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The Pearl Jacket and Other Stories: Contemporary Chinese Flash Fiction Paperback – 1 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press (1 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933330627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933330624
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 14.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,665,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Flash fiction is a genre which I had no heard of until I discovered this book - this is a collection of Chinese short-short stories by numerous different authors. These really are snippets of stories which can be read commuting, whilst on the toilet or out for a cigarette break at work! I love the idea of this genre, and the challenge to the author is to engage the reader as quickly as possible and to make the story as meaningful as possible.

Among the collection's 120 stories, there are works not only from Mainland China but also Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Instead of following a chronological trajectory, the pieces are arranged by seven topical categories: "relationships," "family," "portraits," "society," "truth and art," "existential moments," and "the strange and extraordinary." The pages are filled with historical accounts, fantastic tales, humorous anecdotes, social commentaries, romances, poetic reflections, and parodies, among others - I think everybody will find something they like in one section or another.

Overall an enjoyable read, something I would recommend to dip in and out of, I tried reading this in one go, and found it a bit of a headache the constant changing and swapping of story/characters; worth a look for a couple of stories - Wang Renshu's "Blowfish" and Yue Yong's "The Girl in the Red Skirt"
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Salvatore Buttaci - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent anthology of flash fiction, which the Chinese call "minute fiction," a reference to the time it takes to read each tale. Translated into English from Chinese, they are worthy of being called some of the best "minutes" in flash fiction time! Readers will be mesmerized by these stories that contain within their limited space a galaxy of entertainment. Do yourself a favor and purchase a copy today.

Salvatore Buttaci
author of Flashing My Shorts
Different and interesting 26 Feb 2014
By Carly Berg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved about the first half of this book. It's really interesting to see the differences in Chinese flash fiction. The main one I noticed, as compared to US fiction, was the complete lack of snark. It surprised me that I found the earnestness refreshing, when I didn't even realize so much of the flash I usually read is kind of smart alecky. So, enjoyable and interesting. I took a star off because after the first part, the stories seemed to me to fall off in quality. However, I only took off one star because it is a long book, so I still felt like I got my money's worth.
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