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BOOK OF THE MONTH
THE ICKABOG
J.K. Rowling
1299

'The Ickabog is coming... A mythical monster, a kingdom in peril, an adventure...(+)

Author Spotlight

Marina is an Anglo-Indian, London-based barrister specialising in constitutional and human rights ...(+)

  Marina Wheeler  
 
 
 
American Shaolin
Matthew Polly

Classification : Travel & Adventure
Pub Date : Apr 05, 2007
Imprint : Abacus
Page Extent : 384
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9780349120157
Price : 799

About the book
Matthew Polly was your typical 98-pound weakling with sand kicked in his face - until he decided to learn to kick back. Dropping out of university, he travelled to China to study at the granddaddy of all Chinese martial arts monasteries: the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of both Zen Buddhism and kungfu.

But, as Confucius might have said, path to becoming kung fu master very difficult. For one thing, no one knew where exactly the Shaolin Temple was. And asking for directions proved problematic - after three years spent learning Mandarin in college, Matthew couldn't understand a word outside the classroom. He finally found the Shaolin village hidden away between five mountain peaks. But the hard part was yet to come. The Chinese term for tough training is chi ku (eating bitter) - and Matthew quickly leaned to appreciate the phrase. By the end of the second day of training his knees were in agony and he was walking like the dead - and that was just the induction.

American Shaolin is the hilarious story of Matthew's remarkable two-year travel odyssey - a tale of gruelling training, forbidden romance and an eye-watering insight into the art of 'iron-crotch' kungfu.

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Matthew Polly
Matthew Polly is an award-winning travel writer. A Princeton University graduate and Rhodes Scholar, his work has appeared Esquire, Playboy, The Nation and Slate. This is his first book.