Lin Zhe is one of China’s foremost authors. In this gripping novel, Zhe incorporates the War of Resistance against Japan, New China's arduous journey from Liberation in 1949 through Mao's Cultural Revolution, and up to the present day to form a compelling backdrop for her portrayal of three generations of a Chinese family struggling to survive war, revolutionary politics, the demands of a timeless patriarchal social order, and the conflict between family obligations and individual aspirations.
With the smooth translation by George A. Fowler, listeners are immediately engrossed in this fast-paced story that covers a century of change in every aspect of life in China. Whether the book’s characters are in the far reaches of western China or small-town California, we share their loves and their hopes, their terrors and despair, and, finally, their survival and evolution. The author, who has published 14 novels, reminds us just how unbreakable the human spirit is.
Would you listen to Old Town again? Why?
Yes, it was excellently read and listening again would probably reveal cultural details missed at first listening.
Would you recommend Old Town to your friends? Why or why not?
Yes but they would need to be interested in the delightful small details of life within the broad politcal scope of the story.
Did Emily Woo Zeller do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Both. This family saga pulls at the emotions by sharing the joys and sadness of all the lives involved. However the story had a detachment which at times has a documentary style.
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Is there anything you would change about this book?
I don't know if I would have included the translators notes.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
I would, as it might be easier to keep track of the characters.