Wolf Totem
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Wolf Totem

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,430 ratings  ·  259 reviews
An epic Chinese tale in the vein of The Last Emperor, Wolf Totem depicts the dying culture of the Mongols-the ancestors of the Mongol hordes who at one time terrorized the world-and the parallel extinction of the animal they believe to be sacred: the fierce and otherworldly Mongolian wolf

Published under a pen name, Wolf Totem was a phenomenon in China, breaking all sales...more
Hardcover, 527 pages
Published March 27th 2008 by Penguin Press HC, The (first published 2004)
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The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakLife of Pi by Yann Martel
Foreign Lands
130th out of 1,159 books — 1,102 voters
Wolf Totem by Jiang RongGenghis by Conn IgguldenAmgalant One by Bryn  HammondAmgalant Two by Bryn  HammondGenghis by Conn Iggulden
Steppe Fiction
1st out of 23 books — 12 voters

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Jan 28, 2013 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in Chinese history or natural history
This has been a reading experience unlike any other for me. Through the eyes of a Chinese student, sent to Inner Mongolia as part of a volunteer program during the Cultural Revolution, we see a nomadic way of life as it has existed for centuries and as it is on the verge of it's death before encroaching masses of Chinese seeking land and food. (The author was involved in the same type of program for 11 years, beginning in 1967.)

Chen Zhen, and 2 or 3 like-minded friends in the student brigade, re...more
Feb 20, 2010 Mery rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: semua pecinta hewan dan alam
Shelves: punya, lagi-dipinjem
Wolf Totem = Totem Serigala adalah sebuah buku semi autobiografi yang ditulis oleh Jiang Rong mengenai semasa hidupnya di sebuah Padang Rumput Mongolia, atau tepatnya di Olonbulag, Mongolia.

Dengan memperkenalkan diri sebagai Chen Zhen dalam buku ini, Jiang Rong mengupas tuntas misteri yang tersembunyi di Olonbulag dan bagaimana masyarakat Nomaden yang selalu berpindah tempat di alam liar tersebut bisa mempertahankan hidup mereka. Di buku ini kita juga diajak menyelami ajaran mistis para penduduk...more
Sandy Tjan
"Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom's chain;
Again from its brumal sleep
Wakens the ferine strain."

The Wolf Totem, like The Call of the Wild, a book that it is often compared to, calls for a return to unfettered nature, with its individualism and harsh, but utterly logical values. The wolves don’t kill because they are cruel, but because, like all other living creatures, they need to eat to sustain themselves. The beautiful Inner Mongolian grassland which serves as the setting for this no...more
Mar 11, 2009 Boof rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Boof by: To read with RJ
I finished this book 2 days ago, after having my head buried in it for 4 days and I just can't stop thinking about it. It is the most wonderful book and has shot straight into my Top 5 of all time.

From the very first page I was hooked. Jiang Rong creates such a vivid and compelling narrative that I found myself similtaniously gripped with the story yet trying to slow down and savour every word, so beautiful was each sentence.

Wolf Totem is semi-autobiographical and Jiang's passion for the Mongol...more
Serigala tiba-tiba menjadi harapan bagi Chen Zhen, pelajar muda dari Beijing yang akibat politik dikirim ke Olunbulag, sebuah daerah di pedalaman Mongolia. Dari seekor serigala, Chen Zhen tidak hanya belajar tentang pengetahuan, tetapi juga kearifan. Belajar tentang serigala, kita akan belajar tentang kehidupan. Saya merasa, pesan inilah yang ingin disampaikan oleh Jiang Rong dalam novel Wolf Totem ini.

Ada yang mengatakan nostalgia adalah rasa pedih yang mulia. Saya sependapat jika ada yang men...more
Ethan Cramer-Flood
Apparently moving to China has slowed down my reading considerably.

Wolf Totem was a massive best seller here in 2005; despite being somewhat literary it broke every sales record the country has, short of Mao's little red book. It was also made into a movie that did equally well. I decided to check it out to get a feel for modern pop-literature zeitgeist in China, but I think I suffered from a culture gap.

