One Man's Bible Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 3, 2002
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The bulk of Xingjian's absorbing narrative takes place in this bleak world of exposure, hysteria, and reprisals, and from an appropriately distant third-person point of view. But the act of recollection is spurred by a four-day-long affair with a near-stranger in the mid-1990s. The narrator, long exiled from China, has been brought to Hong Kong to help stage one of his plays. Here he runs into a German-Jewish woman, Margarethe, whom he knew slightly from his final years in China. For Margarethe, survival hinges on memory. It is she who persuades the narrator to let his painful, rigorously suppressed memories begin to thaw, and if not to drop his mask, at least to remember that he is wearing one. --Regina Marler
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : Harper; 1st edition (September 3, 2002)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0066211328
- ISBN-13 : 978-0066211329
- Item Weight : 1.7 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.13 x 1.41 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,595,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It should be called One Man's Babble.
He never stops the self-flagellation. When he isn't narrating in the unheard-of second-person viewpoint, he's blurring "him's" in the third person.
I've read books that zigzag through time without dates, but "Beloved" and "The God of Small Things" aren't as confusing as this. They don't have
three rebel groups fighting each other, and all going by the name Red Guard. They don't have a man do improbable things, and you process the
sentence three times to figure out it's because "he" has shifted from Big Lu to the too-big-for-a-name narrator himself. Gao must have worked really hard to avoid real dialogue so that no character ever called him by a name.
While I tried to figure out what point in time it was, how many trips to Beijing he took, I got sick from his negative ponderings of himself. After he
sucks every female that comes in the door he promptly finds depression in it instead of joy and tells us more times than he needs to that he is a wimp.
Halfway through, I gave up seeking a place to skip ahead to. I discovered the end consists of the last page that has ink on it.
Really, there is no ending.
This book would be of most interest to those who are illiterate.
It would be most useful as wallpaper, with the print upside down.
Babble is right up with the Joshua Tree for stream of consciousness, and down with The Unlimited Dream Company in value to any portion of society. (Harlequin romances are worth the paper they're printed on.)