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Yan Lianke

The Four Books

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Book FormatHardcover
AuthorYan Lianke
Publication DateFebruary, 2015
"First published as Sishu by Mingpao Publishing Company, Ltd. in 2010."--Title page verso.

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"First published as Sishu by Mingpao Publishing Company, Ltd. in 2010."--Title page verso.The Four Books


Grove Atlantic
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
Yan Lianke
The Four Books
Publication Date
February, 2015
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.30 x 5.80 x 1.30 Inches

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Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars

3.5 A camp for re-educ...

3.5 A camp for re-education during China's Great Leap forward, created a very disturbing read. Have thought about this book on and off for days. None of the characters have actual names, they are called by the profession that landed them in this no mans land. The author, sent to write a tell all book about her fellow internees, the Doctor, the artist and so on, all try to retain parts of their pasts. Books forbidden are hidden in various places, ferreted out and turned in by someone else for a reward. The camp is run by The Child, a very good name for one who throws tantrums and has unrealistic expectations. This was written in a surreal but matter of fact depersonalized manner. Usually this would keep me from becoming involved in the story but in this case it represented the fact that no individual really mattered, only the collective and what they could produce. Of course, The Child's reward system did reward the individual, turning the camp into a reporters paradise, anyone who reported on anyone else for wrong doings was sometimes allowed a weekend home, even the chance of leaving the camp altogether. The matter of fact tone made this story for me, all the more chilling. As we know the cultural revolution was a failure, producing famine and starvation which we also learn. A book that I am finding hard to get out of my head. Not for its graphic horror but because of its insidious evil. ARC from the publisher.

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