Neil's Reviews > The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up

The Corpse Walker by Liao Yiwu
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's review
Sep 21, 2008

it was amazing

Wonderful interviews with Chinese people, reminiscent of Mayhew's "London Labour and The London Poor". The accounts of life during the cultural revolution and the starvation that followed the Great Leap Forward are chilling, but the people are never less than fascinating.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Amysue (new)

Amysue I will need to add this to our shelf of China and Cambodia related works. At 13 and 10 the kids have started to read more about the countries of their birth and my oldest, born in China, is fascinated by earlier Chinese history and saddened aby what she reads about the CR.

message 2: by Liz (new) - added it

Liz I will definitely look for this book.
I'd also love to hear your thoughts on Soul Mountain(Gao Xingjian), now that you've traveled to China, and spent some quality time there with people and their stories.

When I read Soul Mountain, I felt like I was missing some important piece of the story-- the emotional timbre was so different from anything I'd read before. I kept wondering whether the strangeness of the narrator's reactions reflected the author's life trauma, or merely referenced stories and cultural ideals that were unfamiliar to me.

If you've read this one, I'd love to hear your take on it, and how it fits into the world you saw on your trip.

message 3: by Akbar (new)

Akbar I'll read whatever Neil's read :D

message 4: by Micha (new) - added it

Micha @Liz - David Mitchell wrote a very interesting (albeit fictional) short about a woman in remote China in his Ghostwritten that is one of my favourite accounts. I've spent sometime getting to know China's stories and people myself and will always find them fascinating, but I have yet to read Soul Mountain because I have a fear that it will take what are to me, very real accounts of people who I regard as precious and sensationalize them. I suppose this is the trouble I have with many films that are set in China as well. But given what you've just said I have changed my mind and decided to read it. Thank you!

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