Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China

Yu Hua Allan H. Barr

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Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China

Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China By Yu Hua Allan H. Barr Boy in the Twilight Stories of the Hidden China From the acclaimed author of Brothers and To Live thirteen audacious stories that resonate with the beauty grittiness and exquisite irony of everyday life in China Yu Hua s narrative gifts populist

  • Title: Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China
  • Author: Yu Hua Allan H. Barr
  • ISBN: 9780307379368
  • Page: 139
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China By Yu Hua Allan H. Barr From the acclaimed author of Brothers and To Live thirteen audacious stories that resonate with the beauty, grittiness, and exquisite irony of everyday life in China Yu Hua s narrative gifts, populist voice, and inimitable wit have made him one of the most celebrated and best selling writers in China These flawlessly crafted stories unflinching in their honesty, yet balFrom the acclaimed author of Brothers and To Live thirteen audacious stories that resonate with the beauty, grittiness, and exquisite irony of everyday life in China Yu Hua s narrative gifts, populist voice, and inimitable wit have made him one of the most celebrated and best selling writers in China These flawlessly crafted stories unflinching in their honesty, yet balanced with humor and compassion take us into the small towns and dirt roads that are home to the people who make China run In the title story, a shopkeeper confronts a child thief and punishes him without mercy Victory shows a young couple shaken by the husband s infidelity, scrambling to stake claims to the components of their shared life Sweltering Summer centers on an awkward young man who shrewdly uses the perks of his government position to court two women at once Other tales show, by turns, two poor factory workers who spoil their only son, a gang of peasants who bully the village orphan, and a spectacular fistfight outside a refinery bathhouse With sharp language and a keen eye, Yu Hua explores the line between cruelty and warmth on which modern China is precariously, joyfully balanced Taken together, these stories form a timely snapshot of a nation lit with the deep feeling and ready humor that characterize its people Already a sensation in Asia, certain to win recognition around the world, Yu Hua, in Boy in the Twilight, showcases the peerless gifts of a writer at the top of his form.
    Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China By Yu Hua Allan H. Barr

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    One thought on “Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China

    1. Lydia on said:

      It took me a long time to read this book.It took me a long time to read this book because this collection of short stories has parts that are so unimaginably cruel, I had to put it down His characters are not just unkind, they are callous, cold blooded and bestial.Hua s writing is unflinchingly honest, wrought part with disaster, part satire and the darkest kind of humour I can imagine Often, when authors are writing unlikeable characters, the reader can sometimes feel they re doing it to be edg [...]

    2. Rachael Moss on said:

      Yu Hua is an international treasure This collection of short fiction showcases his masterful ability to spin decades of history national, and personal to individuals, families, communities into a few pages, paragraphs, even one sentence My favorite, Appendix, perhaps captures his greatest gift delivering slick humor within HORRIBLE circumstances For this, he is among my favorite living writers.

    3. Andrea on said:

      The short stories felt authentic and true, yet disturbing Authentic in that they describe real events and real lives of regular people Disturbing in that they are cruel, violent, and sad

    4. Jane on said:

      Love the short stories interesting narratives highly recommend this book

    5. Brita on said:

      Boy in the Twilight Stories of the Hidden China is different from the other books I ve read by Chinese authors, probably because it s a collection of short stories rather than a chronicle of one person or family The stories are blunt and speak of universal problems and real people Nothing is sugar coated or overly sentimental Wives cheat on husbands and husbands on wives, and a lack of basic communication can lead to the disintegration of a seemingly strong marriage The subtitle Stories of the H [...]

    6. Jenk1013 on said:

      Dark, depressing and at times even disturbing The first story in particular was beyond awful I only pushed through because this was assigned reading for work and the author did write very well and keeps the reader engaged I would have a really difficult time recommending this book to anyone though I guess if you like stories filled with death, torture, infidelity and violence, this is the book for you

    7. Kim Van Sickler on said:

      Yu Hua s short story collection of working man s China is fascinating It s a snapshot of hard scrabble lives, colorful characters, and evolving attitudes that gave me a greater understanding of what it means to be Chinese A thoroughly entertaining read.

    8. Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount) on said:

      This is a nice set of stories showing life in China for everyday people Being fiction, it is hard to say whether it is an accurate depiction of China, but it s probably pretty close In these stories, focus rests briefly on brutishness, petty cruelty, small mindedness, and all the other everyday evils of daily life, with two particularly ugly scenes setting the tone in the first 2 stories as a halfwit man is tricked into becoming complicit in the killing of his only friend, and a small boy is tor [...]

    9. Derrick Tsoi on said:

      I liked the idea of the book than what it actually offered and it took quite a bit of effort to appreciate As a Chinese American, I was hoping to connect with the book in a joyluck esque way, but found that maybe this book is appropriate for my parents generation Yu Hua is successful in making absolutely absurd moments mundane, and while the book may accurately paint post cultural revolution China, it ended up feeling like just an OK read.

    10. Ron Davidson on said:

      If you re looking for a book of pleasant stories with happy endings, this isn t it The stories reflect the fatalism that seems to be common in Chinese culture Few, if any, of the characters in this book could be described as sympathetic ones, yet I still was enthralled by their stories.

    11. Alicia Lim on said:

      This book was introduced by my lecturer Was skeptical at first, but the writer just has an awesome way of writing these different short stories.These stories illustrated the lives of the people living in China between 1993 to 1998 Wrote this book review as a submission to my lecturer Was it nature or nurture This is what has been going through my mind while reading the book The book has an interesting way of captivating the readers mind Interestingly, most of the short stories were told in such [...]

