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Anys de prosperitat

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  1,177 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
Pequín 2013: un mes sencer s'has esborrat del calendari. Ha desaparegut tota la informació, ningú no en recorda res i a ningú li importa gens. Excepte a un petit cercle d'amics que no s'aturaran fins a descobrir el motiu d'aquesta amnèsia inquietat i de la felicitat general que s'ha apoderat de la societat xinesa.
Paperback, 310 pages
Published November 2011 by La Campana (first published October 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Anabelle Bernard Fournier
In translation theory, there are two main factions: the "naturalizers" and the "foreignizers" The naturalizers think that literature should be translated in a language that feels natural to the reader, as if it had been written originally in their language. The foreignizers, on the other hand, think that the best way to honour a text is to keep the translation as close to the source language as the target language will allow. In other words, the first group would have the English sound English, ...more
Craig
“Between a good hell and a counterfeit paradise, which one will people choose?” is the underlying question in Chan Koonchung’s The Fat Years.

When I started reading The Fat Years I was expecting a dystopian novel and was surprised that the book is actually a critique of contemporary Chinese culture and political system. Luckily, it was an informative and interesting description of the fallings of the Chinese Communist Party, and Chan does a decent job of blending the story’s narrative with the p
...more
Ryandake
Jan 29, 2012 Ryandake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book should come with a warning label.

it's supposed to be a novel, fer chrissakes. not a synopsis of china's political and economic history. if they'd sold is as the latter, i'd give it five stars. but as a novel, it blows.

i bought the audiobook rather than the print version. the narrator does quite a nice job. i listened to it while teaching myself to knit, fortunately. at least something useful came out of the time.

the story's split into two sections--the "story" part, and the epilogue. i
...more
Biblibio
Truthfully, I couldn't finish the book. The Fat Years is badly written and characterized, with only its message going for it. Unfortunately, even 60% into the novel the main plot point had yet to appear - only awkward setup. Coupled with overly blunt writing and severly stilted dialogue, The Fat Years is an utterly unpleasant read.

Is there political, near-future relevance to the book? Maybe. But it's impossible to reach the point through the mess and though the message screams loudly, it isn't r
...more
Anna
Dec 30, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once I realised that trying to ease myself back into reading non-fiction after avoiding it since Trumpageddon with a 900 page biography of Mao was ill-advised, I took up a novel about China instead. ‘The Fat Years’ turned up on my dystopia keyword search, although I wouldn’t class it as dystopian. The situation described is only a slight exaggeration of current affairs. 'The Fat Years' was first published in 2009 and is set in 2013, so has an exceedingly contemporary feel. The narrative follows ...more
Stephanie
Jan 14, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an intriguing book, at least the 75%. The first three quarters consist of inter-woven stories of several citizens of Beijing, China in 2013, two years after a world financial crisis that has resulted in China becoming an economic superpower. They've even bought Starbucks and begun serving up lychee dragon lattes. But don't forget: this is a dystopian tale, a science fiction tale. The Chinese people, it seems, have a case of collective amnesia when it comes to their country's recent past. ...more
Felice
Apr 01, 2012 Felice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The novel The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung has been banned in China. I know this because it says so right on the cover of the book. Big deal right? What isn’t banned in China? Does a book being banned somewhere entice anyone to read it anymore like in the old Legion of Decency days? What possible titillation or thrill from forbidden knowledge could come from a banned book these days when you can go in the internet and see any type of porn you want and/or cats spouting philosophy while dressed as ...more
Noah
Feb 25, 2012 Noah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic and engaging premise, and the translation on this reveals a nice edge to the writing, especially for a writer from Asia. The rambling final section was fascinating though a little drawn out. I enjoyed the shifting in perspectives, and also the meta-commentary on the place of coincidence in fiction writing. Chan tries to cover and address just about every social topic in China that he can, and predictably some items are more insightfully discussed than others. Still, as someone who's sp ...more
Tuck
nan talese is usually a stamp of excellence, a sign that the product you are holding is quality, exciting, literature even. this could be an exciting novel of famine, great leaps forward and people's ability to overcome great hardships. but it actually is a poor story written rather badly. see this instead From Wonso Pond: A Korean Novel or this The Orphan Master's Son or this Wolf Totem or this talese imprint The Ginseng Hunter: A Novel
Sooz
Jan 24, 2012 Sooz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“No country can afford to be without idealists, especially not contemporary China” The Fat Years

