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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.
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 8 days ago by UU Minister
good description of river life in china before the yantzeit river damPublished 10 days ago by rasputin
Powerful writing that presents a remarkable view of teaching English in a rural river town.Published 17 days ago by sally f fitch
Wonderful, wonderful book. Our family bought this book before we went on a vacation to China. But I recommend it to everyone. It is beautifully written and very insightful. Read morePublished 1 month ago by sjw
The book is in relatively good condition. nice for the money paid for itPublished 1 month ago by Yin
written by a national geographic author. It's an account of his own personal experience. This is a good expose of cultural china, of how a stranger relates in the hingterlands.Published 1 month ago by anne
I read this for my Eastern Civ. class and actually really enjoyed it. It's humorous at times, unpredictable at others, and gives a clear view of the people and culture he... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nylad Mazzic
Great personal story without being too sentimental, self conscious or preachy. I learned a lot about China. Really good travel literature. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Cannon