Travels in the Land of Hunger: A backpacker's earthbound journey from the East to the West

· Dragon Bone Books
5 reviews

About this ebook

In the spring of 2004 - after living in Tokyo, Japan, for over three years pursuing a career as a freelance musician - science fiction and fantasy author Domenico Italo Composto-Hart set off on a half-year backpacking journey through the lands of East and Southeast Asia, Siberia, Central Russia, the Baltic states, the Nordic countries, and Eastern and Western Europe.

Traveling by foot, bus, train, and boat - and seeing the world through the analytical lens of anthropology, archaeology, and economics - Domenico documents, researches, and deciphers the developing nations he encounters as they rise through the turbulence of unregulated Western capitalism and globalization.

Travels in the Land of Hunger is the author's reflective account of the dark, long-lasting impact of Western colonialism and imperialism, the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge regime, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the sex tourism and sex trafficking industries in Southeast and East Asia. It is also a narrative of finding exotic beauty, inspiration, inner strength, and unexpected love.

Ratings and reviews

5 reviews
Maze Runner
January 23, 2020
I finished reading this book two weeks ago and still find myself thinking about it. It's a personal journey through Asia that really sticks with you. It's a humorous, adventurous, and very real story of what it's like for a traveler (a backpacker) to face unexpected challenges while also discovering so much beauty in the people of each nation, their culture ... while also grappling with the horrors of labor exploitation by Western and Eastern people and nations over the past few decades. An eye-opening read that just stays with you.
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Jerry Han
April 25, 2020
To be honest, Travels in the Land of Hunger was hard to put down as it had some hard truths, at the same time humble thoughts from the writer, regarding human survival. Domenico goes into a lot of detail while citing his sources on the devastating impacts - social, political, economic - of Western imperialism on the nations of Southeast Asia and China. His accounts of Vietnam during his travels while discussing the horrors of the Vietnam War, such as the inhumane use of Agent Orange and the hundreds of thousands of landmines and unexploded ordnance still buried in the country today, are absolutely eye-opening. In addition, his book exposes the history behind and the role US foreign policy played in the 1960s and 70s in supporting the development of Thailand's sex tourism industry, which has led to rising HIV and AIDS rates throughout the region as well as the rising number of orphaned children born with HIV. You can feel Domenico's anger and rage toward the disgusting exploitation of women and children via the sex trafficking and sex tourism industry that is fed by demand stemming from not only Western men, but men native to the region. It is apparent that the West has not only exploited the resources of Asia, but continues to exploit its women and children, absolutely heartbreaking. Overall, I was able to imagine the writer's surroundings as he traveled. Only once was I not able to figure out what he meant by "Golden Rock" while he was traveling in Myanmar. I googled it and realized that it was the Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma. Overall, I am grateful to all his knowledge shared in the book. Great adventure that I personally was thrilled to be part of as a reader. 5 stars plus.
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About the author

Domenico Italo Compost-Hart is the author of Dark Legacy: Book I - Trinity of The Legacy Cycle series and Travels in the Land of Hunger. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Boston University and lived in Tokyo, Japan, for over three years, pursuing a career as a freelance musician. He currently teaches economics for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme at an international high school. He lives with his wife and sons in Barcelona, Spain.

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