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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.
This book should be read by anyone interested in modern China.
After living in China for over two years, I found Peter's book to be very insightful to the "Chinese Characteristics" of the Chinese people.
Peter Hessler writes with the perfect combination of clarity, style, and humor that makes any books of his a great read.
Insightful, well-written, and poignant. The author describes his evolution from newbie to experienced, gaining language skills and friends along the way. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Tessa C Bhand
If you want to get insight into the Changing China this is a must read. I read it prior and during a recent 4 week tour and it gave tremendous insight into what I was... Read morePublished 4 days ago by gregg decrane
River Town is a Book about Peter Hessler's experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Fuling, a relatively small city in Sichuan Province, in the late 1990s. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Tobias JS
\ It was written in a manner that made reading the book enjoyable and entertaining. A very well-written book worth reading as it described the joys and problems associated with... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Perry gustafson
Peter Hessler gives great examples of learning a new culture, of being a foreigner in China, of learning the Chinese language and of adapting to situations which are completely... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Chen
This is a well written story about 2 peace corps volunteers in an alien environment, challenging them in many ways. Read morePublished 1 month ago by DB
A fascinating, sympathetic read on the China of 20 years ago.While my views may differ from those of the author he was honest in his presentation of his life in China as a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carol B. White
A little dated now but still a great book for anyone who wants to know what it is like to work and live in China. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cheree