❰BOOKS❯ ✬ The Blind Masseuse Author Alden Jones – Motyourdrive.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Blind Masseuse

  1. says:

    For an actual traveler, this book has little to offer There is nothing new, unusual or eye opening Right at the intro the author points out the distinction between a traveler and a tourist which to me is already quite a bit snobby So you would think she wouldn t act as a tourist in the book, yet the majority of her experiences are of a tourist I suspect the author just took a bunch of travel blog entries and turned them into a book Not to say this can t be done, but if I spend my time with a book, I expect it to be better quality than just a blog This one wasn t.


  2. says:

    A beautifully written memoir that explores much than even the exotic locations she visits, like Costa Rica, Cuba and Cambodia Alden Jones gives us clever and delightful insights about culture, travel, love and life, allowing readers to experience the thrill of being a true and courageous traveler, great for those reluctant to travel much further than getting off the couch But don t read it because it s wonderful travel writing read it because it s a fun, entertaining and beautiful journey.


  3. says:

    Mar reviews The Blind Masseuse by Alden Jones Alden Jones the Tourist is dying for a Coca Cola while Alden Jones the Traveler is rejecting such a desire on principle This is the premise of the third story in Alden Jones s travel memoir, The Blind Masseuse With hilarity and great introspection, this memoir tells of Jones s travels to countries including Costa Rica, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Cambodia, and Burma However, rather than telling tales of wrestling crocodiles or riding elephants, Jones dives into the cultural implications of traveling especially as an educated white woman from New Jersey Throughout the book, Jones is conflicted between giving into the side of her who wants to enjoy the luxury she can afford and falling into the trap of turning a blind eye to her privilege She deliberates the subtleties between the two roles how the Traveler in her thinks critically about the role her background plays in the way she views a foreign country while the Tourist in her falls into traps of exoticizing the places she travels to.Just a heads up Mar is hella biased because Alden was her thesis advisor.Despite what the title might leave you to believe, this book ignites a desire to analyze one s own views of other cultures In fact, after reading the book the title resonates in a deeper sense than relating to the section where Jones tells of a massage she received from a blind man in Costa Rica Jones herself acts as a masseuse to the places she explores, trying to dig into the depths and nuances of these cultures She works to be blind of her biases and the privilege she comes from while also trying to sustain consciousness of the aspects of life in these countries that the Tourist side of her would overlook.Have no fear, dear friends This gets gay.Towards the middle of the book page 81 to be specific , ladies and gents and beautiful blobs of nonbinary genders, is where the gay comes in rubs hands together and laughs maniacally Why not fall in love with someone terrified of attachment, socially incompatible with me, and very, very young Maybe I don t know a girl That would certainly slow my progress toward a conventional adulthood.That was what I did I just want to pause and remind you that this is a work of nonfiction and therefore does not stoop to using harmful tropes like Burying Your Gay or the Lesbian Death Syndrome On the contrary, one story in this memoir tells the story of how she met her wife And it will have you squeeing from cuteness overload.Jones does not claim a label for her sexual orientation, a decision I am certain was deliberate And this book is a perfect example to shove in the face of cishets when they ask, Why does everything have to be about being gay This book isn t It isn t a tale of the struggle of discovering one s queerness or coming out It is an exploration of self and the world, particularly the relationship between the two.The Blind Masseuse was named a Top Ten Travel Book by Publishers Weekly and her collection of short stories titled Unaccompanied Minors was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award She currently teaches at Emerson College in Boston, MA and is the cofounder of the Cuba Writers Program.Pros quick read 180 pages , insights into the effect privilege has on traveling, happy ending Cons only 180 pages, 5 5 unicorns


  4. says:

    It is a rare book indeed that not only energizes readers into immediately packing suitcases for lands unknown, but also requires us to ask the deeper questions, as Jones does here Is there something suspicious about my desire to briefly inhabit other cultures Similar to Paul Bowles and Sybille Bedford, Jones poses to herself, and to us, the iceberg question Is there a right way and a wrong way to travel Handling an exploration into the realm of exoticism is akin to walking on a wavering bamboo bridge across a roaring gorge On the one hand there is our desire as travelers to traverse the unknown on the other, a realization that by doing so we are indeed making it less so Or as Jones, who plays wonderfully with words in this terrific collection of essays, puts it The exoticist chases this feeling the sense you are part of the very thing that once excited you for its inaccessibility After Spain I sought out new foreign charms But I wanted an experience that was foreign italics The charm of the unfamiliar need not always involve glamour it might be the shock of the unfamiliar, even a scandalized reaction to the unfamiliar And the unfamiliar is what Jones gives us Whether it is her quiet description of the bijou moment when she waits out a rainstorm under the palace roof in Cambodia with two monks and all three of them have finally run out of things to say and they stood there close together breathing in the wet air, or when she takes on the secretive Cuban participation in the Angola war, not writ large, but from the unrelenting lens of her dear tour guide, eventual friend, Darwin, who was permitted to leave Cuba only once, to fight in that war, Jones captivates us with the joys of traveling but also the searing knowledge of what we learn as travelers not tourists about the cultures and the land, yes, but movingly and unforgettably, about the people themselves Jones never flinches either as she turns her camera on herself, including one of those scandalous reaction scenes where caught up with taking a photograph of three naked boys, she races after them as they try to get away, and when they finally stop, continues to snap her photos.But this collection is far from all sturm und drang In addition to her terrific storytelling, Jones has a wicked sense of humor, which she is than likely to turn on herself, always the sign of a reliable narrator Whether she is making fun of her addiction to the hobble skirt bottle d Coke while in Bolivia, or her shop till you drop scenes in local Southeast Asian markets, all of it is part of her self exploration of what it means to be a traveler To be or not to be an exoticist That is the question This book makes us ask ourselves that as we pack our next suitcase It s a great question and a great book that encourages us to ask that.