It's about a Beijing student sent to inner Mongolia during the cultural revolution in the 1...more
رغم أني استغرقت وقت طويل في القراءة وكدت أن أتوقف في أكثر من مرة ( خصوصاً في النصف الأول منها ) .. إلا أني بعد الانتهاء أشعر برضا تام عما قرأته .. رغم تحفظي على الإغراق في التفاصيل والإسهاب في أكثر من موضع بلا داعٍ ..
لا أبالغ إن قلت أن تجربتي مع سهوب منغوليا في هذا الكتاب تحمل ملامح كبير من تجربتي مع رسول حمزتوف في جبال داغستان .. نفس المشاعر الصادقة للمكان لمستها في الكتابين ..
الكتاب يهتم بتحليل الشخصية الفريدة التي يتمتع بها الإنسان البدوي .. المميزات التي جعلت البدو المغول يغزون العالم يوماً...more
I loved it. Heartbreaking and pertinent.

Setting aside any reservations one might have about style (one reads for many things, style being only one of them), I enjoyed the book most for its depiction of the social and bureaucratic processes of the Great Leap Forward and how these brought about the destruction of a culture and of an ecology. The story has an urgent poignancy with its lessons wrapped in a nice little tale along the lines of Born Free, but with a less happy ending. Chen’s love for...more
I really like this book, but its translation is a problem. I have both the Chinese and the English versions, and quite a bit of the original is left untranslated in the English release.

In the Chinese edition, there is a quote from a famous person (both Western and Eastern) before each chapter that sort of sets the theme for the chapter, gives further insight into the political ideas in the story, etc. These quotes are completely omitted in the translated version. In addition, there is a 50 pages...more
Trying to balance my comments about this book is something of a challenge. From a literary perspective, "Wolf Totem" is weak. The dialogue is highly contrived and tiresomely didactic. What is being preached is fairly simple: the Mongols carry the spirit of the wolf, and it was this that enabled Genghis Khan to build his great empire. By contrast, the Chinese agriculturalists are sheep whose spiritless lifestyle makes them passive victims even as their ever-growing population means that they will...more
The primary reason I read this book was because of the fact I needed another book--there was a sale, and I needed one more book to get the deal. I picked it up because I liked the color and the title, read the description, and thought it seemed fairly interesting. At the beginning of the book I was mildly interested; I kept waiting for something suspenseful and more interesting to happen. Until finally I became transfixed with the play of the words and the story itself.

I honestly found Wolf Tote...more
Setiap mendengar kata serigala, gambaran makhluk buas yang akrab dengan kegelapan langsung terlintas di pikiran, walaupun pada kenyataannya hanya segelintir orang yang pernah melihatnya secara langsung. Binatang ini begitu tebal diselimuti mitos dan misteri sehingga nyaris menjadi legenda. Beruang, harimau, atau gajah yang perkasa masih bisa dilihat di kebun binatang atau pertunjukan sirkus. Tapi serigala? Mereka lebih baik mati daripada menjadi tawanan.

Pesona serigala yang begitu kuat dan mengu...more
Vaidya R
This is not easy reading. The writing is pretty simple, being a translation. But the content doesn't sit easy. Am not the kind who can sit through a documentary on wildlife easily; the bad news about habitat destruction and their being driven towards extinction comes soon enough.

I had to repeatedly read Wikipedia to note that wolves are not extinct and are in the Least Concern category of IUCN. But then, this is not a tale of just wolves. This is about a grassland, an ecosystem and a way of lif...more
اذا لم تكن لديك قدرة على المطاولة فالرواية طويلة جداً ستمائة صفحة من القطع الكبير والخط صغير جداً مغرقة في التفاصيل ولكنها ملحمة إنسانية كاملة .. عمر من التجارب البيئية والإنسانية

الذئب العدو الذي ستجبرك الرواية على حبه .. والإنسان الحليف الذي تجبرك على كرهه

فائدتان رئيسيتان : الصين حاولت إجبار كل مواطنيها على ان تكون لهم هوية واحدة (الهان) فكانت النتيجة ان تشوهت جميع الهويات فيها

