Saturday, October 20, 2007
What an amazing book that was. I quoted it already a few times in previous blogs to explain some of China's reality and I am sure I will quote it again. Rob Gifford was National Public Radio's Beijing correspondent in Shanghai for 6 years. In this book, he recounts his travels along Route 312, the longest route in the world's most populous nation. And as he speaks fluent mandarin, he has during his travels all these wonderful contacts with ordinary Chinese people. China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power draws on Gifford's 20 years of observing first-hand this rapidly transforming country, as he travels east to west, from Shanghai to China's border with Kazakhstan. This book has the feelings and emotions of the current reality of China, establishes wonderful connections between the daily life of people and the historical and cultural roots of today's China and tries to imagine how the future will unfold. Personally, I had the audio book version (for my iPod) and the narrator was also the best narrator I ever heard. It made the audiobook better than reading the book. He gives the mystery feeling which is the atmosphere the author I believe wants to convey. In conclusion, if you have only one book you want to read about today's China, this is definitely the one! And if you currently live in China, you will relate greatly to what he says and feel, and will probably learn to understand the "whys" of a number of things you have observed! Here is more about the book.