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Brothers Paperback – 5 Feb 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (5 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330452754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330452755
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 4.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

`Richly entertaining'
--Financial Times

About the Author

Yu Hua was born in 1960 in Zhejiang, China. He finished high school during the Cultural Revolution and worked as a dentist for five years before beginning to write in 1983. He's since published four novels, six story and three essay collections, and his work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. In 2002, he became the first Chinese writer to win the prestigious James Joyce Foundation Award, and two of his novels -- To Live and Chronicles of a Blood Merchant -- were listed in the top ten most influential Chinese books of the last decade. Yu Hua now lives in Beijing.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Axup on 20 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This fictional and humorous narrative follows a young boy growing up in China through the Cultural Revolution and then through the economic reforms of the 1980s. The book excels a producing exaggerated and comical portrayals of the suffering of Chinese during the 1960s. Some deaths are truly macabre, as people are beaten to death in the streets, others are humorous: drowning in a trench of feces whilst trying to look at womens' bottoms. this book is written to shock and to make you laugh. Common themes that prevail include the small boy repeatedly being asked to masturbate against electricity pylons by villagers for entertainment. Maybe the humor caters to the lowest denominator, but I laughed a lot.

Although this is a work of fiction, it is based on his own experience growing up in rural Zhejiang. As such, there is plenty to learn about living in a Chinese village on the poverty line.

[I read the Chinese version so can't comment on the translation]
You may also like the Zhang Yimou version of Yu Hua's To Live:
To Live [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Carter on 15 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I read a book like this, which is a translation of a book that was written in a very different language about a very different culture, I do wonder how much of the original story I am actually getting. The feat of translation is awesome and it must have been perhaps even more difficult to translate than was the original story was to write. Obviously I have no way of knowing how faithful the translation is to the original, but can only judge the translated version. What I get is a sort of understanding of what it is to be Chinese. They are, as you would expect, a more simple and less worldly people and problems are solved in more primitive ways that are quite alien to us. Their understanding of the function of government is quite different to our own. The story itself is gripping and although the book is very long, I got through it in a week, even though I am not normally a keen reader.
I hate it when reviewers spoil the story for me so I won't do that for you. People who complain about human rights abuse in China would do well to read this book. It does not in anyway excuse such abuse, but it gives a flavour of the context in which it is happening and the meteoric changes that are occurring to a relatively unsophisticated populous.
Perhaps a warning is in order; if you are a bit squeamish this book is extremely violent and heartbreaking in parts and should only be read after the watershed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Hajera Uddin on 24 Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Gem of a book, the class struggle bits were harrowing and left me feeling miserable, and hoping that I will never know such pain for real, but this is juxtaposed later with pure comedy, I even found myself reading bits to my friend as I went along, if you read it look out for the brands (meat bun bra) I was in stitches! I get through a lotta books, so just trust me when I say that since 'Stasiland' this is the best thing.
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By Zhang An Qi on 4 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Yu Hua is one of my fav writer. I bought this book for my husband who loves Yu Hua's book after I introduced to him. The translator has done a great job, I know it is a very difficult. If, by any chance, you can read Chinese, I would say you'd better read the Chinese version, even better!
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