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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Chinese Railways by RichB on 11 January 2003 3:22pm
After picking up '80 Days' for a quick read this morning, I turned to the section where Michael meets up with Basil and read " ..we have for many years intended to do a book together on Chinese Railways." Unless I'm mistaken Michael has yet to do such a journey.

Having done 2 programmes for the Great Railway Journeys series already, the BBC may be happy to commission Michael to do a journey round China. I don't know the full extent of the Chinese railway system but if it doesn't give enough scope for a series it could well provide a stunning one off journey.

Would anyone about to meet Michael in Australia care to remind him of the book he always intended to write and seeing as he's in negotiations with the BBC about a new journey maybe we will see him in China soon.
Re: Chinese Railways by parapetetically on 11 January 2003 3:54pm
To RichB: It's funny you should mention the new novel. In Washington, D.C., more than 2 years ago, he said he was anxious to write another, but that he was "putting it on the back burner" until after his next project (Sahara). It will surprise me if he has time to write another before his next journey, which is under consideration already by BBC. And THAT will take major time for which to prepare. Unless the major themes of a novel are already in place and outlines are written, I can't see one being squeezed out between journeys. Writing a novel is very time consuming. But I've been waiting for and wondering about his next endeavor myself. Have asked many contacts, but nobody has any information yet. I guess only Michael knows for sure!
Re: Chinese Railways by RichB on 12 January 2003 3:39am
Parapetetically, or can I call you Para? I think you misunderstood my thread. I assumed when Michael said he wanted to write a book with Basil about the Chinese Railway system, it would be based on a journey of some kind, with Basil as photographer, not a novel. As Michael is in talks with the BBC at present, hopefully they will be willing to let him do a 'Great Railway Journey' through China.
Re: Chinese Railways by Hodgelett on 14 January 2003 1:12am
I have been to China twice, travelling by rail on each journey between Shanghai, and either Hongzhou or Souzhou. The first time I went it was dreadful, with plastic green unsculptured seats, ciggarette smoke, music and chickens. As an European looking girl (to them), I was also stared at, disturbingly.
The second time however, was different. The train was a double decker, with soft seats, no smoking and bowls of noodles. I'm afraid the journey would probably be too comfortable for a BBC show. The only possible difficulty could be the language, although the majority of the Chinese can now speak a little English.
One note though: the Yangtze Gorges will be dammed this year, and much of the lower architecture will simply be swallowed by the rising waters.

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