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Life and Death are Wearing Me Out by Mo Yan
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Life and Death are Wearing Me Out (2006)

by Mo Yan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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331433,359 (3.85)1 / 88

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English (3)  Spanish (1)  All languages (4)
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There are a lot of more interesting ways to learn about recent Chinese history. ( )
  akswede | Oct 14, 2013 |
Wonderfully funny book ( )
  wbwilburn5 | Jan 28, 2013 |
This is a terrific read – a big view of the second half of 20th-Century China, but lightly told in terms of a small rural town and beings, not all human, in it that you care about. (Why are these novels always called “sweeping” in reviews?) Mo Yan is not afraid to step slightly over the boundaries of reality as we usually understand it, but it is well done, and I didn’t have any problem following along. The author has been compared to Marquez, but he reminds me more of Mark Helprin.

The translation is never stilted and I quickly forgot the original was written (with brush and ink, I read) in Chinese. This was the first of Mo Yan’s novels that I’ve read, but I will certainly catch up on his earlier works. ( )
1 vote Larxol | Jul 14, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
After finally making it through Life and Death — a battle as hard-fought as the one between humans and pigs in the middle of the novel — I’m not able to say that I enjoyed the book, though parts of it kept me engaged enough to consider picking up another of Mo Yan’s works…someday. Maybe.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yan, Moprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldblatt, HowardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liberati, PatriziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ximen Nao, a landowner known for his generosity and kindness to his peasants, is not only stripped of his land and worldly possessions in Mao's Land Reform Movement of 1948, but is cruelly executed, despite his protestations of innocence. He goes to Hell, where Lord Yama, king of the underworld, has Ximen Nao tortured endlessly, trying to make him admit his guilt, to no avail. Finally, in disgust, Lord Yama allows Ximen Nao to return to earth, to his own farm, where he is reborn not as a human but first as a donkey, then an ox, pig, dog, monkey, and finally the big-headed boy Lan Qiansui. Through the earthy and hugely entertaining perspectives of these animals, Ximen Nao narrates fifty years of modern Chinese history, ending on the eve of the new millennium. Here is an absolutely spellbinding tale that reveals the author's love of the land, beset by so many ills, traditional and modern.… (more)

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