Relentlessly critical of people falling for empty materialism and status seeking I found all of that compelling The vision of the afterlife that slowly emerges is a utopia where everyone is free to be good to each other in a beautiful world The main character starts his journey into death all alone with nobody to mourn him and no grave to go to By the end he s surrounded by ikeminded skeletons in the same situation all of them helping each other and City of Big Shoulders living together to make a meaningful afterlife It was great When s theast time you read about positive skeletons becoming a big extended family I really really Blind Devotion (The Shifter Chronicles loved this book It has some beautiful stories woven into the very original main story Comprising the emotions of pain sadnessove and happiness as well as realistic characters in a surreal world this one is a beautiful beautiful book Definitely a must read A mixture of surreal fantasy and absurd real My Name is Bob life At first I found myself so disoriented that I wasn t sure I d keep going but I just kept getting sucked in even though I wasn t sure what was happeningIt s best not to give you too many details but the book follows all kinds of stories of death and meaning and the afterlife a truly uniue novel Only my second book by the author but what I notice is his wonderful way of weaving things together seamlessly I enjoyed this metaphorical novel that s full of political commentary and should be on my way to preparing myself for his opus To Live I am inoveand I am going to stalk him until I have read every wordhe haseverwritten Often when I finish reading a novel I throw the book down on the tablechairfloor in happy manic exasperation fired up and eager to do to act Sometimes I can think of the future and eave satisfied I can t say I felt that way when I finished The Seventh Day but I oved it nonethelessI had previously read China in Ten Days Yu Hua s nonfiction collection about his days growing up during the Chinese collective era but I wasn t expecting a wonderful novel about death and satisfaction from the witty and humorous writer I previously met The Seventh Day speaks about the Billy Bragg line betweenife and death and not just the transition but the space in between Polly Prices Totally Secret Diary life and death past and future According to the funeral custom that Yu Hua describes a body must be cremated and buried in its own burial plot to move into the world of eternal rest Yang Fei the main character is a specter coming to terms with the death of his father and former wife He s stuck inimbo after death without a burial plot or cremationYang Fei always ived in between past and future existing without a plan and imbued with a murky past When he discovers that those pasts and futures may exist he doesn t know how to handle it So he wanders through the mists of his semi afterlife communing with those integral to whom he is and ooking for his father while trying to find himselfThe novel is a fascinating commentary on how in China the relationship of money power happiness and good deeds has changed China s fascination with death dominates but death isn t always a bad thing It s inevitable but not unpleasant Not perfect but permissible Yu Hua captures that essence Wanted to preface by saying Yu Hua s To Live and Brothers are among my all time favorites They brought many characters to The Majors Daughter life in their rawest forms As such 10 years since Brothers was published I had a certain expectation of Yu Hua s hyped up new work As it is short I expected it to come with a punch Instead it came with a whimper Characters were pale emotional penetration wasacking social problems were piled on one after another and to what effect We all know about them by reading the daily news The writing style of voice of the wondering ghost is also cliche and not compelling All in all this book which I read in Chinese did not do it for me Maybe years Miss Shumway Waves a Wand later I will revisit and uncoverayers of new meaning but until then. Molition of their homes Traveling on he sees that the afterworld encompasses all the casualties of today’s China the organ sellers the young suicides the innocent convicts as well as the hope for a better ife to come Yang Fei’s passage maps the contours of this vast nation its absurdities its sorrows and its soul Vivid urgent and panoramic The Seventh Day affirms Yu Hua’s place as the standard bearer of modern Chinese fictio.
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35 starsFollowing the dialectics of his courageous and hugely successful book China in Ten Words historically documenting the country s ungraceful eap out of the Cultural Revolution and the standoff that ended in bloodshed in the Tiananmen Suare Massacre Yu Hua resurrects his critical perspectives on China s rapid economic growth society s suicide by over consumerism and the country s uncontrolled catapult into modernization micromanaged by corrupt government officials in The Seventh DayA NovelTutor Yang Fei awakens to foggy thoughts and surreal surroundings unrecognizable even to himself finding that his body is covered in wounds and his face rearranged in the style of a Picasso He s prompted to be on time at the funeral parlor and drifts slowly into the realization that he is dead Between the traffic and the bus that doesn t arrive he is On His Majestys Service late anyway to the crematorium only to discover a packed waiting room As with any democratic system he must take a number for his turn while the newly arrived VIPs gloating about their opulent burial plots with scenic views areavishly catered to first Without a grave where will you go Rather than wait not only is he inappropriately dressed for the occasion he has no burial plot and no one on the otherside to bury him Yang Fei ventures on a walkabout a sort of deadman s odyssey in Different Class limbo which appears to me to be the transitional state of bardo as described in The Tibetan Book of the Dead As the deadman meanders through Hua s not so demonic but poetic vision of the afterlife amidst blurry scenes of spiraling windswept snow flakes that sometimes catch a reflective sunbeam tame down and clear his path Yang discovers the horrific manmade causes for the multitude of restless souls still floating aimlessly unmourned and isolated within thisifeless realm He hears reports of high seated officials suppressing political scandals by any means necessary the brutal abuse of prisoners held without sufficient grounds a corrupt police force who acknowledge that people who arrive at the public security bureau with backpacks are normally there to deliver bribes monstrous coverups even within the walls of medical establishments as the products of abortions are dumped into rivers population control is a national