Friday, 5 June 2015

Beginnings and Teasers - 'Young Babylon' by Lu Nei, Poppy Toland

Young BabylonIt's another Friday and I've got another book to share with you after Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut last week! And no, I still haven't finished Bluebeard which is a bit of shame so let's just pretend I have for now. I've got a great book for you by a very interesting author.

Pub. Date: 09/06/2015
Publisher: AmazonCrossing
Knowing nothing more than the working-class life he is born into, headstrong Lu Xiaolu reluctantly starts down the path he is expected to follow. At age nineteen in 1990s China, he feels pressure to follow suit with those around him and takes a job at the town’s saccharin factory. Slowly, he adjusts to the bureaucratic factory routine, making the best of the situation by bonding with coworkers, flirting with girls, and refusing to give in completely to the expectations of those around him.
As Lu Xiaolu finds his way, a startling portrait of an economically expanding China comes into view; the propaganda of a common goal gives way to a bottom-line system that he sees as indifferent to individual happiness. But thanks to the relationships he develops, Lu Xiaolu decides to fight for the life he wants. 
Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader and Freda at Freda's Voice respectively.


BB:
'Zhang Xiaoyin and I were sitting by the side of the road."Lu Xiaolu, tell me a story from your past," she said.I was thirty and I hadn't sat on the curb - or the curbstones, as they call them in Shanghai - for a long time. Sitting like that made me feel like I was still pretty young. I told Zhang Xiaoyin to go buy me a milk tea, and then I'd tell her a story. I love the milk tea they sell at the roadside. Just like I love Shanghai's upmarket districts, where the curbs are relatively clean and the flavor of the milk tea is just as it should be. In the city where I grew up, water flooded from the gutters and ran down the sides of the streets, and no one sold milk tea on the street, only soy milk, which tasted like bean dregs. Nothing about that place was particularly great, but I lived there for many years all the same.' p.1
I really like this beginning. On the one hand you get a really simple beginning, just two people sitting on the pavement together, but I love Nei's description of the water flooding the gutters, etc.


F56:
'The other mechanical object we owned was also palm-size: a rusty little alarm clock. At six on the dot each morning, it would ring with a noise like the prelude to a rock concert, waking us all in a second.' p.56
I have a rock song as my alarm on my phone, but it has stopped waking me up somehow. I love the idea of a family alarm though because it would be great if I could have other people wake me up to tell me that my alarm is going off!

So, that was me for today! Young Babylon sounds really good and I can't wait to get started soon! What are you reading?

15 comments:

  1. Interesting book, thanks for sharing

    Please take a peek at mine http://www.thereadinghead.com/friday-56-meets-book-beginnings-4/

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  2. Interesting idea for a book. I don't think this is one that would suit me. I hope you enjoy it though. You can find me at #23 and #24 on Freda's linky. Happy reading!

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    1. So far I have been very pleasantly surprised by it! Thanks for commenting :)

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  3. Sounds like it has a lot of potential!

    Check out my 56 (With Book Beginnings).

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    1. I can't wait to discover more of this one! Thanks for commenting :)

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  4. I agree about the beginning, it gives a real feel for Shanghai through his eyes.

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    1. I have never been to Shanghai but I felt like I could see it in the beginning! Thanks for commenting :)

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  5. Think I'd have to be in the right mood to read this one.

    My Friday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/06/friday-focus-friday-56-book-beginnings.html

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    1. I definitely haven't been able to read it regardless of mood so I'd have to agree with you! Thanks for commenting :)

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  6. Is it strange that I don't like to read a book when I can't pronounce the names? ;-) It does sound good though. Please check out mine ... http://lisaksbookthoughts.blogspot.com/

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    1. It can be quite hard to make the change to a different culture and language, but I think it's definitely worth it! Thanks for commenting :)

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  7. 6 am is much too early for my blood. After a while I would probably break the alarm. :-)
    Happy weekend!

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  8. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy this but if I spotted it at my favorite book store, I'd get it. And my alarm goes off at 5:45 each morning. I'm always awake, waiting for it. LOL

    My 56 - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/06/05/the-friday-56-64-hexed/

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  9. Set in China and written by a Chinese author? Now I'm very curious. This sounds exactly what I'd like to get into my TBR ... and so it shall!

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