Friday, February 19, 2016

Too Busy to Spit by Scott Kelly

Paperback: 193 pages
Genre: Personal Memoir.
Publisher: Horizon Controls 2010 (This edition 2014)
Source: The author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
First Sentence: In the beginning God created earth. 
Favourite Quote: It is possible to think that the Chinese have been around since the beginning of time. They were contemporaries to the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mayans and Ottomans. They were there and they still are 'there'.

My Opinion: The author himself describes this interesting and readable little book about the Chinese, as an irreverent thirty year journey among the Chinese people. It is indeed at times a rather discourteous tirade but it is somehow very readable and I do not believe the Chinese at least the ones that know the author will have taken offence. A journey of mixed emotions, as he attempts to understand China and the Chinese people. I however am not sure I would have chosen the title he did. I suppose that 'spitting' is one of the few things that people that have little experience of China and the Chinese people seem to have heard is part of Chinese culture. Recommended to anyone with an interest in China and its people.

Précis: Courtesy of Goodreads:

As a young college graduate in 1980, Scott Kelly bought a one way ticket to Asia. His first stop was Hong Kong, and although he didn't know it at the time, it was the beginning of a 25 year journey, as a tourist, business operator, and visitor to China. Based in Hong Kong, but with business in Shenzhen and Shanghai, Kelly made just about every mistake in the book, yet still retained an affection for China and the Chinese people around Asia.

While most books on the subject are academic, or cover a short time frame, Kelly's book is a personal journey from 1980 to 2008, that contains lots of humor as well as hardship, and a personal reflection on China's present day and how the timelessness of China will never go away. For anyone planning to do business in China this is a great introduction, as Kelly was one of the first foreigners to open a business in China in 1986, and still does business there to this day.

For anyone interested in the Chinese people the book includes chapters on the overseas Chinese in Asia and America as well. A timely read about a timeless subject.

Author Profile:

Scott Kelly first stepped foot in Hong Kong in 1980, for a one week stopover. He was immediately captivated and it soon became the place he could never leave.
In his enthusiasm for everything Chines, he opened a business in China in 1986, onlt to lose everything at the time of Tienanmen Square.

The biographical information is from the back cover of the book and Amazon

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