Very fine view of the Chinese in the period described but a slow read. The authors ego was very apparent in this book but the vividness of his descriptions of his trips and what he saw made me feel I was there.
One of my favorite books on China. The story of a young male Peace Corp worker who was sent to China for two years to teach english. I appreciated his sensitivity for his job and his descriptions of his life and the town he was in.
Thoughtful and interesting book about Hessler's 2 years teaching English in Fuling, China as a Peace Corps volunteer. As one of the first foreigners to live in Fuling, he writes about Chinese culture from an unusual and interesting vantage point.
Excellent book depicting life on the Yangtze River during the time that the Chinese government was displacing massive numbers of families from its banks in preparation for the opening of the new dam. The political messages given the people as depicted in book seemed very realistic. I have since been to China and things have changed, but at the time this was written, our guides said things were much as described in the book. Many of the cultural references were still very much true and gave insight into the people of rural China.
Hessler teaches much about China without getting dry or dull; Hessler's time in China comes off neither aloof nor pretentious and his narration is second to none. This is a very engaging and fast read. Doesn't necessarily make one want to visit China but certainly allows vicarious appreciation of the party structure, social problems, and the way individuals in rural China view the world. Well done.
I really enjoyed this book. I have always admired Hessler's writing and never been disappointed by any of his books, and I've read almost every one.
We have traveled to China twenty (yes, 20) times - so far, and have found the people and culture to be fascinating. We were in China, cruising on the Yangtze river before there was a dam, when they were in the midst of building the dam and yet again when the dam was completed. The Chinese government lied constantly about how many people were going to be displaced because of the dam. Their numbers were off by several millions and one of the saddest things was that they took people who for generations knew nothing about anything but working the land, and who had never even seen a toilet and sent them to little apartments in the city where they were at a total loss.
Peter Hessler has a great appreciation for and understanding of China. As much as we have learned from our travels and from friends we've made there, we have always learned something new from his books. He is hungry to learn about his subjects and is an excellent writer. His students were also eager to learn.
Very interesting story. In the heart of China's Sichuan province lies the remote town of Fuling. Peter arrives as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the town had an American resident. He teaches English and American Lit at the local college, but he learned so much more from his students. The complex process of understanding a radically different society.