Book Review: Video Night in Kathmandu

Video Night in Kathmandu

by Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is a master wordsmith. Iyer has written numerous books, journalistic articles and essays, many centering on the travel narrative. Iyer often finds himself a stranger in a strange land and captures the essence of wonderment and wanderlust perfectly. He has the ability capture the ironies, humor, beauty, ugliness and sadness about one single place, a place he is most often looking into as an outsider.

Video Night in Kathmandu is a collection of separate travel narratives and essays about different countries in Asia, including Nepal, Japan, India and China. The stories are packed with tales of how Western pop culture and globalization affect locations that we often think of as the “exotic far East.” His observations, all of which have the “East Meets West” overtones, offer brave and thought provoking perspective to Asian countries and cultures.

This book is a must-read for those interested in globalization’s reach. Westerners’ mental framework regarding globalization is often: How do WE affect THEM? Iyer turns this logic on its head and analyzes the question from both sides, formulating a kind of give-take idea about cultural clashes.

Even if Asia isn’t your thing, Video Night in Kathmandu is packed full of amazing writing and narrative structure, a great handbook for all budding travel writers.

Want to learn more about Pico Iyer, one of the most prolific travel writers today?  Here is an interesting interview with Iyer done by Rolf Potts. Check it out here.


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