Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
China Underground Paperback – March 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From The New Yorker
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Having lived in Kunming, China from 2002-2004, Mexico found that he really missed China. As he says, "it is hard to imagine a more exciting place than China." With a growing economy and more personal creative freedom, people at every level of Chinese society are changing and growing in ways nobody would have imagined 10 or 20 years ago. So he decided to return and write "about the crazy people I'd met in China and the even crazier people they'd introduced me to."
China Underground takes us from the mountains of Dali, where green marijuana grows freely and is smoked freely by just about everybody, to Linfen, the most polluted city in the world, where everyone wears masks to filter the obvious particles out of the air. He visits with prostitutes (known as chickens), with minority Uighur musicians, with filmmakers, writers, homosexuals (rabbits), and academics.
I must admit that I was at first shocked by the amount of drug use among the younger Chinese. Pot, black hashish, ketamine, cocaine... many are stoned all day every day.Read more ›
>> eloquent story telling, the clarity of his observations and his
>> proficiency in the subtleties of the Chinese language. I was struck by his
>> bravery to travel alone throughout China following leads, exploring the dicey
>> underbelly of an enormous, complex country and exposing his findings.
>> The writings show an avid interest in people's stories, a gift of
>> conversation, a true non-judgemental ( my spell checker is telling me that is not a word) compassion for how people deal with their lot in life.
>> The book was captivating because of the fascinating, real people interviewed and because of Zachary's youthful yet wise reactions to his surroundings. In addition to character descriptions and life situations he fleshed out his studies by writing about their living spaces, food choices, clothing fit and interestingly, brand names of their cigarettes as if that too reflected upon one's character. He sees China as a worldly, yet objective, young outsider, free to express what is often not sanctioned in China. His inclusion of historical contexts was extremely helpful.
His subjects range widely from a Uighur rock guitarist to a role playing gamers to Nigerian drug dealers. Mexico dives beneath the tourist and business worlds and shows a China that is fascinating. Some stories, such as the journalist who broke the blood bank HIV crisis, do not give us hope as he laments the dearth of investigative journalism. Others, like the chapter on the thriving punk rock scene in Wuhan, show us a lively culture that is thriving.
This is a fantastic read, and will introduce you to a China that does not get enough exposure.
I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting and quick read. My bf's Mom recommended this book to me since we are traveling to China together later this year.Published 7 months ago by Dangerboots
Maybe the best book on what life can be like in China. Like Mr. Mexico, I lived in China for several years and couldn't find anything to read that told the story of the actual... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Peyton
I am moving to Shanghai soon and this gave me a different take on China than I have read anywhere else.Published 8 months ago by Lisanne Therese
Great look at the other side of China - - artists and others who share their story about doing just what they want, even in a repressive society. Read morePublished on November 16, 2013 by Chicago Jane
I lived in Shanghai for a year in college in the mid 90's and some of the stories in the book really resonated with what I saw there. Read morePublished on January 31, 2011 by Ericka
This book is written by a very intelligent and articulate young man. It's interesting to note that the author observed all these things while in his 20s and had sense enough to... Read morePublished on September 20, 2010 by Lemas Mitchell
fun and insightful vignettes into moderm chinas cultural and generational clashes. worthy buy as a lghter but still relevant read. Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by Aryeh Kushner
My travel companions and I read this book during our second lengthy travel through China and found it a great complement to what we could see on our own and to Peter Hessler's... Read morePublished on September 20, 2009 by Anca
This firsthand memoir of the author's encounter with the 'new China' and its cultures and characters makes for a key travelogue focusing on contemporary Chinese culture from the... Read morePublished on September 18, 2009 by Midwest Book Review