Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lovers in the Age of Indifference” as Want to Read:
Lovers in the Age of Indifference
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lovers in the Age of Indifference

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  116 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The lovers in the age of indifference are tough romantics from every corner of the planet: a marriage splinters during a game of mah jong; a depressed fiancée is lifted by a mid-air encounter with a Hollywood legend; a mountain keeper watches over a lonely temple but is perturbed when, finally, a visitor dares to arrive.

In this engagingly maverick collection of stories, wr
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 7th 2010 by Chatto & Windus
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 Lovers in the Age of Indifference, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lovers in the Age of Indifference

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
MJ Nicholls
Guo might seem a mainstream selection for such a shameless other-lover as me (although plunge into my back pages and you will find spoonfuls of populist hipsters), but this ex-pat Chinese novelist and short story writer (in the latter mode here) writes about the Chinese experience with a gentle comedy, a sharply observant eye, and lightly lyrical touch. So I approve. Her stories are sometimes too romantic and simple to stir me senseless, and unlike her novels, there’s less formal experiment ...more
Mar 11, 2015 Poonam rated it liked it
This collection of short stories is very easy to read and as it is said, a fast read. It has stories about Chinese urban life (tho is one story that refers to empty life in London) of alienation, displacement, love and survival. yet they are stories empty of love. The title story was bit let down. In fact most stories depict a defeatist sentiments, not necessarily with any conclusion.

I liked 'Beijing Morning Star' about a chief editor of a daily, 'Beijing's slowest elevator' about a woman who wo
Oct 23, 2010 Adam rated it liked it
A hit and miss collection of short stories that are occasionally heartbreaking but for the most part miss their mark. While still a fast, enjoyable read, it doesn't stand out amongst Guo's other work as it is neither as thought provoking nor as heartbreaking.

All that being said it was fast and I wasn't bored to the point of putting it down, just that I was expecting more from the author of my favourite book.
Gita Madhu
May 05, 2016 Gita Madhu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chinese-authors
Xiaolu Guo’s Lovers in the Age of Indifference is a like a set of picture postcards. Mostly, short pieces. Most or all of the pieces could leave the unprepared or traditional reader at sea as they do not fall easily into the category of story. There is, often, no particular crisis nor any spectacular resolution. Look at it either as a series of sketches or as superb samples of the author’s talent with various genres.

The Mountain Keeper, the first story in this collection, is narrated in elegant
Moushumi Ghosh
May 17, 2014 Moushumi Ghosh rated it liked it
I picked up the book because of the title. It's a brilliant title. The stories capture some of the existentialism that affects romance and love today. Some of the stories echo the fables of pre-cultural revolution China, some of them are Mao-era hangovers and some from the present age of international travel, the internet and email. It's a wide variety and Guo presents them in her own style. There are no happy endings, just satisfactory stories. The diasporic Chinese perspective - her own, ...more
Sep 07, 2013 Richie rated it really liked it
She really links the urban and pastoral settings in these stories, and captures the brutal reality of what it means to become a part of larger society. Some of the stories are better than others, but overall she creates a collection of stories that make you feel little empty but a little relieved at the same time.
Oct 03, 2011 Joel rated it liked it
If you want fiction about contemporary life in China, read Guo -- not Ha Jin or Yiyun Li. (Not that they're bad writers.) Guo writes with a straight-faced, unsentimental (well, except some of her love stories) emptiness that rings true to me. This is my favorite book of hers I've read. It's a short story collection -- mostly very short, and sad. Worth reading.
Nov 15, 2016 Naga rated it really liked it
A lovely book, small surprises with every story. The emotions are very new and contemporary and yet very old. I loved the pace and rhythm of this book, its like being on a ride which is carefully orchestrated. More than the individual story, it is this rhythm that makes you look forward to the next swoop or the next rise. And although each story is very particular, there is echo in me, a resonance.
Mar 30, 2013 ChromaLadyTones rated it really liked it
I like stories about individuals wandering the mythical wildernesses of China. I like stories about people who live on the moon, and who pick jasmine petals. I also like Guo's drudgingly realistic descriptions of London and East London. I believe her when she takes on women protagonists. Good brain entering.
Oct 28, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
"This book is squarely set in the modern world. Full of displacement, alienation and not much love except for yearning for it. The characters are from all over China and the stories are short but concise.
read more:
Jan 20, 2016 Sofia rated it liked it
I lost my bookmark upon finishing this. A small but irreplaceable loss that punctuates this book whose lovers lose everything and nothing.

Silly, but I wish I still had that bookmark, and its giver.
Huizhuang Xu
Oct 31, 2015 Huizhuang Xu rated it it was ok
Perhaps I'd set myself up for a meh experience, because I've never gotten satisfaction from shortstories.

But, I chose to read this because I wanted a first taste to author Guo Xiaolu, and this led to go onto reading A Concise Chinese-english Dictionary for lovers. And it is a delight.
Apr 26, 2015 Neringa rated it it was amazing
Guo's another face of writing. High value literary fiction. Enjoyed every bit of each story. Marvellous and highly recommended.
Mar 10, 2015 Baljit rated it it was ok
There were some stories that hit home more than others, eg The Internet Baby and Stateless, but overall the tone is rather gloomy.
Aug 06, 2011 Wsclai rated it really liked it
Is this inevitable sense of melancholy, loss and indifference the by-product of rapid economic growth in China? The book is humourous sometimes, but sad always.
Jul 04, 2015 Alka rated it it was ok
I got misled by the depth of the first book of this author. this, second book, is a let down. has short stories, most of which are quite pedestrian.
Pomelo rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2014
Elle rated it it was ok
Apr 09, 2012
Teo rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2015
Linn rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2012
Kalina rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2014
Alanood Burhaima
Alanood Burhaima rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2012
Liznemeth rated it really liked it
May 18, 2014
Lim Xin Hwee
Lim Xin Hwee rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2016
Linda rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2016
Elaine rated it did not like it
Apr 08, 2010
Lucía López
Lucía López rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2014
Kate Walton
Kate Walton rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2012
Harriet rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2012
Judith rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Last Hieroglyph
  • Haggopian and Other Stories
  • My Life as Emperor
  • Selected Stories
  • Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy, and Horror Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Book of Repulsive Women: 8 Rhythms and 5 Drawings
  • Oceanic
  • English: A Novel
  • Please Don't Call Me Human
  • The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P
  • The Mao Case (Inspector Chen Cao #6)
  • Dr. Mukti and Other Tales of Woe
  • Necklace and Calabash
  • Complete Ghost Stories
  • Winter of Artifice
  • When Memory Dies
  • Because I am a Girl
  • Madame Chrysantheme
Xiaolu Guo (Simplified Chinese: 郭小櫓 pinyin:guō xiǎo lǔ, born 1973) is a Chinese novelist and filmmaker. She utilizes various media, including film and writing, to tell stories of alienation, introspection and tragedy, and to explore China's past, present and future in an increasingly connected world.

Her novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers was nominated for the 2007 Orange Prize f
More about Xiaolu Guo...

Share This Book

“People desperately want to spend their money. Maybe they think that's the most effective way to feel alive.” 0 likes
More quotes…