i recently completed an 18 mo. term at a university
the large home i lived in housed other doctors and teachers
while there, i met a young business law professor from china
as the time came for me to leave, he recommended a book
he said it was " a truthful introduction " to the people of china
peter hessler's book more than lives up to that assessment
hessler's fearless life in china gives him a unique authority
he drives their roads, eats their food and lives in their villages
his rugged resilience is rewarded with their kindness and insight
at this point, even the chinese don't believe in communism
they will, in time, throw off the corrupt shell of party bureaucracy
at that point, we'll see the true character of the chinese people
peter hessler's book is an honest preview to that moment
I read Country Driving just weeks before going to China recently and I am so glad that I did. The author, Peter Hessler, does an excellent job in describing China, especially "off the beaten path".
The book helped me to have an "open mind" and "put down some of my own stereotypes" about China, and go there to just enjoy the experience and take it all in.
Thanks Peter Hessler for writing such a great book and helping me to thoroughly enjoy the great land and people of China!
Peter Hessler weaves a perfect tale of the aspirations of ordinary Chinese in a sympathetic way. In many ways, China's people have not changed from Pearl Buck's rural peasants of a century ago in "The Good Earth". The author gives a seamless sequel from the dynasties to today's modern China. The book gives countless insights into how the world's most-populated nation operates.
The reader finds himself drawn to the numerous personal stories of how rural China is changing. While American politicians may attempt to scare their countryman by the rise of China, you find after reading it yourself less fearful of China's ascent on the world stage. The author clearly loves the rural Chinese people and you will too after listening to this excellent book.
This seems to be a typical Peter Hessler book; it's a meandering, well-researched and well-written examination of a quickly transforming nation. Sometimes I wish the trajectory the book travels was a bit straighter, but overall, I respect the author's design and intentions.
However, the narrator was ridiculous! I can't tell if he enhances the book by adding unintentional humor, or if he completely derails it. All of his renderings of the Chinese people quoted in the book make it sound like they are born-and-bred New Yorkers, and possibly chain-smoking New Yorkers. (I suppose born-and-bred New Yorkers might disagree with me — this is an opinion of someone not from there.) Still, I wish the publisher had hired someone who is more familiar with Chinese accents, and who could have reproduced subtle and diverse voices for the many different people featured in this book.
The tidbits of daily life in a completely different culture. Learning more about what has happened to the author since his first book
Any of Hessler's other books on his China experience
I found it gave me a new appreciation for what life in China must be like.
I love the naration, and the short stories found within. This was a wonderful book.
Clear speaking skills, easy to understand, and changed his voice to go along with the characters. Loved the naration.
I have listened to 3 of Peter Hesslers books so far, and this one is enjoyable as well. Peter makes you learn of how the people of China are, and understand a different culture much better.
Peter Hessler's a great storyteller and he draws you into his experiences with intelligence, respect, charm and good humor.
He also gave me an understanding and appreciation of the people who made the stuff in my life that came from exactly the sort of places he describes so well. I've gained a whole new perspective about things I always took for granted (bra rings being just one example!)
I didn't expect to enjoy this book so much, but found myself thoroughly absorbed in it and sad when this journey to China ended.
I love to read!
Just like the other two, a book that will take you on a journey through China. Great read! We need more Peter! MORE!
Peter Hessler provides a fascinating window into the experiences, thoughts and motivations of ordinary people in China. He has spent many years in China and speaks fluent Mandarin--so he is able to get to know people and interact in people's lives in a way that goes far beyond what is typically found in "travel" literature.
NYC editor 25 years.
What a wonderful way to experience the culture of Chinese country folk who were catapulted into the modern day. How resourceful they were and so sorry to see these
country people go modern. But they want TVs and useless goods just like the rest of us.
Nicely written and characters interesting. This is a good read and a great introduction to the unsophisticated Chinese people.