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7 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and brutal
This is a awe-inspiring tale of life in communist China. The reader is taken on journey through a magnificent rural landscape which is home to the tenacious peasant farmers struggling to eke out a living despite the ever present indignities and hardships.

It is a beautiful and brutal story and as soon as it ended I immediately went in search of more by this...
Published on 6 Aug 2012 by thetruthshallsetyefree

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2.0 out of 5 stars A tale of suffering, foul smells and spoiled garlic.
The Garlic Ballads describes the desperate plight of a group of poor Chinese villagers, encouraged by the State to plant garlic and then producing a glut of the crop which the state refuses to buy. the peasants almost drown in spoiling garlic while corrupt officials, living in luxury, arrest some villagers for demonstrating against the state refusal to buy their...
Published 14 months ago by H P Clamann


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and brutal, 6 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Garlic Ballads (Paperback)
This is a awe-inspiring tale of life in communist China. The reader is taken on journey through a magnificent rural landscape which is home to the tenacious peasant farmers struggling to eke out a living despite the ever present indignities and hardships.

It is a beautiful and brutal story and as soon as it ended I immediately went in search of more by this fine author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beneath the brutality of China lies broken lives and loves., 7 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Garlic Ballads (Paperback)
A story of simple people exposed to the horrors of corruption and cruelty. All suffer, some pass the brutality on to their family members, others attempt to resist but their lack of confidence undermines them. A moving tale akin to The Grapes of Wrath.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Garlic Ballads - Mo Yan, 25 Nov 2013
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Garlic Ballads (Paperback)
I really, really liked this. A harrowing yet romantic tale of peasant life in late 20th century China, culminating in a mass minor rebellion. It stands ably alongside all those other French and Russian novels of peasant life, those political tales of dastardly regimes oppressing their peoples. As its chapters cut back and forth in time, powerful scene follows powerful scene (the nascent romance between Gao Ma and Jinju; the scenes in the prison cells; the storming of the county compound; the massacre of the fluttering parakeets). A fantastic book indeed. Very highly recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Typos galore!, 16 Nov 2013
Don't buy the kindle version of this book, which appears to have been proof-read by a ten-year-old. I can't speak for the quality of the printed edition, but it seems unlikely it will be any better. I can say nothing about the quality of the writing because it was obscured by the unacceptably large number of typos. I am frankly astonished that Amazon let this edition through their quality control. To be fair to Amazon, they've refunded me in full.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A tale of suffering, foul smells and spoiled garlic., 6 July 2013
By 
H P Clamann (Bern, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Garlic Ballads (Paperback)
The Garlic Ballads describes the desperate plight of a group of poor Chinese villagers, encouraged by the State to plant garlic and then producing a glut of the crop which the state refuses to buy. the peasants almost drown in spoiling garlic while corrupt officials, living in luxury, arrest some villagers for demonstrating against the state refusal to buy their garlic.

The story follows two desperate villagers as they are arrested, abused and punished for their part in the garlic riot. the author dwells on their mistreatment, their fear and their suffering in such graphic detail that the whole book reeks with the foul odors of decayed garlic, body odors, excrement and disease. There is very little to bring joy or even satisfaction to the reader in this unremittingly stench-ridden tale of suffering.

It may be great literature, but it is depressing to read. And smelly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Garlic Ballads (Paperback)
A book chosen by our son for a Christmas present. He hasn't had time to read it yet but I'm sure he'll enjoy it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mo yan, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Garlic Ballads (Paperback)
The Garlic Ballads is life just as it is, described with great strength by an aware and loving man.Thanks a lot.
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The Garlic Ballads
The Garlic Ballads by Mo Yan (Paperback - 16 Mar 2006)
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