Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a far-ranging, thought-provoking collection of Peter Hessler’s best reportage - a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of his work.
Over the last decade, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three books, Peter Hessler has lived in Asia and the United States, writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider in these two very different regions. This unusual perspective distinguishes Strange Stones, which showcases Hessler’s unmatched range as a storyteller. “Wild Flavor” invites listeners along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China. One story profiles Yao Ming, basketball star and China’s most beloved export, another David Spindler, an obsessive and passionate historian of the Great Wall. In “Dr. Don”, Hessler writes movingly about a small-town pharmacist and his relationship with the people he serves.
While Hessler’s subjects and locations vary, subtle but deeply important thematic links bind these pieces - the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between apparently opposing cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds.
©2013 Peter Hessler (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I played this while driving with others, thinking it would have the broadest appeal. In that it was very successful. However, when one loves an author, one tends to devour his or her work and I found I'd heard most of these stories already in shorter forms in The New Yorker.
These stories were very entertaining although a little eclectic. They gave some interesting insights into the Chinese culture. The narrator was very irritating, almost enough to make us stop listening. After persevering we got used to the narrator I would not get another book read by him.
Its full of good stories, the reading was too slow and distracting. By speeding up the reading speed to 1.25 the listening improved by 100%. I was tempted to stop listening until I tried the speed up trick.
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