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Tea Time with Terrorists: A Motorcycle Journey into the Heart of Sri Lanka's Civil War Paperback – Apr 27 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (April 27 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762759
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #458,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A cocktail of insight, introspection, and adventure May 4 2010
By Kim Pallister - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
[cross posted from my blog]

Finding himself in Europe when 9-11 happened, Meadows watched from the outside as our government and media conjured up a boogie-man of 'terrorist' that quickly took on a hype beyond even the events of that day. Questioning what he was being told to fear, and feeling that the best way to deal with fear of the unknown is to make it known, he decided to spend some time meeting some terrorists and finding out what makes them, well I suppose 'tick' is a poor choice of word.

After a little research he settled on Sri Lanka as his petri dish, flew down to the tourist capital Colombo, rented a motorcycle and headed north to the home of the Tamil Tigers and what has essentially been a war zone for ~30 years. The Tamil Tigers having the unique distinction of having invented suicide bombing and exporting that to other terrorist organizations.

Thus begins a very unique travelogue. It's part introspective, part narrative. A look at the horrors people can commit, and the beauty that people can find in living their lives despite this.

Mark comes off as two parts Indy Jones (playing motorcycle bullfighter with trucks, getting escorts at gunpoint, etc) and one part Mr Magoo (leaving the road to investigate a bombed out tank, only to realized he'd wandered to the middle of a minefield).

All the while he approaches his adventures with the type of drink-heartily-of-life gusto to which we should all aspire.

If you are looking for an insight into the mind of a terrorist (he meets and interviews several), a portrait of a beautiful country, or a great story of travel and adventure, this book is for you. It delivers on all three counts.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A new Patrick Leigh Fermor & Burton Holmes Oct. 20 2010
By Asmodean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mark Stephen Meadows is not a man of our times. In this incredible lucid, moving, and sympathetic book captures the very best of the world's great travel writers. Less an accounting of a journalists journey, "Tea Time with Terrorists" is a travelogue which captures the haunting shadows of the greatest literary travel writers, Burton Holmes & Patrick Leigh Fermor, and shows that there is still adventure to be had in the world.

Meadows shows us with an anthropologists sensitivity an exclusive inside look at the decades long struggle which has torn apart Sri Lanka and made international headlines. The book goes into the very soul of the issues at hand by interviewing Sri Lankans who have been deeply engaged in the conflict and understanding the impact on real people.

A highly readable and delicious adventure, "Tea Time with Terrorists" will elucidate you, inspire you, and take you on a road trip you couldn't have imagined. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in real life literature and travel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Tea time with Terrorsts - a review Jan. 1 2014
By Abhaya Premawardena - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected this book to be a good travel journal in the minimum or an authoritative book with discussions with important players during the civil war . it is neither . The reader is left guessing when this tour happened as there is very little of a timeline given and to the best of my guess it should have happened between 2002 and 2004 . The country that he speaks of or the groups he speaks of no longer exists in a metaphorical sense . While it makes a funny read at times it is quite historically inaccurate , most likely because the writer did not follow the events on the ground other than form afaronce he left . He tries to relate the Sri Lankan experience to the American war on terror and the war on drugs and actually does a terrible job of that ,. The payers that he manages to interview as at best marginal actors who have no real significance in the actual theater . He does not manage an interview with any actual LTTE high rank carders or any important players in the Govt .

One of the good parts I enjoyed was the part about taming the elephant , I have also heard the same story during my childhod in Sri Lanka.

It leads me to to say the same thing that his French wife had to say when he undertook the journey "How very American of you"
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Seeing with open eyes Aug. 24 2010
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tea Time with Terrorists crushes our stereotypes and causes us to ask ourselves the hard questions. What is a terrorist really? What do they want? And more importantly, how should we respond to such activity in order to create a world that we really want to live in. Mark Meadow's choice of Sri Lanka is brilliant, both because of the root relationship of the Tamil struggle to terrorist activity worldwide as well as its status as a "neutral" environment to study terrorism free of anti-American sentiment. The narrative is not about "dangerous tourism," rather it is about a man seeking answers to important questions, which is always a dangerous activity.
Good introduction to civil war in Sri Lanka May 30 2014
By Travis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too often in the Western world, we can be ignorant of the turmoil that plagues other countries. This book helped me dive into the civil war that wrecked Sri Lanka for the past half century. Although sometimes candid in his take on the trouble that the Tamil Tigers, the author really sought to unearth the reasons behind the actions of terrorists in this South Asian island. If you know little about Sri Lanka, this book is a helpful introduction to its recent history and culture.


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