In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the complex processes of understanding that take place when one is immersed in a radically different society.
Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.
©2006 Peter Hessler (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Hessler's writing is lovely. His observations are evocative, insightful, and often poignant--and just as often, funny. It's a pleasure to read of his (mis)adventures. Hessler returned to the U.S. with a new perspective on modern China and its people. After reading River Town, you'll have one, too." (Amazon.com review)
Yes, I found it fascinating. The characters are engaging.
How you experience the change in the author's attitude towards the Chinese and living there during his time as a teacher.
Easy to listen to voice for narration
I'm a writer of everything from children's picture books to fiction to memoir. I usually listen to nonfiction, mostly history, on Audible simply because I prefer to read novels on the page. The only exception to that rule is short stories and I'm partial to the Selected Shorts Anthologies.
The author spent two years in China during the early 1990s while serving in the Peace Corps. He lived in the remote town of Fuling, in the middle of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley. When Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, it was the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but he learned as much as he taught, simply by connecting with the residents in the town and with his students. Hessler doesn't hesitate to turn the magnifying glass on himself and the funny situations he stumbles into as he tries to understand a completely different culture and how he can fit into it.
This is a funny, and touching book that makes China come alive for the reader in a new way.
Oracle Bones- by the same author
When Peter is running in the races!
Some parts brought me close to tears
Wonderful book, although I really liked Oracle Bones better (just a little bit).
I liked this book because it made you really see Peter's life in Fuling.
I am currently living in Chengdu, China which is also in the Sichuan Province. I can relate to a lot Peter of what went through.
I enjoyed the descriptions of the people and the culture from the perspective of an American living several years in China.
If you have never been to China, get ready! Peter will take you there! After reading Oracle Bones I quickly grabbed the other two. The performance was just the best also!
There's always time for reading
I thought this was a good book--well written, well read--but it was written back in the 90s. So much has changed in China in that time, as well as world politics, that I found it very outdated. Also, there's really very little about the Yangtze itself.
If I were doing over, I'd skip it and look for something more current.
Late '90s China through the eyes of an intelligent, thoughtful and disciplined Peace Corp volunteer who taught college English in Fu-Ling, China for 2 years. Never boring. Learned much about Chinese culture and the fears that keep it's people submissive and psychologically imprisoned.. We may all be a bit "imprisoned," but listening to this book made me grateful for our open society in its never ending search for solid truth.
The main problem of this book is that nothing ever happened. There is no story. No highlight. No climax. Just daily observations, almost like a child writing about his daily life. Also the fact that he wrote about his students diaries and essays in detail is quite troubling. Did his students know that he was going to write a book about them when they were taught by him? Doesn't that cross some ethical guideline?
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