Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China
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He has remained in close touch with his former students, whose own experiences in working after graduation in the??? New China??? Hessler has also been accredited as a foreign correspondent in China for the New Yorker magazine. As a writer of magazine articles, he has been free to develop stories and themes at much greater length and depth than would have been possible as a reporter for a daily newspaper.
In my view that is a big plus for his readers. His books reflect first hand experiences and conversations with Chinese residents not all of them native Chinese, by the way from various walks of life, many of whom he can consider good friends. They also reflect extensive interview notes, some scholarly research, and a whimsical eye for things comic and ironic in everyday life. Hessler also shares poignant conversations with Chinese who experienced the trials and terrors of the ???
Cultural Revolution??? As readers we are fortunate that Mr. Hessler has developed considerable literary talent. The writing is clear, suited to the humor or poignancy of the events or conversations he is describing, and has a personal tone that allows us to share his fascination and feelings in what he is seeing and hearing. I loved this book. The scope of it surprised me with its look at history, culture and day-to-day life. You certainly can't understand everything about China by reading a couple of books, but this book and Hessler's River Town have made China a little more accessible for me.
The narrator, I believe, did a great job. He sounds like a native english speaker reading for other native english speakers. This is my most favorite book so far. I do not speak chinese, so I would not know how the pronunciation is on certain words, but the performance and the storyline was amazing for me. Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you? The struggles of each of the main roles.
Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler (ebook)
Its hard to find one moment. Any additional comments? I enjoyed this book so much, that I have bought the hardcopy as well. Having audio is nice for me since I am not able to allocate much time for reading, but this book was such a good story, that I was happy to buy the hard copy as well. Make sure I did not miss anything. I don't even recall why I bought this book. I found it on my IPAD as something half lost in titles and just thought since I had paid for it I would get it out of the way.
I spent the next five days in wonderland! What an amazing writer. The best performance EVER for a reading. I traveled the world into universes I never knew existed! China now became a reality for me. I had an agenda to read a group of other books after this as my attention had been swayed in another direction, but once I finished this, that was all forgotten. I had to go back and buy every book this writer has written and the reader has performed. I feel bridged into a country and a culture thousands of miles away from me.
I feel I have traveled although I never left my home. I feel I skipped all over the universe although I have been sitting in one neighborhood. THIS is why I read! The author was a reporter of sorts in China and this is the account of his life there over 10 years. Very interesting view of culture and history. I enjoyed all of it. Is there anything you would change about this book? This book was recommended to me by another China-lover, who had also spent a decent amount of time there.
It was dry, and that was tough for me, but the narrator also butchers many pronunciations of Chinese words, and even to my American ear, it was painful. I bought this book ignoring the warnings, thinking those must be people who are very fluent. I have taken about 2. If you haven't, well then, you might enjoy this saga of new and old China. Would you recommend Oracle Bones to your friends? Why or why not? See above as well; I recommend it for the history and present-day juxtaposition of China. That's why I was interested. I found it too dull for my liking. If you've spent time studying the language, beware of this narration.
Yes, so long as it's not a book heavily based in an Asian nation. What made the experience of listening to Oracle Bones the most enjoyable? I purchased this book to listen for a class and I most appreciated having the narrator's pronunciation of people and place names. I also had the hard copy of the book, but did little reading from it as it tripped me up when I would run into the foreign place names.
The narrator made it flow nicely with what I hope is accurate pronunciation. Also, I appreciated the subtle variances in tone used when reading speech versus Hessler's writing. This made it easy to understand. Hessler had his own voice and the different characters had their own other voices which were easily distinguishable as the book went on, which could potentially be very confusing after 18 hours. What was your reaction to the ending? No spoilers please! I appreciated being presented with a view of China that most Americans like myself do not have the chance to see, as Hessler did.
He often seemed to take on a very authoritative approach that was borderline arrogant, because he is definitely not a native of the country and can never get that same experience, although he seems like he is trying to present the material as if he did live as a Chinese-born person. Also, his writing is heavily bias against the Chinese government. This would go along with his desire to come off as a Chinese native, but as a reader we are clearly hearing about his experience as a travel writer.
It seems as though he is trying to take on contradictory identities. As a travel writer, I expected a little bit more objectivity. I appreciate extending sympathy to people who are struggling. The way he communicates with his students during and after his teaching in China is very wonderful and was my favorite part of the book. It seemed, however, that he was trying to do more with this book than just relay his experience.
It seemed like he was trying to make some big statement about China, and this did not seem to be quite the right outlet, or something seemed to be off in the delivery--maybe I just cannot put my finger on it.
It just seemed that there was a tone of arrogance, as I said, as if he were trying to be more political than necessary about the book. Alone in the Classroom. Elizabeth Hay.
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