Xanadu by John Man Bantam Books HK$117 Just as Xanadu fired the opium-laced imagination of Coleridge, the 'stately pleasure dome' has drawn John Man to write a book about Marco Polo that shows how that dome, round like a Mongolian ger (a white, circular, felt-lined tent), might have looked, with long bamboo 'tiles' spanning from the open central hole, supported by pillars and held down by silken cords. Man takes Polo's (often unreliable) writings and determines, on foot and through research, that the 13th-century merchant did travel from Venice to China, where he met Kublai Khan, Genghis' grandson, and return home decades later to write a mostly factual travel book. Man addresses the many omissions in Polo's writing, including the fact it doesn't mention the Great Wall or the practice of foot-binding, but comments: 'There is much, if highly selective, truth in what Marco writes.' There was also deception, however, with Polo having described places he did not visit. Man includes in his book a claim by someone claiming to be the Venetian's only surviving descendant that Polo had a concubine. If ever a good film is made about Polo, he writes, Mei Li, his lover, will have a starring role.