Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather” as Want to Read:
Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  794 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
From China's first-ever winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature comes an exquisite new book of fictions, none of which has ever been published before in English. A young couple on honeymoon visit a beautiful temple up in the mountains, and spend the day intoxicated by the tranquillity of the setting; a swimmer is paralysed by a sudden cramp and finds himself stranded far ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published March 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 1989)
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 Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Emer (ALittleHaze)
In 2000 Gao Xingjian was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. There's a copy of his book 'Soul Mountain' sitting on my mum's bookshelf at home. I've always picked it up whenever I visit but for some reason have never actually begun to read even though I like the sound of it. So I thought I might first try some short stories by him to get a sense of what I might expect whenever I do take the plunge with 'Soul Mountain'. This English language version of 'Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather' ...more
Miguel
Jul 29, 2015 Miguel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
«Nada compreender a não ser compreender que não se compreende nada e compreender o que é não compreender o que é compreender e o que é não compreender, o que é que não é não compreender mas sim não querer compreender ou é não compreender porquê querer compreender e é querer ou não compreender e não compreender é verdadeiramente compreender ou é não compreender ou é compreender verdadeiramente ou fingir compreender ou fazer de propósito para não compreender e fingir compreender ou fazer de pro
...more
Sam
This is a beautifully written collection of short stories that reflect both the day to day and the utterly magical and enlightening moments in life from the discovery of a secluded temple to near death experiences and moments of utter devastation. These snippets of time, experiences and reminiscences show the pleasure that can be found anywhere and the appreciation for the little things that can be discovered in the simpliest, rawest and most humbling moments. This is a surprisingly enjoyable co ...more
Vasco Simões
Pequenos contos nos quais podemos encontrar o que dá o titulo a este livro. São escritos com elegância e sem pomposidade. No se refere ao conto Uma Cana de Pesca para o Meu Avô e que pelos vistos é o mais famoso está uma grande salganhada uma vez que mistura a cana de pesca...o avô...o jogo Alemanha Federal - Argentina no Mundial...Golo...parece um sonho muito confuso. Os excertos são um belo exercício de leitura, uma vez que são frases curtas soltas mas muito bem escritas que nos transportam pa ...more
Jim
Dec 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gao Xingjian is another one of those Nobel Prize winners who, when the announcement came, we all went, “Eh?” And I do know that’s part of the point, to bring to the world’s attention a writer who’s not as well-known as he or she might be. I decided to read him on two counts: 1) he’d been awarded the Nobel Prize (in 2000 to save you checking) and 2) he was Chinese and I couldn’t remember reading anything else by a Chinese author.

Gao himself selected the six stories of this English-language versi
...more
Nazmi Yaakub
MEMBACA karya pengarang yang pernah membakar bagasinya yang mengandungi sejumlah manuskripnya pada era Revolusi Kebudayaan China (1966-1976) bukan pengalaman yang menyenangkan. Kita seolah-olah dihela oleh Gao Xingjian yang menerima Hadiah Nobel Kesusasteraan pada 2000 itu, sebelum dibiarkan terkontang-kanting dalam dunia imaginasinya untuk menebak maksudnya.

Namun, ia tidaklah memberikan pengalaman yang menyenakkan sepenuhnya kerana adakalanya seperti dalam sepotong cerpennya, In The Park, kita
...more
Guido
Sep 30, 2012 Guido rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oriente, racconti
Commentare un libro tradotto dal cinese non mi sembra del tutto corretto nei confronti del suo autore; credo sia giusto precisare che, non avendo idea di quali dettagli e quali sfumature di stile e significato siano andati perduti nel passaggio all'italiano, questo commento si riferisce in modo particolare a questa versione, e il mio giudizio è parziale e molto limitato. La premessa è doverosa perché questo libro mi ha davvero deluso: ho poca fiducia nei premi, ma per qualche motivo ero convinto ...more
Kenneth
Nov 22, 2014 Kenneth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In the afterword it is remarked upon that "Gao warns readers that his fiction does not set out to tell a story. There is no plot, as found in most fiction, and anything of interest to be found in it is inherent in the language itself." Given that last bit one can quite safely assume more than a little gets lost in translation.
Inês
Não vou atribuir estrelas porque simplesmente não percebi nada.
Ana
Uma Cana de Pesca para o Meu Avô é um livro de contos do autor chinês, Gao Xingjian, Prémio Nobel da literatura do ano 2000. É o primeiro livro que leio deste autor, e para primeira experiência está a ser agradável. Não é nenhum livro que seja ESPECTACULAR, mas é interessante e diferente do que estou habituada a ler, o que torna uma novidade e vai de encontro aos meus objectivos literários.
Sendo um livro de contos, irei comentar cada um e no final faço um resumo do livro na sua totalidade e da
...more
Richie Loria
May 26, 2011 Richie Loria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mesmerizing. I picked up Gao’s most celebrated selection of short stories and finished in one sitting. I was ashamed that I'd never read any Chinese literature and figured it was only proper to start with Gao, the only Chinese author to win the Nobel prize for literature: ‘An oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity’ (2000).

