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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.
This is a well written story about 2 peace corps volunteers in an alien environment, challenging them in many ways. Read morePublished 8 days 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 9 days 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 21 days ago by Cheree
I couldn't put it down and am looking forward to reading his other novels!!!!Published 25 days ago by S. Lemanski
This book is a good read that gets better the more you read into it. I realized that the better the author became at speaking the Chinese language, the more he conversed with the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tom Erbes
I enjoyed reading about the author's experiences while teaching English in China. What I learned about their culture and ways was very enlightening. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jadaros
It is a wonderful book. As easy to read as if you were there yourself. I was born in a small town myself, by a large river. Not in China but, also far away from the big cities. Read morePublished 1 month ago by O C Perin
What a great experience this author had.Very complete in describing his 2yr experience. He gave a great explanation of his personal life and China's and local history. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kandy L. Scott
It is a very interesting read with a lot of information about China. However, it was sometimes slow moving. Overall it is an enjoyable book.Published 1 month ago by pat smith