Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
A fine book, but not perfect
on October 1, 2012
This is an excellent book, well researched and, most importantly, very well written. It manages to take arcane material, including what could become boring statistical data, and make it flow, keeping the reader engrossed. The author has created a narrative that spans thousands of years, and it reads like a very well written magazine article, fast-paced and filled with anecdotes and human characters that give the book a human feel. It is a fast and satisfying read. It is to the author's credit that he was able to secure interviews with prostitutes and pimps and ordinary people to humanize the material.
My one gripe is that he tells us quite sensibly in the introduction that it is impossible to draw neat and tidy conclusions about China's sexual revolution and where it is headed. Then, in the afterward, that is exactly what he tries to do, somewhat awkwardly. It's obvious he is trying to wrap it all up and come to an optimistic conclusion, but this seems forced, as though the author isn't sure himself whether he believes his own predictions. It's the one issue I had with the book. But that's a minor criticism, though I found it enough to lower my rating from 5 to 4 stars. The book is solid, and as far as I know there is no other book like it. Well worth the low price.