Short stories are a vast number of things for different authors, for different readers. A former English professor once described them to me as
...more
Luann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
Nov 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zeinab Hosseini
خوندن کتابش مثه ادامه دادن یک گناه لذتبخش بود چون می دونستی هرچقدم بهت سرنخ بده باز نويسنده راز داستانو برات فاش نميكنه .ولی از لذتش نمیشه دست کشید بعضی وقتا حوصلتو سر می بره ولی یهو با یه جمله ی کوتاه بهت ميفهمونه كه ضرر نكردی که کتابو ول نکردی
Amene
Jun 02, 2015 Amene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
خوب بود، ترجمه ی روان و خوبی داشت. فضای داستان ها چینی بود اما لحن و روایت سردی مرسوم آسیایی جنوب شرقی و ژاپنی را نداشت.
Alarra
Some of the short stories – the eponymous tale, The Accident – have the punchiness that sustains the lyrical writing; the others vary between subtle, meandering, and near unreadable.
Aruna
Jul 25, 2008 Aruna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Impressionistic sketches. Portraits of people and moments. Just have the nagging feeling that the essence of the writing is lost in translation. An easy read though.
مرجان محمدی
مجموعه داستان از نویسنده برنده جایزه نوبل. علتش را چندان نمی دانم! خوب بود و ترجمه اش عالی
Laura
Dec 13, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rakastin tätä. Rakastin tunnetta, joka parhaiden novellien jälkeen jäi päälle, rakastin pieniä hetkiä ja viipyilevyyttä. Muutama novelli meni ehkä hieman ohi tai en niille niin lämmennyt, mutta yli puolelle olisin voinut antaa vaikka kuusi tähteä. Paras lukemani novellikokoelma, aivan kevyesti.
Natacha Martins
Mar 23, 2012 Natacha Martins rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Uma Cana de Pesca para o Meu Avô, é uma colectânea de contos a transbordar de simplicidade, cultura oriental e poesia.
Ao longo dos cinco contos que compõem este pequeno livro, o escritor dá-nos a conhecer o amor, a amizade, a morte, a saudade e a vida.

No primeiro conto, O Templo, intromete-mo-nos na lua-de-mel de um casal jovem que transmite uma tal serenidade na forma de se amarem e de estarem juntos, não só como casal, mas também como amigos e companheiros que são, que só podemos sorrir durant
...more
Grady McCallie
Nov 25, 2012 Grady McCallie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
In the six pieces translated in this short collection (out of 17 in the original Chinese), author Gao Xingjian experiments with several different ways of conveying a story. Two comments helped me make sense of the stories. The first is a note by the translator, paraphrasing Gao's own postscript to the original Chinese collection of his stories: "There is no plot, as found in most fiction, and anything of interest to be found in it is inherent in the language itself. More explicit is his proposal ...more
Ambrose
Nov 21, 2011 Ambrose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first experience reading the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Literature. He was the first Chinese man to be awarded the prize. This book and version contains six short stories, including Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather. Here's the six stories and my take on them:

