The Cave Man is an extraordinary and moving portrait of a man brutalized in Mao’s China, stripped of his most basic human faculties and emotions.
The story begins as Ja Feng is contained within a three-foot by four-and-one-half-foot solitary confinement cell in a prison camp. He has survived this punishment for a miraculous nine months, a period of time that has forced him to question his most basic thoughts and perceptions.
The Cave Man follows Ja Feng once he is released from his solitary confinement, as he is forced to integrate with fellow prisoners who view his skeletal figure and erratic screaming fits as freakish, and as he makes heartbreaking attempts to assimilate into Chinese culture, reestablish familial bonds, and seek out an ordinary human experience.
Forget current affairs and dry historical non fiction, if you want to learn about the modern Chinese mindset and where it comes from then this is the book for you. Brilliant in its simplicity.