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

by Dai Sijie

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5732026,928 (2.98)35
After years of studying Freud in Paris, Mr. Muo returns home to introduce the blessings of psychoanalysis to twenty-first-century China. But it is his hidden purpose--to liberate his university sweetheart, now a political prisoner--that leads him to the sadistic local magistrate, Judge Di. The price of the Communist bureaucrat's clemency? A virgin maiden. And so our middle-aged hero Muo, a Westernized romantic and sexual innocent himself, sets off on his bicycle in search of a suitable girl. Muo's quest will take him from a Chengdu mortuary to a rural panda habitat, from an insane asylum to the haunts of the marauding Lolo people. Along the way, he will lose a tooth, his virginity, and his once unshakable faith in psychoanalytic insight. But his quixotic idealism will not waver, even as he comes to see that the chivalrous heart may have room for more than one true love.… (more)

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English (16)  French (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Bizarre story, quirky characters - not at all sure it was a comedy, maybe black. People and places vividly describe - could be a good movie? ( )
  siri51 | Oct 15, 2018 |
I loved Balzac & the Little Seamstress but I was bored reading this. Either I missed the point (entirely possible!) or this is not is finest. Maybe read again in a few years to see if the years throw this book into a a new perspective for me. ( )
  essjay1 | Jan 11, 2017 |
I found Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch to be a disjointed, vaguely plotted book. I did not enjoy it and forced myself to finish it because I was reading it for book club. I kept hoping to find the humor in it since written on the back cover was how funny it was but I never found the humor. I don't know if I'll read this author again. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Dec 7, 2015 |
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 |
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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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