Books that change your life ”One More Ride on the Merry-go-round” by Tiziano Terzani


By Alessandro Carosi

Everyone had read books we enjoyed so much we couldn’t stop reading  even they had millions of pages, books that changed the way we perceive  life, books that changed our life completely

In my case

”1984” by George Orwell changed the way I believed and perceived  life

”The lord of the rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien or ”The stand” by Stephen King had been so great that I couldn’t stop reading it even they were huge with thousands of pages and when finished I wished the writers to have written more of the stories

”Many lives, Many Masters” by Brian Weiss,”The secret” by Rhonda Byrne,”The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle changed my life, changed it in a way I would never think possible

”A return to love” by Marianne Williamson and ”Bhagavad Gita” a 700 verse Hindu scripture arrived to me in the most beautiful and fascinating way

”One More Ride on the Merry-go-round” by Tiziano Terzani  gave me back the enthusiasm and motivation to enjoy life again when i was going down the hill emotionally and thanks to this book if i restarted to travel,started this blog and realized that all the adventures and amazing experiences i had,the wisdom i gained from my life lessons would be even greater if shared with others giving them the chance to learn from my life experience,reading this book and then others of Tiziano Terzani i came to the conclusions that life is pointless if we reach the top without bring with us others,it would be wonderful if in this lifetime i would become rich,famous,happier but i believe now more then ever that would be even better if i could help other people to reach their  goals that is the same for the most of us,a happier life,this is the reason of this blog,i’m not rich or famous,not yet 🙂 but in all those years living,working,travelling around the world i had important life lessons that helped me,helping me and will help me in the future to overcome challenges and make my life easier and happier so now i want to share it with other people to help them to overcome their life challenges and be happier,reading Tiziano Terzani books and then thinking about all the other books i had read in the past i understood that if those people wouldn’t share their life experiences i wouldn’t have the chance to read it and i wouldn’t change,since when i started this blog and started to share my life experiences knowing that other people will be helped i feel like reborn,i feel motivated again,i want to experience life more deeply spiritually and emotionally,i want to see the rest of the world again,have more adventures,life experiences and learnings so to gain more wisdom to share with other people,In the past i heard about Tiziano Terzani many times and sometime I thought about read something of him but never happened,maybe wasn’t the time but it is now and probably wasn’t a coincidence that years ago in New Zealand i found in my hard drive a mp3 file with an interview to Tiziano Terzani called ”Anam” where he talked about this book,and probably wasn’t a coincidence that last year i decided to actually read the book,whatever is the reason i’m glad i came to the point to know more about him cause its changing the way i perceive life and giving me a life purpose,it made me understand that in life you really win only when you help other people to win too

I would recommend to everyone to read Tiziano Terzani books, they are written wonderfully and gives you the feeling to be not just with him around the world but to want to live the same kind of life he had

One More Ride on the Merry-Go-Round

When he is diagnosed with cancer, in the silence of the hospital room broken only by the swish of cars outside, Italian writer Tiziano Terzani realizes that his whole life has been one long ride on a merry-go-round where he has always journeyed without a ticket. Now, for the first time, the ticket collector has come to demand his dues. At first, Terzani turns to Western medicine for a cure, but a question soon begins to haunt him: is cancer, as the doctors say, an enemy that needs to be destroyed, or is it a friend one can talk to? Travelling had always been a way of life for him, so he decides to make another trip, in search of a solution – to India. This final ride turns out to be very different though. And more difficult. Because every step, every choice – often between reason and faith, between science and magic – is inextricably linked to his own survival. As he crisscrosses the country from an ashram in Coimbatore to a hut in Almora, the external journey in search of a cure transforms into an inner journey and a return to the divine roots of man. Then, one day, as he looks at the sun rising over the mountains, he stumbles upon the one truth that has eluded him: death is as desirable and eternal as life itself. A bestseller in Europe, this is a book about modern medicine and alternative cures, and the quest to understand the true meaning of mortality.

More about him from Wikipedia

Tiziano Terzani
Born 14 September 1938
Florence, Italy
Died 28 July 2004 (aged 65)
Orsigna, Italy
Nationality Italian
Years active 1965–2003

Tiziano Terzani (Italian: [titˈtsjaːno terˈtsaːni]; 14 September 1938 – 28 July 2004) was an Italian journalist and writer, best known for his extensive knowledge of 20th century East Asia and for being one of the very few western reporters to witness both the fall of Saigon to the hands of the Viet Cong and the fall of Phnom Penh at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1970s.

Early life

Terzani was born in Florence to poor working class parents. He attended the University of Pisa as a law student and studied at the prestigious Collegio Medico-Giuridico of the Scuola Normale Superiore, which today is Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. After graduating, he worked for Olivetti, the office equipment producer. In 1965 he went on a business trip to Japan. This was his first contact with Asia and his first step towards his decision to change his life radically and explore Asia. During these years he again began writing for l’Astrolabio. He then resigned from Olivetti and moved to Columbia University in order to study Chinese language and culture.

Career as a journalist

After a first stint as journalist within Il Giorno, in 1971 he moved to Singapore as a reporter, with his German-descent wife, Angela Staude, and their two small children, as the Asian correspondent for the German weekly Der Spiegel. He then offered his collaboration to the Italian daily newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica. In the meantime, on a semi-secret level, he sent regular information about East Asian politics to the Banca Commerciale Italiana, which was headed by Raffaele Mattioli.