    12. Steve on said:

      I was very much looking forward to reading this collection of short stories by Yu Hua because he wrote the novel To Live, which made such a remarkable movie I had yet to read that novel, but the opportunity to read anything from the author was welcome Now that I ve read this compilation of short stories, I will admit to being a bit underwhelmed.The writing isn t bad, especially for translated material There are sumptuous lines of imagery and one is immersed in these vignettes by the obvious skil [...]

    13. Hillary on said:

      I had read about this collection of short stories somewhere and bought it primarily because I work with so many Chinese students I am always interested in learning about their culture.Of course, these stories were written between 1993 and 1998, according to the translator s note That was a different time and, I think, a different China from now These stories are not about the successful, wealthy business people or the highly educated These are the stories of the blue collar workers if it s poss [...]

    14. Olga on said:

      This is the first book of a Chinese author I ve read I can t say I m interested in China, it doesn t fascinate me, unlike North Korea Besides, I find the cover frightening.But I saw very contradictory reviews on In my experience when one person says It s a wonderful book, let s read it, everybody , and when the other says Oh my god, it was terrible, why would someone want to read this book , this means that the book is not simple at all, and it s worth reading.So Boy in the Twilight is a collect [...]

    15. Alane on said:

      I say to myself, Let s try something different Chinese Modern Short stories Cool Myself and I sit down and read.Myself remarks, Ack Bullying, violence, unhappiness please let s do something else I have to remind Myself, We have a degree in literature We have seen this in 7 different languages Did you think the Chinese were going to write about rainbows and cuddle time Myself resigned to herself replied, I guess I just wasn t thinking Sorry But the eating of the pet dog really got to me I think i [...]

    16. Jo on said:

      I have given this five stars because it is so brilliantly written and translated, as I have come to expect from Yu Hua What a storyteller, I couldn t put the book down It was gripping and at the same time somewhat depressing Funny, yet so so dark The stories contain all the interesting day to day context of modern China, but spiralled me into self questioning is human nature really so different where I come from No and yes and no There is something so banal about human cruelty everywhere Yet Yu [...]

    17. Laura on said:

      These are short, intimate vignettes about the way people interact with each other There s nothing political here, just little views into the ways people behave towards others Most are on the poignant side, but a few are funny As I read this I wondered how the stories would sound to a Chinese person Does behavior that would seem gratuitously cruel here seem normal there It s always a question when you read a book from another culture are you understanding it the way the author meant you to

    18. Suvojit on said:

      A disturbing look at the Chinese society and the people who are at the grassroots, the middle class, the hawkers and the complex relationships between them The stories are wonderfully woven yet the outcomes are never good in the traditional sense, and often than not devastating for the lead character Yu Hua shows us that there are no bright and dark patches, only gray that happiness has its roots steeped in despair.

    19. andrew y on said:

      I really really really wanted to like this.The Yu Hua I read, the less I think I get it Probably the mistake of reading translations of an author who is very deeply entrenched in his upbringing and culture That s not a knock on Yu Hua he produces art and is an incredible author But I think it might just be a tiny bit past what I am able to digest and really dig beyond the face value of as a cultural outsider.Anyway, you could still read this if you wanted to.

    20. Rob on said:

      Yu Hua s reflections are somewhat jejeune in this scattering of published works from the 90 s The characters are alternately primitive or simple minded which tended to dull their appeal for me and why do half the stories contain some dude with a meat cleaver Yu Hua s taken a stab at some worthy topics herein and it s interesting to see how Chinese fiction is evolving, but his voice still has room to mature in this unremarkable volume.

    21. Betsy on said:

      These are very simple stories with elements of very basic or obvious irony I wasn t really sure of the point of them, except to illustrate how mean and cruel people can be Or maybe they are meant to get you to self reflect If they were meant to be stories of everyday life in China, then I think they were hideous The first story will probably haunt me for a very long time, and not in a good way.

    22. Keval on said:

      I dipped into this book over a period of 2 weeks while travelling, and some stories are still fresh in my mind for their haunting quality I especially liked Timid As A Mouse and Boy In The Twilight A couple of others felt a little draggy But on the whole, an enjoyable introduction for me into Yu Hua s work.

    23. Shaina on said:

      Shaina s rating I still find myself mulling over the macabre Appendix, which is impressive considering it s one of the shortest pieces in the collection I enjoyed Their Son for its depiction of the generational disconnect between parents and their children Overall, a solid collection of short stories, though only a couple were major standouts for me.

    24. Lisa on said:

      First of all, kudos to the translator These short stories are sometimes heavy, sometimes predictable but always depressing I had to stop reading halfway through just to take a break and get out of the funk There are no consequences or rewards for good or bad behavior The one exception is Friends Interesting read.

    25. Lise on said:

      I like this book, but at the same time it is unpleasant reading The 13 short stories in this collection are all about men or boys who are being tormentet by greedy and bullying women and sometimes men It made me feel sick than once and if this is the real China, I don t want to go to China But it is well written.

    26. Payal Mukherjee on said:

      The kind of book you don t read as a pick me up The kind of book you read when you are pensive, need some shock n awe in life, or when you want to cruise through short but pretty depressive stories in a couple of days My kind of short stories and even I was surprised by the element of tragic twist in some.

    27. Veronique on said:

      I don t have much experience in reading Chinese authors nor do I know much about Chinese culture This book of short stories did not work for me I am not at all into happy happy books or films but most of the characters seem too naive, selfish and simplistic It might also be cultural, maybe I was not ready to read that book yet.

    28. Leah Wicks on said:

      I enjoyed each of these beautifully written short stories Although so whhatdark, they paint a picture of common people trying to make it their sometimes trying circumstances Sometimes humorous and sometimes sad, but always well written.

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