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  • Street of Eternal Happiness

  • Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road
  • By: Rob Schmitz
  • Narrated by: Tim Flavin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Asia
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

A timely and engaging look at the new China told through the stories of its ordinary people.

Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas and opportunity. Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighbourhood, forging relationships with ordinary people who see a brighter future in the city's sleek skyline.

There's Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself while keeping her sceptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself but learns he's searching for something more.

As Schmitz becomes increasingly involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: a mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family's - and country's - dark past, and an abandoned neighbourhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed.

A tale of 21st-century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China's distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humourous and, at times, heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese dream.

Each story adds another layer of humanity to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz's insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world's most captivating cities.

©2016 Rob Schmitz (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

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Essential reading for all the laowai in Shanghai

As an expat living in Shanghai, this book has been an absolute pleasure to read. Its descriptions of Shanghai are so accurate, it feels like it has put into words all the things I see and take for granted everyday, whilst allowing me to understand a little more of what happens underneath. I wish I’d read it when I arrived in the city a year ago! Please don’t take the narrator’s pronunciation as a guide when talking to people about China. Most of the Chinese words he uses are unrecognizable, even in their anglicized form.

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Pls release version with a new reader.

This fantastic story is read by someone who cannot pronounce the many Chinese words in here - I suspect many people who buy this book will speak Chinese. However, more egregiously, he even pronounced “Peace Corps” as “Peace Corps.” I expect better from an NPR correspondent’s audiobook.