teacher and reader, June 14, 2011 (view all comments by teacher and reader)
This book is fascinating. The author spent two years in China teaching for the Peace Corps at the age of 26. He and his friend, Adam, were the first two Westerners to live in the province for fifty years. As a result, they were stared at, glared at and followed where ever they went. Mr. Hessler captures the culture, the emotional and political climate, and his experience vividly. When I finished the book, the images and ideas stayed with me, and because of the detailed and excellent writing, I felt as if I had shared in the experience. It is a great book for getting a handle on what China is like at a basic level. River Town is honest, funny, and poignant, and one of the most haunting books I've ever read.
Anna, November 30, 2006 (view all comments by Anna)
Much better than his later "Oracle Bones," this book follows Peter in his early Peace Corps days in the Sichuan Province in China. Not only does this book give a nice background into the joys and difficulties of teaching, but it also gives an interesting anthropological and cultural look into foreign relations and foreign politics. Great reading!
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