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"Few passengers disembark at Fuling ... and so Fuling appears like a break in a dream--the quiet river, the cabins full of travelers drifting off to sleep, the lights of the city rising from the blackness of the Yangtze," says Hessler. A poor city by Chinese standards, the students at the college are mainly from small villages and are considered very lucky to be continuing their education. As an English teacher, Hessler is delighted with his students' fresh reactions to classic literature. One student says of Hamlet, "I don't admire him and I dislike him. I think he is too sensitive and conservative and selfish." Hessler marvels,
You couldn't have said something like that at Oxford. You couldn't simply say: I don't like Hamlet because I think he's a lousy person. Everything had to be more clever than that ... you had to dismantle it ... not just the play itself but everything that had ever been written about it.Over the course of two years, Hessler and Meier learn more they ever guessed about the lives, dreams, and expectations of the Fuling people.
Hessler's writing is lovely. His observations are evocative, insightful, and often poignant--and just as often, funny. It's a pleasure to read of his (mis)adventures. Hessler returned to the U.S. with a new perspective on modern China and its people. After reading River Town, you'll have one, too. --Dana Van Nest --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Seldom have I read a book whose writing style and story line captivated me so. I am an English teacher in China's Shandong province nearly 20 years after Rivertown, and Peter's... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Kurt Robertson
This was a delightful book. Hessler lived for two years as a Peace Corps English lit instructor in Fuling, China, in the late nineties. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Nemoman
An entertaining, enjoyable book that you don't regret reading is not always the same as a really well-written book that you cherish. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Sarah B
The author was a teacher through the Peace Corp in China in 1996. This is a personal account of his years in China. An inside look at rural China. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Don
Very interesting view of the cultural american and chinese differences. Enjoyable reading.Published 26 days ago by Nidia Ines Albesa Rabi
I was totally fascinated by the subject matter and the author's experiences. However he is a journalist and his writing style reflects that back ground, which does not mean that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Anna Le Pendu
I'm going to China this summer and so this was a good introduction to Chinese culture, acknowledging that he lived in one small part of the country (Fuling). Read morePublished 1 month ago by UU Minister
good description of river life in china before the yantzeit river damPublished 1 month ago by rasputin