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Leave Me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu Paperback – May 1, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thirty-six year old Murong - Chinese literary superstar and reclusive celebrity - twenty eight and working as a sales manager in the car industry when he started posting his first novel Chengdu Please Forget Me Tonight on the internet. In 2002 it became a cult hit amongst young middle class Chinese looking for writing that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable literature. Chengdu Please Forget Me Tonight was eventually posted on almost all of China's online bulletin boards, and attracted around 5 million online readers. Thousands of web commentaries and impassioned debates about the book appeared, while 'formal' commentaries and critiques amounted to more than 50,000 words. The novel won Murong the New Periodical 'Person of the Year', Xinliang website's 'Most popular novel', and the China Literary Journal's 2003 literature prize.

Thirty-six year old Murong - Chinese literary superstar and reclusive celebrity - twenty eight and working as a sales manager in the car industry when he started posting his first novel Chengdu Please Forget Me Tonight on the internet. In 2002 it became a cult hit amongst young middle class Chinese looking for writing that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable literature. Chengdu Please Forget Me Tonight was eventually posted on almost all of China's online bulletin boards, and attracted around 5 million online readers. Thousands of web commentaries and impassioned debates about the book appeared, while 'formal' commentaries and critiques amounted to more than 50,000 words. The novel won Murong the New Periodical 'Person of the Year', Xinliang website's 'Most popular novel', and the China Literary Journal's 2003 literature prize.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Make-Do Publishing (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9881841933
  • ISBN-13: 978-9881841933
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"'Chengdu at night always looked gentle and soft. The colorful lanterns gave it a warm glow, and from all around came sounds of laughter and song. But I knew that for all its luster the city was slowly rotting. A tide of lust and greed surged from every corner, bubbling away, giving off a hot odor, like a stream of piss corroding every tile and every soul."

I can't really say much here that hasn't been said in other reviews. It's a great novel that shows the darker side of modern China. I've been to Chengdu myself, and it wouldn't surprise me to find a dark underbelly like the one Murong describes.

I would like to mention a quote from publishingperspectives.com about the issue of censorship this book and many other books have faced in China:

"In order to get around censorship, which he (Murong) said is at times random and senseless; he will often publish two versions of a novel--a more complete version in Internet form, while the print editions will be censored. Sometimes after censors have approved a first print run, a publisher will slip the novel in its complete, uncensored form into the second edition. Murong's agent, of course, presents his complete manuscripts to foreign editors."

That being said, we are very lucky to have this book in all of its uncensored glory. The only downside I saw was a small number of typos which is acceptable from smaller publishers like this one. I really enjoyed the book and hope to see more like it in the future.
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I did not know what to expect from the book after reading only the excerpt of it on amazon but I was determined to read on so I bought the book. Picking up where I left off, I was so drawn to see what happens to each of the characters that I finished the book in 3 days. I normally take months to finish a book - so to me, this was amazing. I can even see this book be made into a movie some day. As simple as the story may be, it capture my attention and curiosity to read on. I also surprised to find how beautifully it was translated that every meaning was still kept in tact.

After reading this book, I am eager to find another book by the same author. I just love the ease of his writing that makes it so easy to read through in simple text but yet it touches upon the social aspect of life.

I definitely am looking forward to another one of his books.
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This is a story about 3 young men (in their 20's) trying to fulfill their dreams as their worlds around them collapse. The narrator is Chen Zhong who works in a dead-end job for a motor oil company. This is certainly not how he envisioned himself while he was in college. His 2 best friends from college, Li Liang and Big Head Wang and Zhong himself have all put aside their idealistic dreams from college to pursue riches in the newly capitalist China. In fact, these 3 young men could very well be American working and living in one of our major cities. But despite their aspirations their lives are mired in drugs, drinking and chasing women.

Chen Zhong, our narrator, is married to his college sweetheart, Zhao Yue, and although he seems to truly love her he treats her horribly and constantly has sex with other women. It is not until he realizes that his wife is having an affair does he understand what he is about to lose but it is too late. But does he change his ways? No and just like any twenty something year old here in the States they are all looking for something they can't find. They have found out that life is not what you think it is while you are attending college and that you can't have it all. All 3 of these men had wonderful ideals in college which they surrendered to chase the money but soon found themselves drifting alone, no place to call home, and nowhere left to go.

I'm sure for the author he was trying to display the corruptness that goes on all over China but as an American I found it to be nihilistic and fatalistic. It has some humorous moments but for the most part it is dark and sad. It shows the emptiness of corporate capitalist life which is something most of us are already familiar with.
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Leave Me Alone is a terrific piece. It's a sort of Martin Amis' Money comes to China - and it is that good. Murong discusses three friends' personal sacrifices as China enjoys its speedy economic development. The characters make the reader squirm with self-recognition yet the audible laughs elicited (on par with Carl Hiaasen's earlier works) kept me reading throughout this sometime grim but entertaining book.
Enjoy!
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