الثانية : التوازن الطبيعي .. القضاء على الذئاب قد يؤدي الى التصحر !! .. كيف ؟
Би энэ номыг "Үгэн сүргийн үхэрчин" хэмээх Хятад хэлний гүүш Доржсүрэнгийн Болдбаатарын орчуулгаар уншлаа. Энэ эхний хэвлэл нь орчуулагчийн орчуулгыг жаахан өөрчилсөн байсан гэсэн. Дараа нь Орчуулагч Болдбаатар үүнийг мэдээд эх хувиар нь дахин хэвэлсэн сураг байсан.
Энэ номны үйл явдал нь Өвөр-монголын Олонбулагийн талд илгээлтийн эзэн нэрээр хэсэг залуучууд орж ирдэг ба тэдний 4(ЧэньЖэнь/хоньчин/, Ян Кө/хоньчин/, Гао Зянь Жун/үхэрчин/, Жан Зи Юань/адуучин/) нь Өвгөн Билэг,түүний хүү Бат, бэр Г...more
Tumeeb13 Bold
Үнэхээр сонирхолтой түүх,Хятадууд сая саяараа худалдаж авч уншсан гэхээр бүүр ч гайхалтай. Хэзээ нэгэн цагт би нисэж магадгүй ээ, гэдэг дуу шиг, хэзээ нэгэн цагт бид нэг нэгнээ байгаагаар нь хүлээж авч, ойлгох байх. Чоно гэдэг хийморьтой сайхан амьтан юм даа. Хятад зохиолчийн энэхүү номыг монголын алдарт орчуулагч /дуун хөрвүүлэгч/ Д.Болдбаатар орчуулсан нь үнэхээр чихэнд наалдацтай, нүд нь ургаж, сэтгэлд буусан сайхан бүтээл болжээ. Дуусгаад сэтгэгдлээ бичнээ.

Заа, дуусгачихлаа. Эндээс юу ойлгож...more
Luz Balthasaar
Baru mulai baca, baru sampai di sekitar bagian si tokoh utama menakut-nakuti serigala dengan sanggurdi... akaka, bisa aja.


Nggak ngupdate status buku ini saking intensnya baca. Benar-benar cerita tragis tentang 'kemenangan' kerakusan atas kebijaksanaan. Lihai sekali pengarang menempatkan ceritanya; pertama-tama menarik aku ke padang rumput Mongolia, mengajari aku melihat kehidupan padang rumput dari mata Chen, belajar dari kebijaksanaan Bilgee, dan memukauku dengan kecerdasan, kekuatan, da...more
Warnie B.
Guh... Let me just...compose myself a bit. Deep breaths... Okay.

Man. I haven't cried like that in a loooong time. And I totally wasn't expecting it; I mean, it came out of nowhere. The first half of the book was interesting, and I liked the characters, and I found the conflicts between the nomadic and agricultural ways of life compelling, but... Well, it was slow going somewhat. Things happen at a plodding sort of pace, despite all the man vs. wolf battles going on. And a lot of the dialogue fel...more
Reading this book explains a lot of what I saw last year on a trip to Inner Mongolia - how the way of life on the grassland is influenced by modern technology and the pressures of China's agrarian society:

I saw not the glorious herds of horses used for combat, scouting, and protection, but broken down ones used for carrying tourists like me. Instead of horses, the shepherds ride loud/smelly motorcycles. The grass has been so overused that in an effort to let it grow back before turning into a s...more
Tezar Ari Yulianto
Seberapa hebatkah makhluk bernama manusia itu? Kalau membaca novel ini, kita harus menyadari, bahwa manusia hebat dalam menghancurkan alam dan sumberdayanya.
Tuhan mengajarkan kepada kita, bahwa dunia di sekitar kita adalah hidup untuk belajar, merenung. Tapi yang ada ketamakan manusia sendiri yang melupakan nilai-nilai yang dapat dipelajari dari alam.
Wolf Totem, mengisahkan kisah manusia pemburu Mongolia yang tinggal di wilayah Olonbulag, kekuasaan Cina. Chen Zhen, adalah salah seorang pelajar...more
This book definitely lives up to the many accolades it's gotten. The only reason I am giving it a 4 instead of a 5 is that it was a bit too epic (I was racing to finish around page 500--as an editor, I would have cut at least 25 pages), and the author tended to pack in too many social details and facts into characters' dialog. Other than those two minor complaints, I've never been more transported to another culture and landscape that is so different from anything I've ever experienced or even r...more
This book artfully combines two of my favorite topics: wolves and Mongolians. More broadly, it illustrates the dynamics of indigenous peoples with their environment. The historical aspect is very fascinating, as it posits that the grueling life of nomads on the grassland was a major factor in the success in battle of nomadic people throughout history. It also compares the nature of nomadic peoples versus agricultural peoples. Most importantly, it warns against wholesale disregard for the environ...more
This is the tale of a young Chinese student, Chen, who spends years in Mongolia, living with its people and studying the culture-- in particular, the Mongols' mythical fascination and reverence of the wolf. Then Chen does the unthinkable: he brings home a wolf cub to raise on his own -- a science experiment – he calls it. The decision brings forth much controversy: the wolf is meant to be free and its innate purpose cannot be ignored for long… It's generally well-written, but ridiculously long a...more
At first I forced myself to keep reading. It seemed to be long worded and boring. That changed at some point, but Im not sure when. Perhaps it didn't change at all; I just became interested. This was a tough read due to its violent, frank, and raw descriptions of the natural life of the wolf and the other grassland inhabitants, including the humans. In Jaing's life time he witnessed the end to a way of life and an ecosystem. It is ultimately a sad, very sad story, but interesting. The people of...more
The Mongol herdsmen of the Olonbulag grassland revere wolves and their dogs are their best friends. The best way to kill wolf cubs and excess puppies is to throw them up in the air, then they hit the frozen ground with a thud and a mixture of blood and milk pours out of their noses.
The author recounts several such 'fascinating insights' into the herdsmen's way of life; both the banal and the bloodthirsty are recounted with the same dispassionate detail. I blame the stilted prose and idiosyncrati...more
Sep 24, 2008 Chrissie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone at all interested in ecology, Inner and Outer Mongolia and wolves
OK, yesterday I finished it. I have to give it 5 stars, but I really NEED someone to answer one question. Did the author really raise a wolf cub? This is the one thing that is terrible about historical fiction - being unsure what exactly is fiction and what is not. I know that this has no real significance in this book, but I need to know. If somebody reads this and knows, please send me a message! The preface by the translator says this is a quasi-autobiographical novel.

