Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shanghai Dancing” as Want to Read:
Shanghai Dancing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shanghai Dancing

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  6 reviews
After 40 years in Australia, Antonio Castro packs a bag and walks out of his old life forever. The victim of a restlessness he calls "Shanghai Dancing," Antonio seeks to understand the source of his condition in his family's wanderings. Reversing his parents' own migration, Antonio heads back to their native Shanghai, where his world begins to fragment as his ancestry star ...more
Paperback
Published April 1st 2009 by Kaya Press (first published June 1st 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shanghai Dancing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shanghai Dancing

The Kaleidoscope by Adrian MendozaWhite Teeth by Zadie SmithShanghai Dancing by Brian CastroAnd Still the Earth by Ignácio de Loyola BrandãoThe Color Purple by Alice Walker
Reading Diversely 2014
3rd out of 41 books — 11 voters
The Mary Smokes Boys by Patrick HollandThe Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher J. KochThe Plains by Gerald MurnaneInland by Gerald MurnaneVoss by Patrick White
Modern Australian Library
64th out of 74 books — 17 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 101)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Alan
I wanted to like this more than I did. Castro's poetic and labyrinthine prose is frequently beautiful but it somehow adds up to less than the sum of its parts. He slips in and out of geography and history at will, one moment in Shanghai, then Macau, then Liverpool, then Australia; from the present day to the 17th century to a WW2 POW camp in Shanghai. Characters drift similarly in and out of the narrative as Castro tells the semi-fictionalised story of his ancestry and interweaves it with photog ...more
Michael Flick
I wish I could have liked this book more. It's the best W. G. Sebald book I've ever read that wasn't written by W. B. Sebald. It suffers in that regard compared to Sebald's "Austerlitz," also a fictional autobiography, but one with moral and emotional weight. There's not much of either here. This book also brings to mind Gabriel García Márquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude," which also traces a family through many generations. Castro's book is heavy on realism but, alas, doesn't have much tha ...more
Susan
I would have loved this book had it been easier to read. Or if I had been an English major and knew how to read flowery writing. The premise and the setting were exactly what I love to read: pre-war Shanghai and 20th century Hong Kong with a healthy dose of suspense. Alas I felt like I had to put too much time into figuring out what was going on. I'm still not sure I really 'got' it'.
Clifford
Sprawling. Dense. Lyrical. I would imagine that many readers will give up on this book, and even I found it to be a bit of a slog, although very rewarding. Focussed on the current generation, it's really a multi-generational family saga, roving from China to Hong Kong and Macau, to Australia, to Japan, to Brazil. Beautifully written. Stick with it, readers.
Maggie Chen
So so underrated.
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
May 25, 2015
Reem
Reem added it
Mar 29, 2015
Elena
Elena marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2015
Nina Truslow
Nina Truslow marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2015
Samuel Williams
Samuel Williams is currently reading it
Feb 26, 2015
Aavis
Aavis added it
Apr 10, 2015
Teresa Lancastre
Teresa Lancastre marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
thomas
thomas marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2015
❀terri❀
❀terri❀ marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2015
Tina Hagen
Tina Hagen marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2015
Fernanda Ribeiro
Fernanda Ribeiro marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2015
Jane
Jane is currently reading it
Jan 30, 2015
Chris Doyle
Chris Doyle marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Deanne
Deanne marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2015
Joan Fisher
Joan Fisher marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Steph
Steph marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2014
Emma
Emma marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2014
Anna
Anna marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Brian Castro was born in Hong Kong in 1950 of Portuguese, Chinese and English parents. He was sent to boarding school in Australia in 1961 (1962, Oakhill College, Castle Hill / 1963-67, St Joseph's College, Hunter's Hill.). He attended the University of Sydney from 1968-71 and won the Sydney University short story competition in 1970. He gained his BA Dip.Ed. in 1972 and his MA in 1976 from Sydney ...more
More about Brian Castro...
Birds of Passage The Garden Book Street to Street The Bath Fugues After China

Share This Book