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Decayed Land is the third book of the Islands triptych by Chung Wenyin. If the trilogy is an overview of Taiwanese culture and history through the eyes of the land's women, then Decayed Land is the broadest of the three.
It has a large cast of characters and takes on the role of family history for the Chungs, starting properly around the mass migration of Han Chinese to Taiwan, although the family itself having lived there for longer. Nevertheless, the story starts with arrivals and progresses through the stories of various family members until it ends with Tiger May's and Chung Nina's arrival in Taipei, which is where Decayed Lust picks up (and completely alters the narrative).
Since Book 3 happens before Book 1, and since the tones of the books are so different, they really can be listened to in any order. Nevertheless, this difference serves to highlight the multifaceted nature of the overall story, thus accomplishing multiple goals in its intermixing stories. Book 2 (Decayed Life) so far does not exist in translation, but it covers a "middle period", the White Terror period of the 1950s-70s that barely impacts on the rural, isolated lives of the characters in Decayed Land, which highlights a whole different kind of isolation in Decayed Lust, which results from living in a crowded metropolis.
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- Michael Deyhim
Great Audiobook! Excellent Narrator
I really enjoyed this audiobook - great story, quality narration. Looking forward to future releases :)