Mr. China by Tim Clissold claims to be an adventurous story of a Englishman going to China to make an easy fortune and getting swamped in an ancient and mysterious culture before emerging Phoenix-like as a bridge between the East and West. However, to me it read more like a story of a guy with a stressful job trying to figure out hat to do, and it just so happened to be in China.
I wish Clissold had focused on China as an exploding economy more and as an opportunity to buy companies less. The wheeling and dealing stories Clissold focuses so much of the book on read like a diary where he is complaining about how mean his boss is, how tiring travelling for business is, and how deceptive Chinese businesses are. This is a real shame, China in the early nineties was an economy in real transition but Clissold doesn’t do more than scratch the surface of how China was transitioning.
As someone interested in China I don’t feel as though this book has much to offer, but if I was more interested in the business world, especially international businesses or M&A work I would find this story much more compelling as a down and dirty look in one of the great opportunities of our time.