Journalists who attend banquets in Beijing to promote a cause or a product are also given "a little something for their trouble." Dan Dong, an unemployed factory worker, is one of these journalists, but he has no credentials: he is a banquet bug. Through this new career he meets a variety of people, several of whom are impressed by his prevaricating. They beg him to listen to their tales of woe and to write about them, in hopes of addressing the wrongs done to them or to their families. Dan becomes deeply concerned for them but also feels increasingly like their desperate hope, and not a real person anymore. A fable, perhaps a satire, this is a rather difficult book to read. It's edgy, it's strange, and the story is somewhat convoluted, giving the reader the sense it was meant to be funnier than most will find it. But the author did succeed, if indeed it was her intention, in depicting a distressing level of corruption and totalitarianism in the China she left behind.
About CCC Chinese Book Club
The CCC Book Club is one of the earlist book clubs targeting expariates living in Beijing and the only book meeting groups focusing on China-related books for the international community.
At the CCC's Book Club, participants are assigned a great book to read (or selected chapters) and then asked to discuss its meanings with other book club members, using their own interpretations. All assigned books (mostly China-related fiction and non-fiction, a mix of classics and modern ones in English or with English translation) are available at CCC library and bookshop or at major foreign-language book stores where participants are encouraged to purchase their own copies.
You are also welcome even though you may not have read a single page of the book yet. Just join our discussion!
CCC Book Club day group:
10:30 am, every third Wednesday of the month.
CCC Book Club Evening Group:
7:30 pm, every second Thursday of the month
Note: sometimes the date is different because of holidays. So check the monthly calendar for the most up to date info during the month.
Venue: China Culture Center, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.
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- Book Club: Laozi's "Tao Te Ching"
- Book Club: "Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud"
- Book Club: "Leaving Mother Lake"
- Book Club: Ancient Chinese poems