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Apologies Forthcoming Paperback – May 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The tones of the stories range from intense passion to distant indifference. This disparity seems to work well with the characters as it clearly shows the impact of the atrocities that occurred during the revolution. The passion is evident in Shanzi, a young city insert sent into the country, in "Disciple of the Masses." Cloaked in the naive passion of the cause, she seems often unaware of the direness of her situation.
Indifference proves shocking in "Watch the Thrill," as Eberlein tells the story of two young boys in the midst of national turmoil. Within the limitations of the Cultural Revolution, the boys find themselves bored and looking for excitement. A horrific event occurs before their eyes. What is shocking is not so much the event itself (as it appears to be a common occurrence during the revolution), but the shear indifference of one of the boys to the pain of a young man from their neighborhood who is headed for his death.
Eberlein reveals the challenges of relationships during era of the Cultural Revolution in the connecting tales, "Pivot Point" and "The Randomness of Love.Read more ›
The stories in the book (my favorite is "Disciple of the Masses") reveal important features of life in China during a time of great upheaval that shattered many families. But even in turbulence, young people came of age, developed attachments, and learned that what they were taught was not always right. For the reader unfamiliar with China, these tales will still resonate because the narratives ring true.
While the setting and details are credible and precise, the language of the stories is occasionally, to my ear, somewhat awkward. Paradoxically, however, this awkwardness only adds to the writer's authority, because the rhythm and vocabulary serve to underscore the collection's Chineseness. And it is that Chineseness--the transport to a time and place that is so unfamiliar to most readers--that makes Apologies Forthcoming a special book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The words are riveting but unpretentious. The sex is guileless but fervent. The works are timeless but real. The author is destined for distinction.Published on March 19, 2014 by YZ
A powerful collection of stories taking place during and after the Cultural Revolution in China. Intimate, melancholy, comic, sensuous, the stories cover a broad range: the... Read morePublished on March 8, 2012 by Lost In a Book
I can only comment on the craft of XuJun's writing, for others have already made excellent informational explanations about the content of these riveting stories. Read morePublished on June 8, 2011 by cyn cason
It may be a cliche to say it (and I'm loathe to use cliches), but it's inescapably true that once you start reading this story collection you cannot put it down until you're... Read morePublished on April 9, 2009 by A. Ray Norsworthy
An approximate quote from the book:
When dealing with people "proceed gingerly and think three times before speaking"
This is a quick review; it has been over two... Read more
Reviewed by John Matthew Fox
Each story in Xujun Eberlein's Apologies Forthcoming is set within or haunted by the Chinese Cultural revolution, invoking the specters of... Read more
Veerrry interesting collection of thought-provoking stories that expose the deep ugliness of Mao's Cultural Revolution. Read morePublished on December 12, 2008 by Linda Austin
One of my pet peeves about Americans is the overuse of the word "awesome" but this is the most fitting word to describe this fresh new author. Read morePublished on October 16, 2008 by NoBooksNoLife
Everyday Chinese life and the Chinese Cultural Revolution clash in Xujun Eberlein's collection of short stories on love and loss. Read morePublished on September 10, 2008 by Story Circle Book Reviews