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Unwalled City by Xu Xi
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Unwalled City

by Xu Xi

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204537,190 (3.38)3

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My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
I would probably never have come across this book if I hadn't been searching out an X author for my alphabetical read challenge, but I'm glad I found it. The book is set in Hong Kong in the run up to the handover of the territory from the UK to China in 1997. There's not much in the way of plot - it's more a series of character portraits that gradually tangle up to make a story. The writing has a few odd features - changing viewpoint suddenly in the middle of a section was the one that jarred with me - but mostly it's a good well written book that adds up to a portrait of Hong Kong itself at an important point in it's history. ( )
  nocto | Sep 4, 2011 |
"Unwalled City" reads like a modern soap opera, weaving together the lives of a cast of four main characters, flanked by a host of side characters. Most of the cast hover on the periphery of Hong Kong, as either metaphorical or literal outsiders and Xi uses this to paint a vivid and believable portrait of Hong Kong, which incidentally is undergoing its handover from Britain to China in the book.

Yet the outsider perspective felt a bit distant to me at times, and I caught a whiff of social commentary, or even criticism, at times. Not that social critique is a bad thing, but it left me caring less about the characters than I felt I should have. Critical or not, it does capture a moment of Hong Kong's history very well, and one that I've lived through as well. ( )
  jasonli | Sep 1, 2010 |
This novel weaves together the lives of several people right before the takeover in Hong Kong. ( )
  pinetastic | Mar 5, 2007 |
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