Prisoner of Midnight gThis is a funny sad bawdy be patient it is terribly bawdy towards the end and compelling book It is the story of two brothers beginning before the Cultural Revolution and ending in the 21st century and it is the story of China emerging into a modern country with all theood and the bad that comes along with such change The story is set in a small town and is told in what seems to be
a simple repetitivesimple repetitive The characters are merely a way to move the story and they have no particular depth nor do they truly undergo I wanted to like this book both because
I Admire Several Of Yu Hua S Previous Novels Andadmire several of Yu Hua s previous novels and a book this large reuires a considerable investment in time While Brothers contains some sections of reat humor and others of heart wrenching tragedy much of it is like a bande dessin e without pictures flat cartoon like characters of extreme unbelievable behavior Moreover I found the obsession with virginity hymen reconstruction surgery and breast and penis enhancement well a bit tiresome and juvenile Even though I suspect there has been some obsession with these topics in China in recent decades they are not uite my cup of tea or at least not beyond maybe thirty or forty pages Perhaps this novel about two half brothers A heartbreaking saga about two brothers during and after the
cultural revolution in China The emotional floodgates opened wide open with one What a rollercoaster I laughedrevolution in China The emotional floodgates opened wide open with one What a rollercoaster I laughed loud I screamed in anguish I teared up so many tim This book is amazing It oes from being hilarious to depressing to jaw dropping and back it made me feel like I m on a roller coaster This book reads like it has 300 pages not once did I think something was redundant or drawn out In fact I felt it stopped almost too suddenThe characters are wonderfully drawn out and jump off the page This despite the fact that the book often reads like a fableMost interesting is the cultural revolution and how it affected the town of Liu It s interesting that the characters start out living in huts with no electricity or running water and having to use the public outhouse and towards the end of the books the town has been completely modernized And with it the protagonists evolve as well Ironically the town and it s citizens all are much capitalistic after the cultural revolution than before It probably is not fair of me to rate this book because I couldn t finish it If you want to read pages and pages and pages of words with no point Brothers is the book for you When I first picked up this book in Chinese in China I was younger and my heart was fainter I did not have the courage to finish even the first half Years later I picked up this novel again and finished reading it in almost two separate sittings For someone who spent than a decade in China partially rural and than a decade in the US the character descriptions and actions are very much close to home and real I wish I did not have to read the final 13 of the book but that is just the absurdity and rim reality of a culture under phenomenal and even abnormal change The raw and at times explicit language used was appropriate in reflecting simple lifestyle of the suburbia animal instincts during the cultural revolution and crude behavior of the newly rich and newly corrupt Like every other period of rapid change some flourish some falter and others perish Overall. A bestseller in China recently short listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize and a winner of France’s Prix Courrier International Brothers is an epic and wildly unhinged black comedy of modern Chinese society running amokHere is China as we’ve never seen it in a sweeping Rabelaisian panorama of forty years of rough and rumble Chinese history that has already scandalized millions of readers in the author’s homeland Yu Hua award winning author of To Live ives us a surreal tale of two brothers riding the dizzy. Town with D cup breasts and has moderate success selling the product
it is patentlyis patently We the readers are embarrassed for him not to mention irritated that he is so submissive to his wayward business partner Zhao that he would mutilate himself this wayThis story chalks much up to fate emphasizing several times If you are fated to have only fifteen ounces of rice in this life then even
If You Go Away To Seek Your Fortune You Stillyou o away to seek your fortune you still t end up a with full pound So perhaps Song Gang s tragic fate est crit dans les toiles as the French would say my choice of expression here will make sense when you read the last page of the book Or perhaps he is simply too passive too self sacrificing to mirror Baldy Li s rampant material successes I m a classic book reader i like to experiment a little on japanese chinese and korean authors so far I have read murakami but I like this book better I call this an idiotic book light and comical to the point that you would rather not sleep so you can finish the book The author is a two thumbs up for me No real spoilers below I left all the surprise parts outBaldi Li never met his father who died on the day he was born drowned in a cesspit of the public toilets where he was peeping at the women next door When his mother married Song Fangping Song Gang who was eight one year older than Baldy Li became his brotherWhen the Cultural revolution started Baldy Li s mother was in hospital in Shanghai and life was very hard as Song Fangping was a school teacher and therefore a class enemy He was humiliated and beaten and then imprisoned This left Song Gang and Baldi Li to fend for themselves Picked on by others it was a hard life and the brothers had to look out for each otherIn the book we follow their lives from childhood to old age in the present day written 2006 We are introduced to the main characters of Liu Town where they live and follow the path of China from