Dai Wei has been unconscious for almost a decade. A medical student and a pro-democracy protester in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, he was struck by a soldier’s bullet and fell into a deep coma. As soon as the hospital authorities discovered that he had been an activist, his mother was forced to take him home. She allowed pharmacists access to his body and sold his urine a...more
Even reviewers who found serious problems with Beijing Coma admired its political honesty and narrative premise. They suggested that anyone reading this book would learn much about the circumstances leading to the confrontation in Tiananmen Square and the changes that have taken place in China since. But critics disagreed over the value of Beijing Coma independent of its clear importance as a work of dissident fiction. For example, some critics thought that Ma Jian's detailed descriptions of rel...more
« Tout était vert : les soldats, les tanks derrière eux, les immeubles des deux côtés. Le ciel était vert, et le soleil encore plus vert… Puis je la vis : c’était A-Mei, vêtue d’une longue robe blanche, ses cheveux fraîchement lavés...more
lens of the Tianamenen Square 1989 events. While that is the focal
point, the story spans long before and long after. Working in the
history of brutality of the Cultural Revolution, set the table for the
outrage at the events of 1989, but the chaos and in-bred ennui
of the "leaders" made for a jarring juxtaposition.
Less successful a juxtaposition, the text switching senteces of poetic
ramblings from some alleged ancient manuscript an...more
On a deeper level, Jian weaves the story into the comatose plight of the protagonist ('himself') with emotive and nostalgic flashbacks, as well as interluding segments taken from the fictional book of "The Book of Mountains and Seas" with some rather bizarre metaphoric beasts. This leads you to ponder the point Jian may be drivi...more
Beschrieben wird das Geschehen aus Sicht von Dai Wei. Er liegt seit Jahren im Koma, nachdem er bei den Kämpfen zur Niederschlagung der Studentenbewegung im Juni 1989 angeschossen wurde. Nun erinnert er sich an seine Kindheit, vor allem an seinen Vater, der als Rechtsabweichler gebrandmarkt wurde...more
It's a novel about twentith century Political history -the reality of Communism in China as it was since the
"Liberation"-The Revolution which resulted in the ascendency of Chairman Mao. It touches on the Cultural Revolution which was an era of horrific sadism. But the main story is about the Massacre of Tiananmen Sq...more
This is the story of the massacre of student protesters at Tiananmen Square. It is also the story of their fathers and grandfathers and the torture and injustice they suffered during Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution.
The narrator lies in a coma after taking a bullet to the head while fleeing from the crackdown on student act...more
Whilst I have some minor criticisms of the telling of the tale I am glad I perserved through what I perceived slightly dull bits as it truely is an amazing novel and an achievement by Ma Jian of attempting to tell the truth.
To be more precise, Dai Wei has been lying in a coma for ten years, having been shot in the head during the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989, in which hundreds of protesters, many university students, were killed by government troops.
He is paralysed from head to toe, but is still able to hear, think and remember: “A portion of your bra...more
Depressing: a young man shot in Tiananmen, stuck in a coma throughout the 1990s, his mother caring for him as apartments around them are demolished.
But well written, and well translated. The language is vivid and at times poetic. The flashbacks from childhood all the way through the protests and massacre at Tian...more
Initially I was much more taken by the background story – what had happened to the family, especially the father, in the past. As this rolled into Tiananmen Square, things in the background slowed way down, and I found myself fascinated by the coma story, especially the incredible sensitivity to sounds and smells.
There seemed to be a substantial para...more
The novel is woven with poetry and little character observations which make it...more
I slowly became aware of several things. (1)At first I was amazed at the petty bickering among...more
Dai Wei, a Beijing University student, has been shot in the head in the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. The story proper begins as the narrator switches to Dai Wei, now in a coma.
We journey with Wei, from his birth, childhood and adulthood, to finality. We see him falling for his childhood love Lulu, who later betrays him; a Hongkongese A-...more
The book's greatness lies in the way it bears witness to the oppression of the Chinese by their government. The narrator tells his story in flashback as he lies in a coma. The narrative alternates between his memories and his current state as a mind t...more
Dai Wei is in a coma after being shot in the head at the Tianamen square massacre. His senses of hearing & smell are in tact. He drifts between memory of events leading up to the massacre and his present situation, lying almost senseless in a grimy, cluttered apartment being looked after by his struggling mother who is completley unaware that her son is not completely unaware.
The author uses switches in memory / reality rather than chapters, I think, to heighten the idea of the mai...more
The novel’s protagonist and narrator, a victim of the Tienanmen square crackdown, spends the book in a coma; it alternates between his perception of the outside world in which he lies “encased in this fleshy tomb” and his memories. The remembering begins at the beginning and spans his l...more
He does a good job at getting at inter-...more
As someone who was in Tinanmen Square during the weeks leading up to the tragedy, Ma Jian is perfectly placed to reflect on his country's history. However, it is the way he frames his story that m...more
But in 1986, Ma moved to Hong Kong after a clampdown by the Chinese government in which most of his works were banned.
He moved again in 1997 to Germany, but only stayed for two years; moving to England in 1999 - where he now lives with his partner and translator Flora Dre...more