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Rickshaw Boy Paperback – 7 Sep 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (7 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061436925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061436925
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"An impressive novel of an individual struggling against and defeated by a corrupt society. Recommended for readers who enjoy modern tragedies such as Jane Smiley's "A Thousand Acres.""--"Library Journal"

An impressive novel of an individual struggling against and defeated by a corrupt society. Recommended for readers who enjoy modern tragedies such as Jane Smiley s "A Thousand Acres." --"Library Journal""

From the Back Cover

A beautiful new translation of beloved Chinese author Lao She's masterpiece of social realism, about the misadventures of a poor Beijing rickshaw driver

First published in China in 1937, Rickshaw Boy is the story of Xiangzi, an honest and serious country boy who works as a rickshaw puller in Beijing. A man of simple needs whose greatest ambition is to one day own his own rickshaw, Xiangzi is nonetheless thwarted, time and again, in his attempts to improve his lot in life.

One of the most important and popular works of twentieth-century Chinese literature, Rickshaw Boy is an unflinchingly honest, darkly comic look at a life on the margins of society and a searing indictment of the philosophy of individualism.

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Format: Paperback
Rickshaw Boy is the masterpiece of Chinese (ethnically Manchu) writer Lao She, who published this novel in installments in 1939 in a fiction magazine. The good thing about this translation by Howard Goldblatt is that it gives us the unedited 1939 version. Under pressure from Communist authorities, Lao She excised passages and published a sanitised version without the tragic ending in 1949. This book has many translations, the most notorious being one made by Evan King in 1945 where King deleted, rewrote and invented new characters, on top of changing the ending to satisfy American readers. The other two translations, one by Shi Xiaoqing and the other by Jean M. James, doesn't convey the tone, register and diction as well as Goldblatt does. (I say this having read the Chinese original.) Shi's version is safe, but doesn't convey the chatty, colloquial version of Lao She's original. James's fare much better but he misreads from time to time (in fact, he makes such a blunder in the very first sentence.) Goldblatt's version at least is free of such mistakes, but I wish Goldblatt could go further in recapturing the demotic, very gripping vernacular the storyteller-narrator adopts. Hopefully some day a translator might emerge to do this. Five stars for the novel, four for the translation.
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Interesting to read this book, gives one a diffferent aspect of the culture.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Found this story good,it was recommended it by a chinese friend,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A superb critique of the limitations of individualism
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Having spent some time in China I was looking forward to this book. Instead, I found it extremely 'slow' and almost boring. It lacks pace, depth, colour and literary magnetism.
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