I have to say this to so...more
It’s a shame because my mother spent $15 on this book thinking it would appeal to me, and I hoped it would, too. I hate to think of that $15 when considering whether or not to give up on this book. Why should I rake myself over the coals about abandoning this book when I gave up on, for example, Ulysses? Does $15 make it more worth the effort than all the other, likely more enriching books I’ve given up on? Um... no.

The reason I’m giving up on this book is it’s very hard on the postmodern reader...more
I enjoyed reading about the Mongolian herders and how they view themselves and the animals living around them. It was really interesting to learn how the wolves play such an important part in helping to maintain the fragile environment. The story itself is about a Chinese student who learns, hands-on, about living with the Mongolians and becomes fascinated with the wolves. He decides to capture a cub and raise it to learn more about the nature of the wolf, unfortunately, this doesn’t go as plann...more
Apr 11, 2008 Anna rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those wanting a trashy, transporting read
Shelves: magic-carpet, trash
What a fascinating topic - the nomads of the mongolian steppe - and yet...
written with the flair of a report to the Central Committee.

So, so badly written. What does it mean when the main character describes his pivotal, mentored relationship in the book with the most senior herdsman Bilgee, a man he calls "papa", as "the relationship was progressing."
Wha? it has the effect of making Chen, the Han Chinese herdsman who is the central character, seem like an emotional cripple.

thankfully, the lump...more
Enkh-Ider Jargalsaikhan
Чоно гэдэг амьтан нүүдлийн соёл иргэншилд ямар их чухал болохыг, чонын ан аваа авлах арга ухааныг, чонотой зэрэгцэн оршиж амьдрахын монголчуудын ухаан чононуудын хүчинд тэдэнтэй зэрэгцэн хөгжиж, яаж тэмцэх чадвар, дархлаа суусанг харуулсан дажгүй ном шиг санагдав. Монголчууд өөрсдөө суурин иргэншилд ороод байгалийн тэнцэлийг алдагдуулж, нүүдлийн соёл иргэншилээ өөрөө устгаж байхийм. Тэгээд жаахан нуршуу санагдлаа.
Нүүдлийн соёлыг магтсан хятадын суурин соёлыг муулсан, хятадуудын зориг зүрхгүй мон...more
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Wolf totem 2 13 Feb 10, 2014 07:24PM  
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Jiang Rong (real name Lü Jiamin) was born in Beijing in 1946 and is a Chinese dissident and author, most famous for his best-selling 2004 novel Wolf Totem. He is married to fellow novelist Zhang Kangkang.
More about Jiang Rong...
小狼小狼 Totemul lupului vol.I

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“The grassland is a big life, but it's thinner than people's eyelids. If you rupture its grassy surface, you blind it, and dust storms are more lethal than the white-hair blizzards. If the grassland dies, so will the cows and sheep and horses, as well as the wolves and the people, all the little lives.” 2 likes
“Protecting the grassland is hard on us. If we don't kill wolves, they'll be fewer of us. But if we kill too many of them, there'll be even fewer.” 2 likes
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