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American Shaolin

Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in theNew China

by Matthew Polly

eBook

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Bill Bryson meets Bruce Lee in this raucously funny story of one scrawny American's quest to become a kung fu master at China's legendary Shaolin Temple.

Growing up a ninety-pound weakling tormented by bullies in the schoolyards of Kansas, young Matthew Polly dreamed of one day journeying to the Shaolin Temple in China to become the toughest fighter in the world, like Caine in his favorite 1970s TV series, Kung Fu. While in college, Matthew decided the time had come to pursue this quixotic dream before it was too late. Much to the dismay of his parents, he dropped out of Princeton to spend two years training with the legendary sect of monks who invented kung fu and Zen Buddhism.

Expecting to find an isolated citadel populated by supernatural ascetics that he'd seen in countless badly dubbed chop-socky flicks, Matthew instead discovered a tacky tourist trap run by Communist party hacks. But the dedicated monks still trained in the rigorous age-old fighting forms—some even practicing the “iron kung fu” discipline, in which intensive training can make various body parts virtually indestructible (even the crotch). As Matthew grew in his knowledge of China and kung fu skill, he would come to represent the Temple in challenge matches and international competitions, and ultimately the monks would accept their new American initiate as close to one of their own as any Westerner had ever become.

Laced with humor and illuminated by cultural insight, American Shaolin is an unforgettable coming-of-age tale of one young man's journey into the ancient art of kung fu—and a funny and poignant portrait of a rapidly changing China.


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Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Kindle Book

  • Release date: November 11, 2008

OverDrive Read

  • ISBN: 9781101216842
  • Release date: February 1, 2007

EPUB eBook

  • ISBN: 9781101216842
  • File size: 921 KB
  • Release date: February 1, 2007

PDF eBook

  • ISBN: 9781429508827
  • File size: 1703 KB
  • Release date: November 11, 2008


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1 of 1 copy available

Formats

Kindle Book
OverDrive Read
EPUB eBook
PDF eBook

Languages

English

Bill Bryson meets Bruce Lee in this raucously funny story of one scrawny American's quest to become a kung fu master at China's legendary Shaolin Temple.

Growing up a ninety-pound weakling tormented by bullies in the schoolyards of Kansas, young Matthew Polly dreamed of one day journeying to the Shaolin Temple in China to become the toughest fighter in the world, like Caine in his favorite 1970s TV series, Kung Fu. While in college, Matthew decided the time had come to pursue this quixotic dream before it was too late. Much to the dismay of his parents, he dropped out of Princeton to spend two years training with the legendary sect of monks who invented kung fu and Zen Buddhism.

Expecting to find an isolated citadel populated by supernatural ascetics that he'd seen in countless badly dubbed chop-socky flicks, Matthew instead discovered a tacky tourist trap run by Communist party hacks. But the dedicated monks still trained in the rigorous age-old fighting forms—some even practicing the “iron kung fu” discipline, in which intensive training can make various body parts virtually indestructible (even the crotch). As Matthew grew in his knowledge of China and kung fu skill, he would come to represent the Temple in challenge matches and international competitions, and ultimately the monks would accept their new American initiate as close to one of their own as any Westerner had ever become.

Laced with humor and illuminated by cultural insight, American Shaolin is an unforgettable coming-of-age tale of one young man's journey into the ancient art of kung fu—and a funny and poignant portrait of a rapidly changing China.


Expand title description text
  • Details

    Publisher:
    Penguin Publishing Group

    Kindle Book
    Release date: November 11, 2008

    OverDrive Read
    ISBN: 9781101216842
    Release date: February 1, 2007

    EPUB eBook
    ISBN: 9781101216842
    File size: 921 KB
    Release date: February 1, 2007

    PDF eBook
    ISBN: 9781429508827
    File size: 1703 KB
    Release date: November 11, 2008

  • Creators
  • Formats
    Kindle Book
    OverDrive Read
    EPUB eBook
    PDF eBook
  • Languages
    English
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