i’ve been reading about the Cold War and how little time there was between the triumphant success of the allied forces -ending w.w. 2- and the return of self-interests that established a huge divide between them .... a divide that would dominate world politics for years to come. i’d read about the Marshall Plan before (American aid that helped rebuild a war-torn Europe) but i had no idea how incredibl
...more
Ivy
Aug 17, 2011 Ivy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ich muss zugeben, dass es in erster Linie Schuld des Covers ist, dass ich dieses Buch unbedingt lesen wollte. Ich weiß ehrlich gesagt nicht, ob ich das Cover unheimlich oder einfach nur genial finden soll. Jedenfals hat mich das Cover sofort angesprochen und als ich dann auch den Klappentext gelesen habe, war für mich klar: Du musst dieses Buch haben. Allerdings war das Buch um einiges anders, als ich es mir vorgestellt hatte. Was nicht unbedingt schlecht sein muss ...

Die Geschichte wird aus ver
...more
Nicholas Whyte
Apr 11, 2015 Nicholas Whyte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2399046.html


This is a fascinating book, by a writer who was born in Shanghai, educated in Hong Kong and now lives in Beijing. The book itself has been published in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but is not officially available on the mainland (though a fascinating foreword by Julia Lovell refers to Beijing's "chic party-hostesses slipp[ing] copies of the book into guests’ take-home bags"). It came out in 2009 and is set in the very near future of 2013, after a further financ
...more
Nicole
Apr 05, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting look at Chinese politics through an apparently rather light veil of fiction.
I found that I could better appreciate the first part of the novel after the characters' roles were explained. As a story, it was…not bad. It was interesting to see how the characters' lives intersected here and there, and to see how their lives/society were. But it was not that memorable either…which, I suppose is stylistically similar to Orwell's novel, 1989, (though the world better resembles Brave
...more
Rob
Oct 08, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...I suppose I can see why the Chinese government would not be thrilled with the publication of The Fat Years. I think the answer to the riddle of the missing month is so over the top however, that nobody would take it too seriously, including the censors in China. It does offer the western readers a glimpse of life in urban China that we don't often get to see. It shows a level criticism of the government, discussions on various historical events that are usually taboo and a number of frank com ...more
Hadrian
Aug 07, 2011 Hadrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian, fiction, china
A political essay cloaked as a dystopia. Very reminiscent of the Goldstein book of 1984. Very eerie and prescient examination of the power and possible ends of the shadowy CCP.
Marthe Bijman
The Fat Years is a profoundly disturbing novel. It has been banned in mainland China and officially has not been published there. However, the author has said digital copies were disseminated “on the Internet within the Chinese firewall” before being deleted. Koonchung does not speculate who specifically deleted his novel, but the title of an article by him, “Chinese Author: My Book Was Banned in My Home Country”, strongly implicates the Chinese authorities.

It is a cross between Science Fiction,
...more
Roxy
May 06, 2015 Roxy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why people rate this so poorly outside of the fact that they aren't happy with all the Chinese political details. I personally loved the challenge of this book to look up the names and events unfamiliar to me. I especially loved getting a crash course in dissident literature in China, and I am still avidly reading through that book list. What makes the politics of this book even better is seeing larger national debates through the gaze of the characters, each of whom is representative o ...more
Alta
The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung (Anchor Books, 2013. Trans. from the Chinese by Michael S. Duke)

