Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
To Live: A Novel Paperback – August 26, 2003
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“Yu Hua is the most profound voice coming out of China today. To Live reaches not only into the very essence of China and the Chinese people but into the blood and bones core of what it means to be a human being.” —Lisa See, author of On Gold Mountain
“A Chinese Book of Job, To Live is a heart-wrenching saga, written with beauty, defiance, and hope. Yu Hua’s books deserve a place on the highest shelf.” —Wang Ping, author of Aching for Beauty and Foreign Devil
“A major contemporary novelist, Yu Hua writes with a cold eye but a warm heart. His novels are ingeniously structured and exude a mythical aura. Though unmistakably Chinese, they are universally resonant.” —Ha Jin, author of Waiting
“A book of subtle power and poignant drama. You love Yu Hua’s characters because they are flawed, vibrant, soulful, and real: you celebrate with them the small wonders of life, and feel their pain as they overcome tragedy. Ultimately, To Live is a redemptive story of the human spirit, one that is universal in its emotional depth.” –Terrence Cheng, author of Sons of Heaven
Top Customer Reviews
I am not sure if it is Yu Hua's writing style or the translation, but the text can be choppy, which is both a positive and a negative. On one hand, it allows passages, thoughts, and emotions to sneak up on you, completely surprising you. One sentence you feel everything is okay, and the next Yu knocks the breath out of you with a blithe mention of tragedy. On the other hand, it seems at times the Chinese should not have been translated so literally, and it can be a hindrance on the rhythm of the novel. For example, where Chinese says "kids", we would say "children", and vice versa. This happens throughout the novel enough to make it clear that this is not written in the language it is intended to be...hence the fifth star is missing.
Before I scare you away from this book with all the talk of tragedy, this story in the end is a hopeful and optimistic one. Fugui's indomitable spirit carries through this theme.
I also found it interesting from a political and hisotorical point of view, as the reader gets to witness, albeit peripherally, a peasants reactions to the chaos surrounding him.
Be warned though, "To Live" not a book for the faint of heart. This book hits you in the gut. If you don't mind a little literary pain, then "To Live" is more than worth it.
You will see yourself in Fugui and his family, since they are
familiar to all of us in their own way, and it just goes to show how it really is a Global Village after all. All in all, a book for the ages, and especially, for now!
I must admit I had a bit of trouble getting into the book and felt the wording or phrasing seemed awkward in places. The format of Fugui telling his life story to a man collecting popular folk songs seemed strained. Once into Fugui's story, I was totally immersed into his life. Only once or twice does the listener (the folk song collector) interfere and then it seems so appropriate allowing the reader to see Fugui as another would see him: "the old man's dark face smiling in the sunlight was quite moving. The wrinkles on his face moved about happily." The happiness on Fugui's face tells so much after the reader has heard his life story. In short, this is a look at a man who accepts the life that was handed him; there is no whining, no second guessing, none of our Western world's internal angst and second guessing. It's a good book and one that should be read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The English translation is terrible, had to put it down:(Published 1 month ago by Lisa A. Patterson
This book gives a realistic portrayal of life during the establishment of the People's Republic of China, 1950's famine, and the Cultural Revolution. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Yvonna M. Crandall
Fascinating account of how politics affects the personal life of the common man. The only answer seems to be to keep on living, no matter what. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Joan Stevens
"To Live" by Yu Hua is the tale of one man's life in the twentieth century as Chinese history changed dramatically. Read morePublished 4 months ago by K. Kennedy
One of the best books I have ever read. Just beautiful. Exactly what it says - it is about life. Masterfully written (even in translation), very easy to read, yet goes to the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by R.T., M.D.