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Colors of the Mountain Paperback – January 16, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
On the whole I found the narrative to be compelling, the characters memorable and the story quite well structured. If there is a major flaw in the novel it's that the language is sometimes repetitive and awkward--one can intuit that English is obviously not Mr. Chen's native tongue. On the whole, however, this flaw in the end just adds to the charm and mood of the tale far more than it detracts from it.
I bought 5 or 6 copies of this to give out as Christmas gifts this past December and everyone who I gave it to has enjoyed it. You will too.
Like a recession, it is serious when you are unemployed and mild when others are out of work. If you and your family survived without being damaged by the cultural revolution you may think it wasn't all that bad. However, Da Chen's family was almost destroyed by it. It seems that all sides would consider this huge historical event a bit more deeply than it appears they do.
It seems kind of silly that in a country as large as the US or the even larger China one would categorically say what one family could or could not experience based upon some generalized study of the culture. Life is full of oddities and exceptions. The facts are that under Communism there are totalitarian powers given to the party and those are excersized all the way down to individuals and often in petty, vicious and horrible ways.
And to say that because it was Da Chen's grandfather that was the landlord and therefore it wouldn't have affected the author is a very odd criticism given that families, even in the west, carry stigma from outcast ancestors for generations.
It would be great to see verification one way or the other, but in any case it is a powerful story of life as an outcast. It is an easy read that you won't want to put down until you finish it.
I wouldn't worry too much about the negative reviews I've read here. They're just jealous. I bet that person is Han, still trying to stick it to Da after all these years.
"Facts" are more than irrelevant in a book like this. The only important thing is how Da saw his own life at the time. The book succeeds remarkably in this respect. And Da's command of colloquial English is shockingly good. It's quite a feat that he wrote this book in English. If I didn't know he was a born Chinese-speaker, I probably never would've guessed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This should be required reading for mature young people, especially in our privileged society. My eyes were opened regarding life in rural China and the extreme hardships this... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Nurse Kathie
A wonderful memoir of the hardships and insecurities of small-town life as a teen comes of age and finds his way during the Cultural Revolution. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Scott Wallace
What an amazing coming of age story from rural China. You will not be able to put this book down.Published 7 months ago by Brightaway