Chan Koonchung—who was raised in Hong Kong, has studied in Boston, worked for many years as a successful journalist/editor, and now lives in Beijing—knows what Westerners go for, so he has packaged a novel with all the necessary ingredients: references to the Tiananmen Square massacre, a succinct compilation of the most important events in 20th century Chinese history—this alone is evidence of the aud
...more
Canadian 135
This book is hard to review. I loved it, but can appreciate it's not really a novel, or speculative/science fiction, but a discussion of contemporary urban China. The book is about a "missing month" in China - the month when China catapults into world ascendancy, becomes an economic leader and political powerhouse, and the people become happy. Only a few Chinese remember the missing month - the story of which is told against the backdrop of the changed leadership of the Communist Party, the lack ...more
Rachel
Mar 12, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
Modern China is so complex and so much more than can be read and interpreted in the western media. Not sure if this book can be fully understood without some background on the culture and history. Also somewhat frustrated by reading it in translation as I expect there are more layers in the characters' names than can be expressed in English. And a map would be helpful.

The novel is billed as dystopian but creates such a realistic view of China in 2013, maybe the reality is the dystopia... or uto
...more
the gift
this is not a very well written book, but it is still very good. fascinating, immediate, engaging, this portrayal of a slightly future or alternate history china, perhaps didactic, simple characters, it may be more what the chinese call a novel- not so much western tastes. this 'lost month' is too credible in a world of news cycles renewing itself perpetually, every twenty four or forty eight hours... not a lot of intense commentary when the world flies by so fast, when there is money to make, w ...more
Jodi
Sep 10, 2012 Jodi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Jodi by: goodreads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Blandine Got
Jul 21, 2012 Blandine Got rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Un peu fastidieux parfois, quand on a une connaissance limitée de l'histoire chinoise des... Cinquante dernières années. Mais amene a avoir un regard différent sur notre fonctionnement occidental. Interesting...
Riovogan
盛世集体嗑药,政府掺在饮用水里,喝完浑身正能量
Elizabeth Sum
A letdown...became really boring.
Michael Leung
Jul 28, 2011 Michael Leung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on China, the Communist Party and its future. The book starts off slow but the epilogue is well worth it alone. How many books can say that?
Christina
So what would you do if you could remember something happening but you were just about the only one who could? And even if you went to old news papers or on the internet, there wasn’t any information about it?

Well, that’s the situation for several of the characters in this book. Not all though. The main character, Old Chen, is a happy man. He’s happy about his life, the world he lives in, everything. But then he meets a woman he was in love with when they were both young, Little Xi. Little Xi is
...more
Tariq Mahmood
Jun 30, 2017 Tariq Mahmood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have time to read one book which explains the remarkable Chinese development since the last decades, this is it. The simple yet enigmatic CPC policy of keeping 1.35 billion people as its personal commodity, in their attempt to remain in absolute power is very insightful indeed. Not only are the how and why explained clearly, in a very speech like fashion but the interest is maintained by operational strategies which could be applied by the CPC to keep its resource in line. This short and ...more
Christina
Feb 19, 2017 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have difficulty accurately gauging literature that was originally written in Chinese. The characters always seem flat and the phrasing is uncommonly awkward, but this just means I should probably read more Chinese literature.

This novel rather accurately shows China's current situation. Many people from mainland China are happy with the illusion of freedom because the government is making them rich. They can afford Gucci bags and trips around the world, so in general they don't mind if their me
...more
Seth
May 18, 2017 Seth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: found
The story was not too great but the political commentary about what is happening and what is likely to happen is fantastic. be warned, you need a bit of knowledge on China before understating many of the points.
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Goodreads Librari...: Combination request 55 218 Oct 31, 2011 01:51PM  
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Chan Koonchung 陳冠中 (born 1952) is a Chinese science-fiction writer who has previously lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States. He currently lives in Beijing. He is the founder of Green Power (綠色力量), Green Garden Organic Farm (綠田園有機農場) and the Hong Kong Film Directors Association (香港電影導演會) among other organizations, and is currently on the international board of directors of Greenpeace. P ...more
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“This year is the year of my zodiac sign, and a lot of strange things are bound to happen.” 0 likes
“I still wanted to prove that I was the best of all the second-rate writers. I refused all further requests to write journalism and started to concentrate solely on my novel. Since then, I have not written a single word.” 0 likes
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