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
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
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
Old Opinion from 2013: Ma Jian's Beijing Coma is probably one of the best novels I have read this year. It is so beautifully written, and haunting. My eyes were opened and I have learned so much about the Tiananmen Square Massacre and Protests through this book and I have also done my own research. I knew about the Tiananmen Square protests before I read the ...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
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
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
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
Vent’anni dopo la strage di piazza Tian’anmen quei ragazzi che pensavano di diventare “martiri gloriosi”, uccisi dall’esercito e non dalla polizia, non hanno cambiato proprio niente. La loro morte, oggi lo possiamo dire, è stata inutile, anzi ha distrutto l’ala riformista del partito comunista e ha precipitato la Cina nel vortice ...more
Must-Read! Ein absolutes Must-Read auf so vielen Ebenen...
Yet, living in China, perhaps prudence dictates that the less I say, the better. So I will say this: I recommend this book!
I completed this book on Xmas Day, 2008. This was one of those books that were quite difficult to read. The difficulty mainly was m ...more
The book is well written but be fore-warned it is long and detailed. There were times that I was feeling a bit over-whelmed by the detail and being submerged into Dai Wei's life. However, ...more
It would have been better had Jian decided to write a non fiction account of the Tiananmen protests. Fiction requires some kind of drama or something to move the story, and in this it felt like it remained ...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
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