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    Description

    In the heart of China's Sichuan province, amid the terraced hills of the Yangtze River valley, lies the remote town of Fuling. Like many other small cities in this ever-evolving country, Fuling is heading down a new path of change and growth, which came into remarkably sharp focus when Peter Hessler arrived as a Peace Corps volunteer, marking the first time in more than half a century that the city had an American resident. Hessler taught English and American literature at the local college, but it was his students who taught him about the complex processes of understanding that take place when one is immersed in a radically different society.

    Poignant, thoughtful, funny, and enormously compelling, River Town is an unforgettable portrait of a city that is seeking to understand both what it was and what it someday will be.

    ©2006 Peter Hessler (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

    Commentaires

    "Hessler's writing is lovely. His observations are evocative, insightful, and often poignant--and just as often, funny. It's a pleasure to read of his (mis)adventures. Hessler returned to the U.S. with a new perspective on modern China and its people. After reading River Town, you'll have one, too." (Amazon.com review)

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de River Town

    Notations
    Global
    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    Interprétation
    • 4 out of 5 stars
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    Histoire
    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • CHRISTIAN
    • 14/01/2011

    Interesting insight, fair oration

    Though this narrative is almost 15 years old (Hessler worked for the Peace Corps in the late 1990's), and that seems a long time ago at the frantic pace of change in present day China, most of the observations seem relevant today, especially those addressing the human dimension. The narrator has a young 20s male voice, a bit on the nasal side, but reading at a lively and varied rhythm. He is great at making distinct voices for different characters. As is often the case with books on China, this reader mispronounces many Chinese names, but it's a minor issue. He has a good sense for dramatic pauses and for getting "in character." It's easy to mistakenly think that you're listening to the author himself.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Abstraction
    • Abstraction
    • 10/07/2011

    Peter Berkrot Again?

    Having lived in China for 16 years, I am an avid fan of Hessler's work, and have hard copies of all three books as well as the audiobooks. However, I prefer Audiobooks, because of my lifestyle. What I don't understand is why Hessler would allow Berkrot to read his books. The books are all 5-Star, but Berkrot is a lousy choice for books filled with Chinese characters and Chinese words. I recognize that I am biased because I live in China and know when Chinese is being butchered, and I recognize that the cringes I have to deal with at every other word are partially my problem. I guess my collection of Audible books with Chinese topics and themes would probably rival any other collector's, so I consider myself a knowledgeable critic on this subject. The pity of it is, while Hessler's hardbacks are on my top shelf, Berkrot is, hands down, the "worst" narrator for Chinese-themed books that I have listened to - nobody butchers like Berkrot. Hessler has spent so much time in China - why would he want someone to read his book that does such a poor job with Chinese names and words? I hope Hessler is reading these, as I'm sure he'll keep writing about China, and I hope he can find someone who can at least get, say 5% of the pronunciations in the realm of acceptable. If Berkrot "must" read your work, tell him its "Bei "J"ing. It has a "J" because it sounds the same as John or Jeff. Would Berkrot say Zhohn and Zheff??

    33 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      1 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Stephen
    • 08/02/2016

    Excellent book let down by poor narration

    I really enjoyed this book. Having spent a year in China at about the same time referred to in this book, it brought back many memories of the China of that period. The author is a keen observer of daily life and an excellent writer. I also admired his courage in getting out among the people and his persistence in learning the language.

    The narration of the story is quite another matter. The book is sprinkled with Chinese words and while the narrator can be forgiven for not pronouncing them all correctly, no attempt has been made to find out the correct pronunciation for even the most commonly used words, some of which are repeated literally hundreds of times throughout the book, always incorrectly. In addition, whenever the book quotes a Chinese person the reader goes into some weird accent, a bit like a caricature of a Mexican accent. I was left thinking that the narrator had probably never met a Chinese person in his life.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • S
    • 02/09/2019

    Amazing book, terrible audiobook narrator

    Phenomenal book and a classic on China. However, the narrator for the audiobook is barely tolerable. It sounds like yelling throughout the narration, imitations of female voices and Chinese accents distractingly terrible, and gross mispronunciations of all Chinese words/names/cities. Given that this book is famous in China research, they should have chosen a quality audiobook narrator who also had the bare basics of Chinese pronunciation.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Susan
    • 30/10/2012

    Great story but didn't like the narrator

    Would you try another book from Peter Hessler and/or Peter Berkrot?

