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Strange Stones: Dispatches From East And West (2013)

by Peter Hessler(Favorite Author)
4.08 of 5 Votes: 2
0062206230 (ISBN13: 9780062206237)
Harper Perennial
review 1: This collection of dispatches cover a number of years of Peter Hessler's early writing years, covering rural China and small towns in Colorado. Peter Hessler is well known as a correspondent for the New Yorker, and I have admired his work for many years. His quiet way of writing suggests that of an excellent listener, and his "way of seeing" opens ones eyes to many wonders - especially of China. The first dispatch speaks of eating Rat in China, and the last closes with the only pharmacist within four thousand square miles in Southwestern Colorado. Mr. Hessler combines the best of Charles Kuralt and Bill Bryson... and I am enthralled with the combination. Spending over 1 1/2 decades in China (the last time he put gas in a car in the United States he had to use leaded g... moreas) left him with China as his frame of reference. He uses this frame to turn the mirror back to us Americans, and his insight is well worth reading. Allow me to share a small section (pg. 325): "In the States, I often had trouble responding to personal stories. But soon I realized that it didn't make much difference what I said. Many Americans were great talkers, but they didn't like to listen. If I told somebody in a small town that I had lived overseas for fifteen years, the initial response was invariably the same: "Were you in the Military?" After that, people had few questions. Leslie and I learned that the most effective way to kill our end of a conversation was to say that we were writers who had lived in China for more than a decade. Nobody knew what to make of that; they seemed much more comfortable talking about their most recent prison term. The lack of curiosity depressed me."I could go on, but why ruin it for you? Take a chance and enjoy Strange Stories by Peter Hessler. Highly Recommended.
review 2: I think Peter Hessler is really good in finding interesting characters and stories ... and I mean real ones. And this book is a good example of it. However, it's probably the least good book by Hessler I've read. It's a collection of around 20 small stories, most from China and a few from the US. And this fact that there isn't a continuity from beginning to end is what it makes it, in my opinion, not as good as the previous ones. Though, still highly recommendable.Hessler is now living in Egypt. I look forward to his books from there ... so much to be told! less
Reviews (see all)
Have the chance to go to China this fall. Recommended as a good cultural introduction.
Great book! He writes so well and it is very entertaining.
most articles had been published in his other books
Wonderful stories of Chinese culture and life.
4.5 stars
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