I have read the Chinese version more than an year ago. The English translation differs from the original at almost every page. It really tries to sound like Julian Bell. I like this version very much. The three versions I know - there is also the Dutch translation that my wife has read, I can understand it in passages- they all work, that's one of the amazing things about this book. Another mysterious aspect: What is the novel about? Passionate love, yes. Chinese or English intellectual circles are not discussed seriously. Most of what happens to Julian in China comes from the author's imagination. It is based on what happened to other people, what could have happened. The Art of Love. This is what "K" is about. Love in the face of the 1930s, in the face of cultural differencies. They keep coming up, even though both want to go all the way in love and joy. They do, and it's great to go with them, even if they fail at the end. This book is about love and war. This novel is about China and Europe in the 1930s, it gives you a new perspective on many things.