Praise for 44 Days...
What if Alexis de Tocqueville were fluent in Mandarin and traveling through China by backpack and bullet train? He would record every encounter and analyze China’s national character with remarkable lucidity. He would produce a book full of telling insights that functioned like a five-dimensional chess game. It would be a guide book, travel companion, memoir, political history, and plain-old-pleasure for someone who likes their prose with pith in it. Oklahoma’s latter-day Tocqueville, Jeff J. Brown, is one hell of a good story teller, and traveling with him deep into China is an adventure not to be missed.
Thomas Bass, Author of The Spy Who Loved Us, Vietnamerica, Camping with the Prince, Reinventing the Future, and The Eudaemonic Pie.
44 Days is a delightful romp through a changing
China and Jeff Brown is an excellent guide.
John Pomfret, author of Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China.
In 44 Days, Jeff Brown takes a wry look at travel and life in general in five of China’s more picturesque provinces. It’s an entertaining tale told by someone with a good eye for the absurd, a sense of history and the ability to appreciate a journey’s simple pleasures – such as a minibus ride with just one person in each seat. Along the way, he punctures more than a few myths about some of China’s overhyped travel destinations and shares some memorable moments, like his elaborate effort to find solitude and avoid the madding crowds in Sichuan’s Jiuzhaigou Park. For good measure, his snapshots add to the fun as well as the reader's edification, including his photographic evidence of market demand for air-dried yak testicles. (Probably an acquired taste).
William Kazer, Wall Street Journal
44 Days is a fascinating exploration of the people of China, and the
land in which they live. Brown is very knowledgeable about China's government
and the country's millennia-old history. He obviously enjoys not just his
travels but the people he meets. While he journeys, we journey with him. Jeff
Brown is an intelligent, articulate and entertaining writer and 44 Days
is absolutely enthralling. I highly recommend it.
Mick Winter, author of Cuba for the Misinformed: Facts from the Forbidden Island.
Jeff Brown's idea of keeping his Mandarin fluent is hopping on buses and trains full of Chinese minorities, befriending dozens of strangers, climbing the trails of China's breathtaking nature reserves while hoisting a 6 kg backpack, bunking in hardscrabble Chinese hostels and savoring local cuisines – all the while discovering himself and pondering fresh perspectives on the human condition. 44 Days is a terrific read for thinkers, travelers and otherwise.
Deena Stryker, author of Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Castro and A Taoist Politics: The Case for Sacredness.