before the Cultural Revolution through those times to the modern day capitalist focused China we know nowThe book is well written and well translated and ably mimics the writing style of traditional Chinese novels but with a modern twist Interestingly the tone changes freuently from its very funny parts to the desperately sad parts where families and dreams are crushed Others have uestioned the simplicity of the narrative whether this was purposeful My view from reading it was it was certainly purposeful to mimic the small town language of the narratorI enjoyed the use of uotations from Mao s Red Book from The Art of War and from others and no doubt many from Chinese works I missed Narrated by an unknown towns person we are offered limpses of the future with the story then filling in the details of how they 6 1/2 Body Parts (Body Movers, got there Usually this involves some steps backward before moving forwardsOther details about the writing it is loaded with swearing and uite crude at times with plenty of focus on sex so if that sort of thing is off putting for you don t bother starting the 600 pages There is certainly an element of the absurd but what can I say other than it workedAs I mentioned above it has its moments some of them very sad distressing and aggravating such as the weak thinking of the Red Guards beating people to death in such cowardly ways But the book is predominantly clever and funny albeit fairly basic humourVeryood 5 stars. Ly characters as the self important Poet Zhao the craven dentist Yanker Yu the virginal town beauty turned madam Lin Hong and the simpering vendor Popsicle WangWith sly and biting humor combined with an insightful and compassionate eye for the lives of ordinary people Yu Hua shows how the madness of the Cultural Revolution has transformed into the eually rabid madness of extreme materialism Both tragic and absurd by turns Brothers is a monumental spectacle and a fascinating vision of an extraordinary place and tim. The book is heavy with #lots of comic relief and heart warming moments One common thread was how peaceful and #of comic relief and heart warming moments One common thread was how peaceful and blissful death becomes in the face of life without dignity and hope people find solace and hope in death kind of reminds me of scenes from Wuthering Heights If one can no longer imbue life with purpose one can only seek to fill death with meaningOne of my favorite excerpts from the book which I m Gökyüzü Mavi Kaldı going to translate below It brought me back to my childhood when I too smelled admired and sometimes licked the precious snack swallowed my saliva before wrapping it up and putting it back without even a nibble Why is your mouth making nose soundsSong Gang chuckled I didn t eat it I m just smellingLi Baldy asked Why don t you eat it Song Gang swallowed his saliva I can t eat it it s for you smelling is enough for me I wept many times throughout the book but not as wholeheartedly as I did when reading Yu Hua s To Live Towards the beginning I was still crying about the innocence of children Towards the middle my tears carried the weight of helplessness towards Fate In the end I felt as if I was weeping for an entire losteneration This book is one unforgettable journey To begin with a poorly devised haiku review Yu s roller coaster Is careless with emotionsLike a bad irlfriendI m not really sure what to make of Brothers I liked it that much is certainThe story is expansive and the characters indelible The insight into the development of Chinese culture over the last four decades was enlightening The episodes related were he High comedy high tragedy Urban sprawl The preparation of a city for the National Virgin Beauty Competition otherwise known as the Hymen Olympics not dissimilar to the preparation of Beijing for the 2008 Olympics Scoundrel turned tycoon Baldy Li spectacle turned loving wife turned nymphomaniac turned madam Lin Hong and then the faithful terminally unlucky and often pathetic Song Gang The real romance in this novel is the stormy relationship between stepbrothers Baldy Li and Song Gang The center of the love triangle is not ultimately Lin Hong but Song Gang who is torn between the two for much of the storyThe deaths of Baldy Li s mother and Song Gang s father set the stage for
the rest of the story On her deathbed Baldy Li srest of the story On her deathbed Baldy Li s tells Song Gang that he must always take care of his younger brother and he promises that he will ive the last rain of rice in his bowl to Baldy Li He only breaks this promise once when he marries Lin Hong whom Baldy Li has humiliated and stalked for years despite her lack of interestAlso of interest the theme of impotence The brazen Baldy Li undergoes a vasectomy after learning that his beloved Lin Hong whom
He Spent Years Humiliating Afterspent years humiliating after her backside in a public bathroom has married the uiet sensitive Song Gang Song Gang himself is impotent never iving his wife a baby or as we later find out much sex at all His impotence is not just sexual but universal he is unable to assert himself in relationships and unable to provide for himself or his wifeMoreover Song Gang is a ender ambiguous character often than not landing in feminine territory We watch him assemble strands of flowers to sell in a basket to Liu Town women and even undergo breast augmentation surgery to help sell Wandering Zhao s Boobs cream For several chapters he walks around. Ing roller coaster of life in a newly capitalist world As comically mismatched teenagers Baldy Li a sex obsessed ne’er do well and Song Gang his bookish sensitive stepbrother vow that they will always be brothers a bond they will struggle to maintain over the years as they weather the ups and downs of rivalry in love and making and losing millions in the new China Their tribulations play out across a richly populated backdrop that is every bit as vibrant the rapidly changing village of Liu Town full of such live.