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Variations without a Theme and Other Stories (University of Sydney East Asian series) Paperback – 1 Jan 1998

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Paperback, 1 Jan 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Wild Peony Book Publishers Pty Ltd (1 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0958652627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0958652629
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,868,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Chirotteri on 26 Sept. 2005
Great book to read as soon as possible. To understand china and to understand yourself.
Xu Xing may not be the greatest writer for the quality of his writing but his stories are sad as well as funny and "soul provoking".
I would place Xu xing next to Kerouac on the book shelf.
Buy it soon and review it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nihilism with a sarcastic touch. 17 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
To adalois, who wrote a review of these short stories, you are right : who still wants to change China? Or did the Author ever want to? Desillusioned for sure, as far as the narrator is concerned, or too realist, but not sad though, and very funny sometimes... Is it politics? Does not look like it, but can actually be controversial, as its only focus is the individual, and one who has no ideal, who does not take part in society, in a society which is supposed to be filled with ideals. I believe these short stories have less to do with politics than with the acknowledgment that life is purposeless. The narrators are lone dreamers who try hard to remain themselves and discover that it's impossible, that they cannot be the masters of their own lives, and worse, that it would be futile to try to. Nihilism and cynicism are the dark side of these stories (the purpose of life, if any, is just "being"), but with a bright appearance : fun, the sense of the absurd and cheerful sarcastic remarks. So, if you read them in a joyful mood, you will laugh, a lot. If not, you will feel desperate (for the moral of the story is : don't get involved with people, it's too painful and dangerous). Conclusion : be careful, this is dangerous stuff!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a true variation coming from China 16 Dec. 1998
By - Published on
Refreshing, sarcastic, humorous, existencialist. This are the four words i'd use to describe the work of Xuxing. He is a writer from the late 80's, early 90's, post 89 june 4th, desillusion and ecseptisism prevailing among young Chinese. Who is going to change China? or who still wants to change it? A must for anyone interested on contemporary China. Great translation, too.
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