8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Admired rather than enjoyed,
This review is from: The Incarnations (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was a book I admired rather than liked. The descriptions of modern Beijing through the eyes of a taxi driver are deeply evocative and beautifully done. We are completely drawn into the world of the central character, his colleagues and family. Wang is an outsider, superficially functioning in society but with serious unresolved emotional issues, and through a vivid series of historical episodes the treason for his mental distress becomes clearer, until past and present combine in a genuinely shocking conclusion that I, for one, did not see coming, partly because the writer lays an emotionally persuasive false trail so cleverly.
The history of China is a blood-soaked one and i found the repeated episodes of cruelty hard reading, possibly because they are threaded through with very personal stories of love and betrayal. The ending is honest rather than redemptive; there are no false simplicities here. I can't fault the quality of the writing though, and it kept me gripped.