Monday, March 9, 2009

Review: River Town

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
by Peter Hessler

In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the complex processes of understanding that take place when one is immersed in a radically different society.
Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.

First Sentence:
I came to Fuling on the slow boat downstream from Chongqing.

River Town is a wonderful book for anyone who wants to learn more about China, or are planning on living abroad for an extended period of time. I thought that the book was very interesting and was fascinated with the way the Chinese of Fuling treated Peter Hessler during his stay. It would be very helpful to know a little about China's past, as Peter Hessler mentions many different movements and leaders without going into detail, which can lead to many readers feeling lost. The reader also has to remember that this book is the opinion of just one person who lived in a remote part of China and should not consider his experiences to be the norm for a forgeiner living in China.

Title: River Town : Two Years on the Yangtze
Author: Peter Hessler
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN 10: 0060855029
ISBN 13: 978-0060855024
Buy It: Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble
Review Number: 1

1 comment:

robin_titan said...

Sounds pretty good and I LOVE the cover. :)

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