Terzani knew much about the historical and political background of Asia, but had also a deep interest in the philosophical aspects of Asian culture. Though an unbeliever, he always looked in his journeys for the spiritual aspects of the countries he was visiting. He lived for years at a time in Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and New Delhi. His stay in Beijing came to an end when he was arrested and expelled from the country for “counter-revolutionary activities”. Based on his experiences, he wrote La Porta Proibita (Behind The Forbidden Door), a highly critical book about post-Maoist China. While staying in Hong Kong working as a journalist, he had a name in Chinese, 鄧天諾 (Deng Tiannuo) (meaning: “heavenly/godly promise”). He stopped using this name after an unpleasant incident in China in 1984.

Books and essays

Terzani’s experiences in Asia are described in articles and essays in newspapers, as well as in the several books that he wrote. In his first book, Pelle di leopardo (Leopard Hide) (1973), he describes the last phases of the Vietnam War. The following recount, Giai Phong! The Fall and Liberation of Saigon tells about the takeover of Vietnam’s capital by the Vietcong and the scramble of the last westerners to escape with American helicopters; he stayed there for some time and witnessed the changes. Two years later he would face death when trying to document the new “Democratic Kampuchea“: the Khmer Rouge tried to execute him after his arrival in the border town of Poipet, and he saved his life only by his knowledge of the Chinese language. In what is perhaps his most well-known book, Un indovino mi disse (A Fortune-Teller Told Me), Terzani describes his travels across Asia by land and sea following the advice and warning from a fortune teller in Hong Kong that he must avoid airplanes for the whole year of 1993. One chapter of the book is entirely dedicated to Ferdynand Ossendowski, Polish traveller. Ryszard Kapuściński wrote about this book “A great book written in the best traditions of literary journalism… profound, rich and reflective”. Kapuściński and Terzani shared the same vision of journalism. [1] After 9/11 he wrote Lettere contro la guerra (Letters Against the War). The book was born as a response to the anti-Islamic invectives published by the Italian journalist and author Oriana Fallaci on the daily Il Corriere della Sera on 29 September 2001.

Final work and death

In his last book Un altro giro di giostra (One More Ride on the Merry-go-round), in 2001, Terzani deals with his illness, a stomach cancer which eventually led to his death in 2004, but not before he had travelled and searched through countries and civilizations, looking for a cure and for a new vision of life. A short excerpt from his book: “…after a while, the goal of my journey was not the cure for my cancer anymore, but for the sickness which affects all of us: mortality” Terzani spent the early 2000s in confinement on the mountainous Himalayas region, in a small hut that he rented in order to meditate and work on his books. He only seldom visited his family in Italy, but had to desist from his isolation when his sickness advanced too much. He returned to Italy, spending the last months of his life with his wife and grown son in Orsigna, a little village in the Apennine Mountains in the province of Pistoia that he considered “his true, last love”.

Terzani died on 28 July 2004, aged 65. His last memories are recorded in an interview for Italian television entitled “Anam”, an Indian word that literally means “the one with no name”, an appellative he gained during an experience in an ashram in India.

Legacy and Biopic

His testament-book La fine è il mio inizio (The End Is My Beginning), co-authored with his son Folco, was published posthumously in March 2006 and sold 400,000 copies in 4 months. Its New Age theme has been attacked by Roman Catholic sources such as the newspaper Avvenire[2] However, Terzani in Un altro giro di giostra is skeptical about the New Age.

His books are being translated into many languages: German, French, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Turkish, Slovenian, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian and by publishers from India (English), Thailand (English), Brazil (Portuguese) and Argentina (Spanish).

The movie The End Is My Beginning was based on the book of the same name, depicting his last days (summer 2004, when he succumbed to cancer), when he is narrating to his son Folco the adventures of his life, his travels, and his philosophical views on life and death.[1] The role of the ailing, retired Terzani, now living in the mountains of Tuscany dressed and groomed just like an Indian sadhu, is played by Swiss-German actor Bruno Ganz and that of his son by Italian actor Elio Germano.[2] The movie, an art-house German-Italian production, was not expected to be a blockbuster but received positive reviews in the European press.

Books published in English

  • Giai Phong! The Fall and Liberation of Saigon (Giai Phong! La liberazione di Saigon, 1976, reprinted also in Thailand in 1997 as Saigon 1975: Three Days and Three Months)
  • Behind The Forbidden Door: Travels in Unknown China (La porta proibita, 1985)
  • Goodnight, Mr Lenin: A Journey Through the End of the Soviet Empire (Buonanotte, signor Lenin, 1993)
  • A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earth-bound Travels in the Far East (Un indovino mi disse, 1997)
  • Letters Against the War (Lettere contro la guerra, 2002)
  • One More Ride on the Merry-Go-Round (Un altro giro di giostra, 2016)

Books published in Italian

  • Pelle di leopardo. Diario vietnamita di un corrispondente di guerra 1972-1973, 1973
  • Giai Phong! La liberazione di Saigon (Giai Phon! The Liberation of Saigon), 1976
  • La porta proibita (The Forbidden Door), 1984
  • Buonanotte, signor Lenin (Goodnight Mr Lenin), 1992
  • Un indovino mi disse (A Fortune Teller Told Me), 1995
  • In Asia (Asia), 1998
  • Lettere contro la guerra (Letters Against The War), 2002
  • Un altro giro di giostra (One More Ride on the Merry-Go-Round), 2004
  • La fine è il mio inizio (The End Is My Beginning), 2006
  • Fantasmi: dispacci dalla Cambogia (Ghosts: Despatch from Cambogia), 2008
  • Un’idea di destino: Diari di una vita straordinaria (An Idea of Destiny: Diaries of an Extraordinary Life), 2014


  1. Jump up^ Mara Amorevoli (2009-08-27). “Ganz to play Terzani (in Italian)”La Repubblica. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
  2. Jump up^ The End Is My Beginning on IMDb

External links



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