Author: Ma Jian
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO (but my husband has and my son was born there)
This is my 58th read of the year.
China is on my short list of places to visit. My son was born there and we adopted him when he was 14 months old. I didn't get to go on the trip to pick him up because I had a 1 and 4 year old at home at that time that needed looked after. My husband went and got him and got a chance to explore and visit where our son was born (Hunan). Someday, we will all go back as a family. Right now, I will treasure my greatest gift from this country, my boy.
This is the story of Ma Daode. He has been put in charge of a program called China Dream which will overwrite people's private dreams. He is got a great job, a wife, and several mistresses and thinks he has it all.
As the program comes together, Ma suddenly finds himself plagued with flashbacks of his past. He flashes to his time in the Cultural Revolution, his parent's suicide, and the downfall of his family. He seeks out a legendary recipe for an amnesia potion to erase these thoughts, thinking that this will help him refocus on his current work.
This book was very very confusing. I really can't write more about it because it didn't go anywhere. It was all over the place. I understand that it is a bit of a dystopian novel, but also a colleciton of how the author (who has been banned from China for his writings) feels about his country. The ending was terrible. It got more and more twisted as the story went along, and then.....nothing.
Disappointing, really. I had high hopes for it when I read the synopsis, but there weren't any reviews for it yet on Amazon. I should have been wary.
I will be looking for another book about China in the future. Attually, we have a couple on our shelves back in Massachusetts - I might grab one of those before I search out something new.