policy after all The twenty seven babies were medical refuse and the hospital did nothing wrong trash has to be dumped after all deadlines on projects to raise the people s standard of The Essential Good Food Guide living take precedent over consideration of those veryives as the destruction of private homes proceed whilst occupied by their residents the impoverished reduced to Textbook of Wisdom living in abandoned underground bomb shelters are driven to make uick cash by donating their organs too poor to even afford death since dying is such an expensive business these days Such hot topics most surely make headlines in the media possibly are even commonplace as the West is apt to thinkHua sees the mutilation of China s greatest commodity its people by the jaws of the awakening Dragon too eager to feed its ferocious insatiable appetite yet his usual prickly opinions of the aftershocks of TCR as sharply observed in Boy in the Twilight Stories of the Hidden China are toned down in The Seventh Day A Novel Tales of poverty displacement and complete isolation fromoved ones serve to unveil fragments of memories for Yang who could then reflect on his personal In Defence of Dogs loss and severed relationship from his adopted father in a very touching story that almost seemsike a personal meditation of the writer himself Who knows In any case Hua is to be applauded for the whiff of sentimentality He veers the reader specifically toward the psycho social effects on the human condition on China s contemporary ife that may well be hurdling to a disconsolate destiny How do I get the feeling that after death there s actually eternal ife If you have a grave you have a resting place and if you do not hav. From the acclaimed author of Brothers and To Live a major new novel that The City in Mind limns the joys and sorrows ofife in contemporary China Yang Fei was born on a moving train Lost by his mother adopted by a young switchman raised with simplicity and ove he is utterly unprepared for the tempestuous changes that await him and his country As a young man he searches for a place to belong in a nation that is ceaselessly reinventing itself bu.
E a grave you gain eternal ife which do you think is better Is China s No One Wants You life after TCR moving to such a fate skeletalifelessness roaming in The City Of Heavenly Tranquillity limbo without really achieving a satisfactory goal that ultimate promise of rest in peace Hua s metaphoric afterlife ofush Penguins Poems for Life landscapes fruitful trees and flowers in bloom may seem as enticing as the superficial materialistic ideals theiving are grasping at that for a brief moment his message seems to suggest that ife in death is paradise There s no poverty here and no riches there s no sorrow and no pain no grievances and no hate Here everyone finds euality in death Not to be deceived In keeping with the belief that the Creator found rest on The Seventh Day we see a glorious celebration of one such restless soul finally finding her peace strong evidence that Hua has hope for China to be ifted out of its foggy haze to shine in everlasting glory and in the end wander far away from the and of the unburied I rated this 35 stars although any theme of afterlife well told will always possess me the powerful over the top avante garde expressionism that Hua is known for was missed in this work Still there are poetic imagery sentiment and touches of humor in both of Hua s worlds the iving and the dead to satiate his fans and anyone with an interest in China present and futureRead June 15th 2015 What an unusual book It s told by Yang Fei a 41 year old Chinese man who has just died The book covers the first seven days of his experiences in the afterlife which isn t perhaps how you or I might imagine it but isn t ridiculously fantastic either In the course of these seven days Yang Fei meets various deceased people he s known and hears about the events that Divine Beauty led up to their deaths He also hears about some people connected to the recently deceased people who are still alive You could see the book as a collection of short stories with a connecting theme Not all of the stories directlyink to the narrator which makes you suspect their inclusion is purely because the author enjoyed the idea of telling these curious tales Hua has written a Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone large number of short stories most of which areess well known than his novels in the WestIn spite of its Down to the Sea in Ships loose structure the book is absorbing Yang Fei is perhaps one of the most generous narrators you reikely to meet He was brought up by an eually generous young man who adopted him after he d fallen out of a train as a new born baby through the toilet The story of his relationship with his father is delightful and warm something that is seemingly unusual in the society at Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides, large Loosely in the background we hear of politics corruption poverty aack of concern for people s rights But these aren t the focus Hua highlights the Dog Years lives of ordinary people trying to work out theirives in a difficult world yet there s an optimism and joy pervading the book in spite of the uarrels and the constantly changing circumstances The book seems simple straightforward But the strange interconnections the seemingly unrelated characters the apparently random nature of death all continue to Chain of Fire linger in the mind Commendation should also go the translator Allan Barr who s done a wonderful job I think I ve just found a new favourite This novel was insightful witty funny and powerful So happy I came across this book Will be reading Hua s previous work There s a pretty devastating critiue of materialism here set in an odd magical realism story about a guy who wakes up dead and slowly talks to people he used to know and remembers things about hisife The book is divided into 7 days and not every day The Devils Elbow (Mrs. Bradley, landed with meMy favorite days focused on the main character searching for his adoptive father and remembering theirife together There are some really touching scenes about how we choose our real family I imagine those must read a The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur lot edgier in China His reconciliation with his ex wife was also a highlight The book is. T he remains on the edges of society At age forty one he meets an accidental and unceremonious death Lacking the money for a burial plot he must roam the afterworld aimlessly without rest Over the course of seven days he encounters the souls of the people he’sost As Yang Fei retraces the path of his ife we meet an extraordinary cast of characters his adoptive father his beautiful ex wife his neighbors who perished in the de.
余华; traditional Chinese