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Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch by Dai Sijie
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Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch (original 2003; edition 2006)

by Dai Sijie

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5051720,141 (3.01)32
Member:starfishian
Title:Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
Authors:Dai Sijie
Info:Anchor (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Rating:***1/2
Tags:China, Read 2012, Freud, Psychoanalysis, Dreams, Humour, France, Love, Prisons

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Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch by Dai Sijie (2003)

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» See also 32 mentions

English (13)  French (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Dai Sijie's style is unmatched. His writing is quirky, descriptive and funny. He possesses the gift of painting a picture with his words without ever being heavy-handed. I discovered his marvelous writing with Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, and I've re-discovered it with Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch.

Mr. Muo is an interesting character. I've never come across a character quite like him, and I don't think I ever will again. He is the perfect blend of East and West, and he knows it. Muo is perfectly imperfect, likable while still managing to be revolting and disconcerting at times.

With every chapter, the story took a new turn. This book contained so many surprises and unexpected events that I could never predict what was going to happen next. Despite the multiple plot twists, this is not a thriller or mystery novel, but rather a sequence of peculiar happenings in the life of a peculiar man. The narrative moves along quickly and will easily pull you in.

The basis of the novel is that Muo, China's first psychoanalyst, is trying to free the woman he loves from prison. The story is so much more, though. Muo is a student of Freud, and it's apparent in his view of the world and the chronicle of his life. I would consider this to be quite the Freudian tale!

My rating of this book is a 3-3.5/5. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it's a little light for my tastes. This may have been a better book to read in the summer or between more serious, thought-provoking works. Still, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a light, humorous and odd little tale. ( )
  PaintedFinches | Jan 31, 2011 |
I was fairly disappointed in reading this book. It was one of those books I felt like the plot ideas were all in place to make a phenomenal book, and is one that's great to tell people about because of those ideas. Unfortunately, the execution left something to be desired. The characters never drew me in and there were a ton of loose ends throughout. ( )
  ejfertig | Jul 19, 2010 |
Unfortunately, I didn't finish this book. I had wanted to read it because this author's other book got such great reviews (but I haven't read yet). The writing is deft, the prose sings nicely, but the story didn't capture me. Maybe it's my mood and I just didn't want to work that hard to get to know the protagonist and his journey. ( )
  Lcwilson45 | Jun 20, 2010 |
A bitter-sweet, funny, sensitively written story of a Chinese psychoanalyst's return from Paris back to his homeland. His incredible, unusual, if prosaic, adventures made me smile and feel for him. His devotion to Freud's teachings and his desire to analyze dreams of everyone he meets, as a tool to find a way to his long lost and imprisoned love interest, is touching. I bought this book after seeing that it was written by the author of "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" - I had seen a movie based on that book and rather enjoyed it. I was not disappointed by this book either. Translation from French by Ina Rilke seems quite masterful. A beautiful piece of writing altogether. ( )
  Clara53 | Mar 8, 2010 |
What a romp! Travel along with Mr. Muo, China's only registered psychoanalyst as he seeks a virgin in China to offer as a bribe to a crooked judge, in order to free his friends, "The Embalmer" and "Volcano of the Old Moon" from wrongful imprisonment. Along the way, you will roar with laughter at the dry wit of the author as he offers such tidbits as popular children's songs from the Revolutionary Re-Education period which laud the joy of Communism. Also, enjoy the dream analysis offered by our Mr. Muo as he takes his office on the road. Step into the inner dream and fantasy world of Mr. Muo, whose training in France has enhanced his openness to his own stream of consciousness........Marvelous! ( )
2 vote hemlokgang | Sep 10, 2009 |
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Eine mit pinkfarbenem Plastik ummantelte Stahlkette spiegelt sich wie eine glänzende Schlange in der Scheibe eines Abteilfensters, hinter dem die aufblitzenden Lichtsignale zu smaragdblauen und rubinroten Punkten schrumpfen, bis sie vom Dunst einer warmen Julinacht verschluckt werden.
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After years of studying Freud in Paris, Mr. Muo returns home to bring the benefits of psychoanalysis to twenty-first-century China and to somehow free his college sweetheart, now a political prisoner, a quest that leads him to the sadistic local magistrate.… (more)

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