Inside the books
This is a 14,000-mile journey through China that encompasses everything one imagines, presented in two volumes. In Book One, marvel at the memorable desert landscapes of Xīnjiāng, and be swept along by the busyness of the barge-filled Grand Canal. Become caught up in fantastic Buddhist temples, secluded sections of the Great Wall, and the tranquil classical gardens of Sūzhōu.
In Book Two, gaze on Guìlín’s legendary landscape of bread-loaf pinnacles, and the baked pastel walls of a Tibetan monastery in Yúnnán. Revel in the sights and sounds of Miao minority dances accompanied by mouth organs, while a Dai and Hani market on
the border with Burma provides a riotous feast for the eyes.
All that and much more is delivered in a rich tapestry of words
and a plethora of stunningly evocative photographs.
But that is not the whole story. What particularly makes this saga extraordinary, indeed paramount, are the personal spiritual
events that the author encountered before and during the travels, which lead finally to a new understanding and explanation of why we are all here.
The word ‘unique’ is often misused, but it applies not only once
but six times to these books....
· Book One is the first known travelogue of any country to include
as many as 418 colour photographs. Book Two adds a further 364, generously sized.
· A music compilation CD comes with each volume. The reader is
encouraged to listen to the tracks with sequences of photos –
a world-first idea. The music and sounds enhance the sense of
travel, the topic of the surrounding text, or the movement through
life – much as in movies or on TV.
· Major essays on some of the highest themes of Life are
incorporated. These include science v. religion, God’s relationship
with evil and suffering, the mysticism of numbers, as well as the differences between East and West concerning friendship. No known travel book has accomplished this before, and the investigations are primarily inspired by the true incidents that occur in the journey.
· Chinese tones/accents have been added to virtually all Chinese
words in English – no publication covering most of China has
achieved that before.
· The climax, in Book Two, is the author’s solution of the Meaning
of Life for all species and universes, which has not been presented
by any philosopher, theologian or anyone who has been traced.
It is not theoretical, but arises out of his enforced experiences,
which are depicted like a thread throughout the books.
· The indexes – 66 temples, 47 rivers and 37 mountains are listed – give the column or footnote that a reference is in. This saves reams of time searching for a word that does not appear in a column,
or which only appears in a footnote!
Islands in China Book One published October 2001.
Steps to the Bed of God Book Two newly published September 2003.