Friday, April 17, 2009

Well-Read Commuter Reviews Undress Me In The Temple of Heaven

Undress Me In The Temple of Heaven

Sarah Jane Gilman

What this book was about: A memoir of the author Sarah Jane Gilman and her friend Claire’s 1986 globe trotting adventures. The girls have never left the U.S. when inspired by a "Pancakes of Many Nations" promotion during a drunken night at IHOP they hatch a plan to circle the world, starting in China, which has just opened to tourists. From the moment of arrival, they're out of their depth, perpetually hungry, foolish, and paranoid from relentless observation.

From start to finish this book was fantastic. This is the type of book where midway through the first chapter you are not only hooked, you are recommending it to others. Fantastic writing, an exciting story and rich cast of international characters deliver. It also appeals on many levels, it’s a story of travel and adventure in a time before cell phones and the internet, a story of friendship and a story of humanity. It had me yearning for the impulsive days of my youth. Sadly, until I saw the word “memoir” on the cover of the audio book I almost skipped over it. The cover photo and title suggested to me this was a cheesy fiction romance novel. The audio book is read by the author and also contains an interview with the author at the conclusion of the novel. It was interesting to switch from the conclusion of the adventure in 1986 to an interview of the author’s views over two decades later. Not only would I recommend this book, I will be sure to check out Gilman’s two earlier books, Hypocrite and Kiss My Tiara.


Missy B. said...

Thanks for the review...this is one that I have been wanting to read. It sounds good!

Luanne said...

Wasn't it good - her other books are a bit lighter, still a real life memoir, but funny.