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  ·  24 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
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 Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher J. KochHow A Moth Becomes A Boat by Josephine RoweThe Mary Smokes Boys by Patrick HollandInland by Gerald MurnaneVoss by Patrick White
Modern Australian Library
61st out of 73 books — 13 voters
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenShōgun by James ClavellThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Good Earth by Pearl S. BuckEveryone Burns by John Dolan
Best books on Asia
203rd out of 558 books — 384 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 90)
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.
Chris Doyle
Chris Doyle marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Deanne
Deanne marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Joan Fisher
Joan Fisher marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Egidi
Egidi marked it as to-read
Nov 26, 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
Laura
Laura added it
Aug 25, 2014
Josh
Josh marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2014
Vis
Vis marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2014
Kate Barker
Kate Barker marked it as to-read
Dec 09, 2013
Jo
Jo marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2013
Craig Hodges
Craig Hodges marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2013
Robin Bower
Robin Bower marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
James Tierney
James Tierney marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2013
« previous 1 3 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 Drift

Share This Book