    Hessler's writing is good, but it was difficult for me to keep with it because I did not care for
    Berkrot's voice.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Walter R. Huber
    • Walter R. Huber
    • 24/03/2018

    Read the book, skip the audio

    I loved this book and have read it twice. I thought it would be nice to listen to it while walking. The narrator has a pleasant enough voice but his Chinese is worse than mine (which is saying something). He also has an annoying (to me) habit of taking on a host of different voices. This would be fine but there are so many of them it is distracting. I loved the book but can’t recommend the audio.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Sam
    • 16/11/2010

    Great book

    Loved the book. More than one of my friends that live in China told me that their interest in the country and the language was inspired by this book. I can see why. In the reviews of the Hessler Trilogy the narrator is getting a lot of hassle for his voice and his butchery of the Chinese. It can be painful initially for someone that speaks Chinese to listen to the mispronunciations and I would recommend that books that contain a lot of dialogue in a foreign language be read by someone that has a basic knowledge of that language. However, I did enjoy the accents the narrator provided. He has an amazing faculty for mimicking Chinese prostitutes and old ladies.

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Richard Lee
    • 02/12/2019

    Transcendental

    I was born and raised in China, and I read Chinese version when I was in a Chinese high school. I have been always a big fan of Peter Hessler. For me, listening to the stories in this audiobook felt strangely familiar, because I almost felt the same as Peter Hessler when I went back home. The book was written with a distinctly American perspective but also with “Chinese characteristics”, which made the book so authentic and so emotionally touching.

    After thirty years of Reform and Opening, many things have changed, and many things haven’t. As a young Chinese, I was so familiar with propaganda that Hessler’s attitude to propaganda bothered me at the beginning. However, I also realized how much materials had been censored that the Chinese version wasn’t political at all comparing to the original version. It felt like reading an irrelevant book sometimes, with so many “extra” political jokes and comments. I laughed out loud so many times when I was driving on freeway, listening to the deleted narrative quietly.

    Peter Hessler was an outsider, but he had made great efforts to understand China. He didn’t simply limit himself to criticize China and the political system endlessly. He could have easily done so, like so many people who wrote books on China. He didn’t. He looked deeply into the way of Chinese life. His comments on every aspect of Fuling’s life were profound, and yet funny.

    After two years living in the US, I found his experience in Fuling so relevant. As I am still trying to get used to the “American way of life”, it’s very helpful to know that an American had struggled as me, trying to make sense of the world in front of us.

    At the end of the book, he revealed his respect to the strengths and diligence of Chinese people after two years in a remote, underdeveloped city located in western China. I still remembered that in the epilogue of the Chinese version, he went back to Fuling again, and he couldn’t find his way to the college because the city had been sculptured by urbanization and economic development so profoundly, as well as the rest of China.

    Time has changed, the city has changed, but the river is still the same as it has been.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Amazon Customer
    • Amazon Customer
    • 20/09/2019

    Fascinating!

    I love the story and the writing, but the narration seems i'll fitted. If I had to do over, I'd read it!

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Amazon Customer
    • 21/09/2012

    Very unexpected.

    Any additional comments?

    I picked this up on a whim, it was on sale. It started out a bit slowly, but really sucked me in. I really enjoyed it, especially the last 1/2. What a fascinating couple of years he spent in China.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Adrian Frey-von Steuber
    • Adrian Frey-von Steuber
    • 04/08/2020

    發音不對

    It is rather puzzling that the publisher chose someone who has no inkling of Chinese pronunciation. If you know even a little Chinese, it can be frustrating to listen to.