The Temple - A young couple go on a honeymoon. They begin to explore an old temple and they encounter changes in their happiness. I thought the story was really good. A little tragic, but since the ending was ambiguous, I could
...more
Phuong
Libro che mi ha lasciato perplessa, più che altro perché mi aspettavo qualcosa di molto diverso. E' una breve raccolta di racconti, narrati con uno stile che oscilla tra il cronachistico e il simbolismo.
In particolare colpiscono gli ultimi due racconti, che sono anche i più lunghi: "Una canna da pesca per mio nonno", che dà il titolo alla raccolta, e "Attimi". Nel primo, l'acquisto di una moderna canna da pesca fatto dalla voce narrante con l'idea di regalarla al nonno che non vede da tempo, è l
...more
Sheila
Mar 10, 2010 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short book, with stylized Chinese fish on its cover, Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather was an intriguing foray into foreign short stories for me. The author is a Nobel prize winner, so I knew at the outset that this wouldn’t be light reading. But the stories are truly fascinating. In the first tale I feel like a fly on the wall, listening to someone speak; is he remembering the past? Is he talking to his family, or to his wife, or to the pictures in his mind? The stories each left me sli ...more
Seema
Mar 05, 2015 Seema rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short story collection might not be for everyone, but I am really glad I picked it up. According to the Translator's Note, Gao Xingjian himself chose these six stories as most representative of what he is trying to achieve in his work. He warns readers that his fiction has no plot and focuses instead on "linguistic art." This is probably the best description. To me, this collection is like abstract art: Brilliant, but as the author pushes his own boundaries, it becomes less accessible. The ...more
Tracy Shapley
I'm not usually a fan of short stories and this collection of translated stories by the Nobel Prize winning author Gao Xingjian reminded me of why that is.

The thing is, I just don't get drawn into short story collections. As soon as I start to get interested, it ends and I'm left trying to get to know a whole new set of characters or to care about an entirely new set of circumstances.

Those issues in this book were only exacerbated, for one main reason.

These stories, by design, are not plot drive
...more
Sandra
I'm assuming this is the book I've just read in Dutch - it had a different title ("Kramp", or "Cramp" in English: which was the first short story in the Dutch edition), but the particular story mentioned in the English title was also found in my book, and as they're both collections of short stories.. I'm going to assume this is the book I've read.

Gao Xingjian's work was interesting. I didn't like all the short stories as much, but I liked the ones that had a reflective mood (mostly "Buying A Fi
...more
Mark
Dec 20, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book of short stories exhibits several fine examples of Gao's austere and simple style. He has a very minimalist approach in most of his writings that leave conclusions to be drawn entirely by his readers. Gao is a writer absolutely obsessed with memory, he approaches his stories from angles that force the reader to consider and reflect not only on the story itself but the position from which he is remembering this story. In the 6 stories in this book the results of his straightforward and ...more
Albertine67
I really loved Soul Mountain, so looked forward to reading this. It's a collection of short stories, but none of them really drew me in. The title story came closest.
John Hubbard
A not-so-wonderful collection of short stories by a different and perhaps more famous Chinese expatriate. I really only enjoyed two of the six stories, “The Temple” and “Cramp”. Perhaps, I like Cramp in that it has somewhat of a plot whereas the other five do not. The swimmer has swum out into the ocean while on vacation. He has a cramp and struggles to make it back, repeatedly envisioning death. Once returning to shore absolutely no one acknowledges him as they continue to play poker and the li ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • O Senhor Ventura
  • A Costa dos Murmúrios
  • Era Bom Que Trocássemos Umas Ideias Sobre O Assunto
  • Sinais de Fogo
  • Húmus
  • Balada da Praia dos Cães
  • Fanny Owen
  • Gente Feliz com Lágrimas
  • O Caso Morel
  • Nação Crioula
  • Blue Eyes, Black Hair
  • The Christmas Books, Volume 1: A Christmas Carol/The Chimes
  • Autumn in Peking
  • Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh
  • I Love Dollars And Other Stories of China
  • The Blood of Others
  • Stick Out Your Tongue
  • Liquidation
25708
Gao Xingjian is a Chinese-born novelist, playwright, critic, and painter. An émigré to France since 1987, Gao was granted French citizenship in 1997. The recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature, he is also a noted translator (particularly of Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco), screenwriter, stage director, and a celebrated painter.
More about Gao Xingjian...

Share This Book



“While still in Beijing Gao wrote a brief postscript for his seventeen-story collection in which he warns readers that his fiction does not set out to tell a story. There is no plot, as is found in most fiction, and anything of interest to be found in it is inherent in the language itself. More explicit is his proposal that the art of fiction is "the actualisation of language and not the imitation of reality in writing", and that its power to fascinate lies in the fact that, simply by using language, it is able to evoke genuine feeling.” 0 likes
More quotes…