  5. says:

    Are you a traveler or a tourist Do you seek out the exotic or search for all the comforts of home in your travels Those are some of the philosophical and practical questions that percolate up through the pages of this wonderful travel memoir A new generation of traveler, Alden Jones learned to balance her desire for distant places with the reality of making a living The memoir follows her travels around the globe from WorldTeach volunteer, right out of college, to full fledged professor of English and cultural studies Witty and wise, she kept me entertained and curious about life in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, and then on to Asia Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam The section on Cambodia is particularly well done, and no one should miss her open letter to Gustav Flaubert about his exploits in Egypt It s a knockout.


  6. says:

    A collection of well written essays about journeys to 3rd world nations by an intrepid female traveler The essays are each independent but linked by the personality of the author and the readers knowledge of past travels already read about in earlier essays of the same volume The overriding theme is travel that takes the traveler to unexpected experiences, the value of blending into the surrounding culture, and getting to know the everyday people along the way Later essays highlight her relationship with a new and powerful digital camera a double edged sword , her travels with Semester at Sea as a teacher, and her growing relationship with another woman instructor Delightful and insightful


  7. says:

    Truth be told I was expecting some from this book Don t get me wrong I think it does its job but it was not what I was expecting I didn t read the number of pages it had I got a digital copy but that would ve been a signal that it wasn t going to be as deep as I was hoping for I though it was going to be a book where she spends years on a country from top to bottom or something like that Feels superficial like a traveler s blog not that that s a bad thingYou can read this book in a breeze so it has that Not very interesting in my opinion but I respect the author 100% and I would love to travel at least a fraction of what she did


  8. says:

    One of the better travel books I ve read recently Similar to others in the sense that it is written by someone from a privileged background, but Jones is at least very aware of this and reflects on some of her own questionable actions like taking pictures without the consent of others as a traveler Throughout the book, she weaves in discussions of being a tourist versus a traveler Ultimately, it s difficult for anyone from her background and that of many Americans to become completely of another culture Interesting and thought provoking reflections Also very well written.


  9. says:

    The Blind Masseuse is a well crafted travel memoir, but the book is also a deeper reflection on culture, travel, and tourism, and how those concepts intersect and conflict But that somewhat scientific explanation of the book s themes hardly do it justice One of my favorite quotes comes early on in the book and set the tone as I hurried through the pages While tourists spend their time away from home seeking out the comforts of home, travelers risk even cultivate discomfort, because what they want is the thrill of a new perspective That sentence stopped me in my tracks Am I a tourist Or am I a traveler As I followed Jones trips around the world, which she admittedly makes both as a traveler and as a tourist, I kept returning to that question And perhaps that s why the book was so compelling Certainly Jones writing style is engaging, and her travel adventures are at times humorous and at times poignant, but what sets this book apart from other travel memoirs is that it kept me thinking not only about the adventures of the narrator, but also about the larger context in which we explore our world and in which I explore the world Note And I m not raving about the book because I received a pre release copy I ve received many free books over the years, and if they re horrible, I either don t post a review or I tell it straight that the book was no good This book was truly good.


  10. says:

    This is an interesting read that explores one writer s journey across different countries I love how Jones brings up the discussion of being a traveler versus a tourist, and her difficulty in juggling those two mindsets However, since she introduced that there is a right way to travel from early on, I thought she would have had a conclusive ending to her memoir.I also thought that Jones brought to light some interesting facts and cultural experiences, particularly with the Latin countries There were some aspects I wished she explored , though just like there are probably sights within countries that I would want to visit if I were actually going in person Through her lens, though, I only got to experience a country in very customized chunks I did like the memoir portion, though, and how Jone reveals her own thinking and growth throughout her travels.


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The Blind Masseuse download The Blind Masseuse , read online The Blind Masseuse , kindle ebook The Blind Masseuse , The Blind Masseuse 886d8012c006 Through Personal Journeys Both Interior And Across The Globe, Alden Jones Investigates What Motivates Us To Travel Abroad In Search Of The Unfamiliar By Way Of Explorations To Costa Rica, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Burma, Cambodia, Egypt, And Around The World On A Ship, Jones Chronicles Her Experience As A Young American Traveler While Pondering Her Role As An Outsider In The Cultures She Temporarily Inhabits Her Wanderlust Fuels A Strong, High Adventure Story And, Much In The Vein Of Classic Travel Literature, Jones S Picaresque Tale Of Personal Evolution Informs Her Own Transitions, Rites Of Passage, And Understandings Of Her Place As A Citizen Of The World With Sharp Insight And Stylish Prose, Jones Asks Is There A Right Or Wrong Way To Travel The Blind Masseuse Concludes That There Is, But That It S Not Always Black And White Gold Winner For Travel Essays, Foreword Books Of The Year Gold Medal For Travel Essays, Independent Publisher Book Awards Winner, Bisexual Book Awards, Bisexual Biography Memoir Category Finalist, Housatonic Book Awards Longlist Of Eight, PEN Diamonstein Spielvogel Award For The Art Of The Essay Finalist, Travel Book Or Guide Award, North American Travel Journalists Association