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Chaos and Grime: A Year in the Life of a Chinese City

2.44  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  10 reviews
"An evocative portrait of a troubled soul in a bewildering land."

The riveting true story of the transformation of a Chinese city and an American who finds himself stranded there.

A detailed chronicle of everyday life in modern China, a window into the lives of Chinese peasants and the foreigners with whom they fall in and out of romance, and an inspiring tale of cour
Kindle Edition, First, 265 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by LSI Holdings, LLC
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Feb 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF. As this is about a westerner's impressions of the Chinese city of Wuhan, I thought it would be quite topical considering the coronavirus having placed the city in the news the past month.
No. No. No.
This book should never have been passed off as "A Year in the Life of a Chinese City."
The subtitle should have been: " A Bunch of College Kids Get Drunk A Lot and Have Indiscriminate Sex. " It just happens to take place in Wuhan.

I read 26% of this book, then randomly skipped ahead. I am not
Apr 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways.

I entered the giveaway based on the premise "A Year in the Life of a Chinese City" with the description being the city of Wuhan, lately in the news due to COVID-19. I thought I would get a look into just what the subtitle says: a year in the life of the city. Instead I got...a mess. A jumbled collection of characters and timelines that overlap, go nowhere, and honestly, stretch credulity to a point where it essentially rips in half. Throw in
Mar 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Don't really know where to start, the 1st star is only, because I had a similar experience in the same city (Wuhan in China) 3 years later than the narrative took place. So I could relate to a certain point and had some memories brought back. But if I could give 0 stars, I would.
That's the good part.
Now to the not so good part: I had problems to follow the strain of thoughts quite often, points were made and then discriptions of actions that had nothing to do with the point or took the st
Jodie Fitzpatrick
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A guy's frustration with Chinese women

Less about Wuhan and more about the soap opera of this guy's life. Very confusing and long list of characters.
Arthur Meursault
Chaos and Grime, the first book by Jacob Acerbi, was certainly an interesting read. Having lived in China and gone through the Chinese university system - including all the wonder of dealing with university administrations and all that entails - I had no doubt to the veracity of many of the situations that Acerbi. When he described the student campus as a ghetto, the constant confusion over paperwork, the lifelong African exchange students who seem to never graduate, I found myself nodding along ...more
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bare bones accounting of how crazy china is

This book details one man's time several years ago in the Wuhan province. This book was interesting but only because of how foreign the Chinese culture is to me. I found myself rereading several of the paragraphs because the actions of the Chinese characters were so bizzar. Definitely pick this book up if you want to experience a different culture.
Liliyana Shadowlyn
Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
Chaos and Grime is an interesting read. It doesn't read like your typical biography/memoir, more like a slice of life. It's written in third person, but the people the story follows are interesting, and the story itself is fairly interesting. At times the pacing is a little slow, but overall it's a smooth read. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, which could get confusing at times, but they were all so interesting I enjoyed reading about them. A good, interesting read. ...more
Pat Backley
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating read!

Having spent time in China myself, I was interested to read this book and it did not disappoint!
Wonderfully detailed, clever writing, that made me feel I was actually in Wuhan with the author. The general sense of chaos and confusion, peppered with historical facts, kept my attention to the final page.
Windell Beaird
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Riveting, engaging page turner...

Very intense, engaging page turner. Sad diatribe of the corruption that still exists in China.
Kudos to the author for having the courage to tell the truth in spite of the backlash he has been given. I wish you all the best Mr. Acerbi
Susan “Sam”
rated it it was ok
Mar 07, 2020
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Mar 27, 2020
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Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Jun 04, 2020
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Jan 03, 2021
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Jacob Acerbi (Russian: Иаков Иаковевич терпкеницын; Chinese: 晉智明) is an American biological scientist and bioethicist. His 2020 memoir about his life in the city of Wuhan, Chaos and Grime: A Year in the Life of a Chinese City, was banned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China almost immediately upon its release. The publication of the book, which explores coverups of ...more

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