Set in famine-stricken 1930s China, Rice chronicles the complete debasement of a city family after it takes in a young man named Five Dragons, a starving wanderer from the provinces whose desire for power and sex is insatiable. In this mesmerizing novel, Su Tong, China's most provocative young writer, explores the connections between hunger, sexuality, and brutality. Rice...more
It was set in the beginning of the 20th century and end when the Japanese "raid" most of the city in China. The story started from the flood that ruin the Mapple Poplar Village, of Five Dragons native village. He went to the city and start the journey of violence full of thirst on power and sex...more
The prose is absolutely stunning and the translation from Chinese to English is done with great finesse; the juxtaposition of such beautiful writing with horrific events and behavior is...more
With that out of the way I thought this book was bad. It started off normally, then people began talking but there were no quotation marks. This was slightly distracting and I eventually got used to this but by then it had developed into something really graphic. I have no problem with unapologetic and brutally honest stories, but this moody atmosphere laboured on and...more
However, despite these two frustrations, the novel was a complete win. I was properly horrified from beginning to end and al...more
and finish it. I could say that this continues to prove I am an
optimist, but from the beginning I knew it wouldn't get better. I found
this book in a bibliography provided by the author of All the Flowers in
Shanghai. It was full of evil characters and actions. I read it in a
quest to learn more of Chinese culture. What I learned is what happens
when evil permeates a persons life and how it plays out into their
family and community....more
A fine book which teaches the reader a good deal.
I can't be sure if I would make more of the writing itself today -- I often find translated prose flat -- but I can say with certainty that the characters are uniformly unappealing, the plot brutal, and many scenes nauseating. I remember the book mainly for its revulsion factor and because I wondered so intensely why it was chosen.
I believe t...more
Makes me feel like I am there in the greyest most oppressive aspects of China.
I gave up and could not finish it - there was nothing redeeming in it for me. So after 3/4 of the book I stopped. Too many others out there.