almas john wrote:I know the chap who wrote it. He asked me to post this:Thanks for your kind works folks. Books are a matter of personal taste so it's no big deal if you disliked it. Hopefully, the next one will be much better.
The references to imbibing of the sacred juice were not planned, certainly not done as a gimmick or angle, but rather a simple result of the fact that when I’m not drinking (which isn't often) I’m thinking about drinking. Actually, I removed some of the boozing references from the book on the advice of a couple of people (although opinion was decided on this), and I decided not to write up a couple of funny drinking episodes despite them being relevant and very good copy.
The “Odyssey” in the title is Taiwan’s colourful journey, not mine. My “travels” in the book are obviously not worthy of the name, not much more than walking across the road. I used the travel aspect to provide a platform for descriptions of modern Taiwan and to give readers a break from some of the heavier ‘istorical material. I also used the travelogue parts to provide a contrast with the real adventures of those pioneering days, and thereby showing how much things have changed.
As for Zender’s comment on the martial arts stuff (God, I almost wrote “marital arts”) I pretty much agree with him. I’m a cynical old bastard, and I wish I had added more skepticism to the unit. Of course, the “Harnessing Chi” title is a bit of a give away for people that know me; it is in fact a subtle piss-take. I personally think a lot of the kung fu stuff is bollocks but I didn’t have enough space or expertise to go into it in detail. I wanted to be open-minded and I didn’t want to insult people by calling it bollocks and not backing it up.
And importantly I wanted to keep my powder dry on the subject because I planned to (no, “planned” is too strong), I was seriously thinking about writing a book on Martial Arts in Taiwan). The idea was to go up to Taipei (running a guest house project that never got off the ground) and try a few kung fu schools – both serious and more unusual. I figured having a close look at Chinese martial arts would be a fantastic framework for a book; you’ve got tonnes of history, fighting, lots of bullshit, eccentric characters both foreign and local, the gangster underworld etc. There would be a lot of laughs for sure. And for a bit of comedy gold extra I was hoping to enroll in that school run by that Tu Jin-Sheng chap who does the “iron willy” training.
Alas, things in Taipei didn’t work out and I moved back to savage territory in the south. The Taiwan story told through martial arts is a book that won’t be written by me, but I’m more than happy to help anyone who would like to do so.
flike wrote:aj, here in God's country this book is out of print. I can buy it for about US$77 used, though. It's available shipped from some godforsaken place in Oregon by the_book_community (where alas it's currently being outsold by "Calculus: Early Transcendental Functions" )
Please tell your friend that of this writing his book has earned a staggering 19,748 reviews at the_book_community alone. In the past twelve months 94% of reviews were 'positive'. I don't know exactly how others measure success, but by my standards I call JACKPOT. Please pass on my heartfelt congratulations to the author.
And youse who're sittin' on a copy and broke, get in touch with this joint in Oregon, USA, ok? You know you need the coin! If you sell your copy to this joint, it's got to start lowerin' the price. Right? Hurry!
Anyway, well done aj's friend.
almas john wrote:flike wrote: . . . it's currently being outsold by "Calculus: Early Transcendental Functions"
almas john wrote: I better get my friend to put some copies on the net in order to undercut any would-be profiteers.
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