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This Generation: Dispatches from…
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This Generation: Dispatches from China's Most Popular Literary Star…

by Han Han

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I received this book as a First Reads giveaway, and I thank Goodreads, Han Han and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to delve into such a captivating book with so many thought provoking topics.

I actually didn't realize how little I new about China before reading this book. It feels good to have captured it a view of the country from someone middle of the road, young and open-minded. Through his writing you can feel the love he has for his country, as well as the obvious disagreements and concerns with how the government is running the show. His essays were both insightful and eye-opening, to be sure.

Han Han's character, personality and humor is what keeps you turning through the pages more than anything. His voice is one I can appreciate and relate with. While a bit monotonous at times, it kept flowing through enough of a variety of subjects that it remained interesting.

As much as he thinks he knows about other countries, including the United States, it sounds as though he hasn't had enough long term stays to actually appreciate and understand the differences of our governments and societal standards of living. It's when speaking of other countries is where is devotion to his own country shines through, despite how much complaining he has already done.

I would encourage you to read this one, so long as it sounds even just a little interesting; it will surprise you in ways you didn't expect. ( )
  jennifer.a.mcgee | Apr 19, 2013 |
Thanks to First Reads and Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy of This Generation.

This was a very interesting read that I'm still trying to make my mind up about. On one hand, it was a little repetitive as it seemed that every essay/post dealt with Han Han's reaction to some tragedy or crisis in China that I had no idea even happened. This made me desperate for an overarching narrative that could provide a little more context for Han Han's comments and give a little more information about the events (the footnotes were far too brief for me). On the other hand, any insight into China's culture is interesting to read about as basically the only information that I ever hear about here in the U.S. is how quickly China's economy is developing and how much the U.S. is in debt to them. And Han Han's occasionally sarcastic, occasionally satirical and occasionally humorous voice is, at times, captivating.

In the end, I think I just wanted more. More context, more information, and more diversity in subject matter. But, considering how difficult it is for China's own citizens to get information out of their government, I think this is a pretty solid effort and a good jumping off point for anyone interested in China's current political/cultural climate. ( )
  PlayingBooky | Apr 2, 2013 |
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"Scaling the Great Firewall of China may be a tall order, but the 30-year-old Han Han has succeeded remarkably well. In fact, shock and awe will probably be the emotions that first register with readers unfamiliar with or ambivalent about Chinese culture." --back cover.… (more)

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