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Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip Paperback – February 8, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 388 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A fascinating road trip through a land in transition. . . . Hessler’s description of China’s new drivers is hilarious. . . . Country Driving tells us as much about contemporary China even when Hessler is not on the road.” — The Christian Science Monitor

“The best yet from Peter Hessler, whose two earlier books, River Town and Oracle Bones, were exemplary forays into the genre. . . . Told with his characteristic blend of empathy, insight, and self-deprecating humor.” — Time

“Peter Hessler, a modern Marco Polo crossing China in a rented Jeep Cherokee, has witnessed signs and wonders worthy of a Coen brothers film. . . . Every so often, I read a book that upends my perceptions about a place. This is one of them.” — Bloomberg News

“Hessler has made a career of interpreting contemporary China and, for my money, nobody does it better. . . . Hessler is a magnificent guide to this largely uncharted territory, witty, insightful, keenly aware of the ironies of this communist-capitalist society.” — The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“If you want to understand today’s China, and the forces changing it, you need to read Country Driving.” — The Huffington Post

“Hessler is a keen observer of mind-catching details and an engaging storyteller. . . . Full of exotic detail, solid reporting, and ironic observation, Country Driving offers a personal snapshot of the world’s second superpower hurtling through the 21st century.” — The Boston Globe

“Lively. . . . Engaging. . . . Hessler sets out with some suspect maps and a great deal of bravado. . . . He shows the effects China’s ever expanding network of roads exerts on individual lives. . . . Hessler [has an] irresistible urge to follow a story.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Delightful. . . . Epic. . . . The reporting in Country Driving is impressive in its scope. . . . Hessler delivers eloquent disquisitions on everything from how to buy a used car in China to the history of the Mongol conquest.” — Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Hessler’s genius has always been in his wry commentary and ability to transcribe the rhythms of his environment onto the page. . . . From this cast of thousands emerges a picture of great hopes tinged with sadness at what is being cast aside without second thought.” — The Wall Street Journal

“Extraordinary. . . . Country Driving, like Hessler’s previous works, tells the story of China’s transformation powerfully and poetically.” — The Economist

“Exceptionally moving. . . . Hilarious. . . . An absolutely terrific book, at once highly entertaining and deeply instructive. . . . Country Driving is a wonderful book about China that also happens to be a terrific book about the human race. — Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

About the Author

Peter Hessler is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he served as the Beijing correspondent from 2000 to 2007, and is also a contributing writer for National Geographic. He is the author of River Town, which won the Kiriyama Prize; Oracle Bones, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; and, most recently, Country Driving. He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting, and he was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011. He lives in Cairo.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial; 1st Edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 006180410X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0061804106
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 1.01 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 388 ratings

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Peter Hessler is a correspondent for the New Yorker and a contributor to National Geographic. He is the author of ORACLE BONES and RIVER TOWN, which won the 2001 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. In 2011 he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant'. Born in Columbia, Missouri, he now lives in Cairo with his wife and daughters.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
388 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 15, 2011
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 11, 2011
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Top reviews from other countries

E Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Country Driving - A Chinese Road Trip
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 30, 2012
2 people found this helpful
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David J.Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Country Driving : A Chinese Road Trip
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 26, 2013
One person found this helpful
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Hotwired
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes you into real China
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 26, 2018
Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating insight into a bizarre land
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 2, 2013
JR
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 28, 2014