This is trully a lecture. The reader isn't a professional speaker, he sounds like a teacher. That said, once you realize that this is a lecture, it's pretty interesting.
Compared to most of the popular books on China that focus merely on it becoming a world power, or focus merely on it's economic or political interest, this one focuses on getting to know China from many different angles. I think that the professor really tries to present the information in a unbiased way. Also, after many of the depressing books that I have read about China, this one is for sure more uplifting because it's not focused on the bad but an overall view so you understand China in many different aspects.
I had read reviews about the reader and was anticipating some badly pronounced Chinese and weird accents. I have studied Chinese so I didn't know how I would like this. While it was true that the author didn't seem to even have the least bit of preparation in pinyin, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Also, while all the Chinese characters have accents, some of the accents are not so noticeable. For the most part, while the reader is speaking English, he is very entertaining and great charisma.
As far as the content, I think that this is a great introduction about China and I've learned a lot about things that I probably wouldn't have been able to learn anywhere else. For example, I've learned weird details about geography, about rural village life, laws, and a lot about the transportation system and the auto industry. I don't feel as much of a pull to listen as for a novel, but that is how nonfiction tends to be. After finishing this book, I think that I'd like to listen to his other books about China as well.
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