Paul Theroux

Slow Boat to China

China – Land of Discovery

By

Patrick Stephens Ltd 224pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

The New Chinese Revolution

By

Hamish Hamilton 248pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

Waves

By

William Heinemann 240pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

The Chinese are the last people in the world still manufacturing spittoons, chamberpots, treadle sewing machines, quill pens, steel pen nibs, wooden yokes for oxen, iron ploughs, whalebone corsets, bamboo back-scratchers and steam locomotives. They made grandfather clocks – the chain-driven mechanical kind that go tick-tock and bong! Is this interesting? I think it is. Because as Robert K G Temple reminds us in his distillation of Professor Joseph Needham’s fifteenth volume Science and Civilisation in China, the Chinese actually invented the mechanical clock in the late Tang Dynasty. Then they forgot they invented it and like many other inventions it was re-introduced to China from Europe.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,