3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Worth ten stars!,
This review is from: River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (Paperback)I am not surprised that there are over one hundred reviews of River Town. It is a superb book. If I could I would give it ten stars. The best book I have read in years.
Much is written by others about this book. It is a piece of narrative non-fiction. As such it reads like a novel. A real page turner!
My wife is Chinese. I have spent some time in China. But at a different place (Guangxi province) and time (ten years later). I certainly share Mr. Hessing's attitude towards the hospitality and friendliness of the Chinese people. As he mentions: it is hard to imagine that very many Americans (or Canadians) would invite an odd foreigner into their home after meeting him on the street for the first time. Although I don't speak Chinese they made me feel warm and comfortable in their homes. Mr. Hessing learned to speak Chinese and had an even richer experience for it.
In all the saber rattling towards China, few North Americans seem to appreciate that the Chinese are normal people with hopes and aspirations like all of us. Communism does not change that. This book paints a picture of common Chinese folks. It is required reading for anyone interested in Chinese sociology or, for that matter, anyone interested in a good read. Perhaps Mr. Hessing is the Dashan for the common folk (just joking Mr. Hessing!).