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Ming

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  • Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Peter Hessler
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (67)

    A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today, the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people.

    Michael Moore says: "Another Excellent Work"
    "Unenlightened"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Peter Hessler and/or Peter Berkrot?

    No.


    What could Peter Hessler have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Teach Chinese instead of teaching English.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Insufferable condescending tone when referring to the Chinese or China and absolutely incomprehensible pronunciation of the Chinese words


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Oracle Bones?

    First Chapter -- the only chapter I read.


    Any additional comments?


    I have read hundreds of books about China. In general, those written by Chinese are the best. Those written by Western academics are acceptable but are still often unenlightened and carry the baggage of Western bias. Those written by Western journalists are several rungs below the academics. These writers are usually poorly educated (a la Sarah Palin) and have very little interesting to say. Those written by American teaching English in China are generally unreadable like this book. They are usually written to make a buck and leave the reader less educated than when they began. I think the reason for the last may be that the Chinese students' traditional respect for teachers, good or bad, may have swelled these English teachers heads.

    I had just finish listening, on my daily run, Ji Chauzhu's excellent autobiography as the English translator for Mao; and had to suffer through the first Chapter of this book. Instead of doubling the distance of my run every day, I had to cut short of my run today to write this review. I don't think I have the stomach to continue listening. Peter Hessler’s first chapter betrayed a deep disrespect for the Chinese people and for China. The narrator’s condescending tone and lack of effort to pronounce the Chinese words accurately makes the problem worse. When Peter Hessler started sneering at the Nanjing Holocaust and the Nanjing Holocaust Museum, I decided one chapter was enough. If the Jews in American weren’t so vocal, I think Peter Hessler would have sneered at the Jewish Holocaust as well.

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful

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