Tuesday, June 9, 2009

July's Pick

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.


Candy said...

Pam! You figured out how to post! I am so, so proud.

Pam said...

Candy you're so sweet. I took me a whole hour and I was up way past my bedtime!

Annell said...

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I loved the way it was written and how the words flowed together. It was very descriptive and made it easy to picture it in my mind. It was interesting to learn about the Chinese "Re-education" program and also how the author experienced "re-education" himself. An easy and good read. Thanks, Pam for choosing this one!

My favorite Quote from page 117
"I was carried away, swept along by the mighty stream of words pouring from the hundreds of pages. To me it was the ultimate book: once you read it, neither your own life nor the world you lived in would ever look the same."

Lauri said...

Pam thanks for picking a book that is small and easy to take on an airplane. It was a fast read and made the trip go all the faster.

I agree with Annelle on the best quote of the book. I liked the book but wished for a different ending. Even during re-education books make life tolerable.

Lucinda said...

B E A U T I F U L !!! And I even loved the way it ended.

Anonymous said...

Great Pick Pam. It was an interesting story. I had never heard or re-education.It was sad because I can't imaging having to smuggle books and steal time to read. I guess I would have done the same thing in order to read. I agree with Annell about the best quote.


Jen said...

I'm not really sure what book I read, as I did not "share the love" of this book with all of you. I found the book devoid of likable characters. Theft is not redeemable even if you really, really want something, and the love story is comprised of two people that simply use each other for a time without any real passion.

It was also strikingly clear that the book was not originally written in English. Often chapters ended upbruptly and there was no flow or rhythm to the written word.

Someday, I will find a book about China that doesn't paint a picture of cruelty and despair. Was there ever a time when they weren't crippling their daughters, or eating dirt, or living with opression?