China And I would strongly recommend this to those who have already participated in the backpacking rituals associated with travel in China You will be reliving much of that experience

  10. says:

    This was goooood I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and it kept building and building At the beginning the author writes, this is what happened, God knows I could never have made this up I thought, well, just how crazy is this story Let me say this it lived up I usually check books out of the lib, but I actually shelled out the cash for this one I m glad I did, b c I know I ll end up reading it again I plan on forcing it on my poor over worked friend the next time I see her because I know she ll love it Jenny, find the time, you must

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Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven download Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, read online Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, kindle ebook Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven 918489a84ec0 They Were Young, Brilliant, And Bold They Set Out To Conquer The World But The World Had Other Plans For ThemBestselling Author Susan Jane Gilman S New Memoir Is A Hilarious And Harrowing Journey, A Modern Heart Of Darkness Filled With Communist Operatives, Backpackers, And Pancakes In , Fresh Out Of College, Gilman And Her Friend Claire Yearned To Do Something Daring And Original That Did Not Involve Getting A Job Inspired By A Place Mat At The International House Of Pancakes, They Decided To Embark On An Ambitious Trip Around The Globe, Starting In The People S Republic Of China At That Point, China Had Been Open To Independent Travelers For Roughly Ten MinutesArmed Only With The Collected Works Of Nietzsche, An Astrological Love Guide, And An Arsenal Of Bravado, The Two Friends Plunged Into The Dusty Streets Of Shanghai Unsurprisingly, They Quickly Found Themselves In Over Their Heads As They Ventured Off The Map Deep Into Chinese Territory, They Were Stripped Of Everything Familiar And Forced To Confront Their Limitations Amid Culture Shock And Government Surveillance What Began As A Journey Full Of Humor, Eroticism, And Enlightenment Grew Increasingly Sinister Becoming A Real Life International Thriller That Transformed Them Forever Undress Me In The Temple Of Heaven Is A Flat Out Page Turner, An Astonishing True Story Of Hubris And Redemption Told With Gilman S Trademark Compassion, Lyricism, And Wit