Before I begin this review I just have to say that I absolutely LOVED this book!
To get started, here is a summary of UNDRESS ME IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN from the Hachette Book Group website:
"They were young, brilliant, and bold. They set out to conquer the world. But the world had other plans for them.
Bestselling author Susan Jane Gilman's new memoir is a hilarious and harrowing journey, a modern heart of darkness filled with Communist operatives, backpackers, and pancakes.
In 1986, fresh out of college, Gilman and her friend Claire yearned to do something daring and original that did not involve getting a job. Inspired by a place mat at the International House of Pancakes, they decided to embark on an ambitious trip around the globe, starting in the People's Republic of China. At that point, China had been open to independent travelers for roughly ten minutes.
Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche, an astrological love guide, and an arsenal of bravado, the two friends plunged into the dusty streets of Shanghai. Unsurprisingly, they quickly found themselves in over their heads. As they ventured off the map deep into Chinese territory, they were stripped of everything familiar and forced to confront their limitations amid culture shock and government surveillance. What began as a journey full of humor, eroticism, and enlightenment grew increasingly sinister-becoming a real-life international thriller that transformed them forever.
Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is a flat-out page-turner, an astonishing true story of hubris and redemption told with Gilman's trademark compassion, lyricism, and wit."
I am a big fan of memoirs. I just enjoy reading about other people's lives, especially those who live very interesting ones! Susan Jane Gilman's memoir is very funny and one of the most engaging that I have read.
Her adventures traveling the world with her friend were extremly entertaining and expertly described. I could completely picture everything that was happening, even images that I would rather not see!
UNDRESS ME IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN is a very memorable book and I wish that there were more out there like it!