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The Boat to Redemption By Su Tong Howard Goldblatt,

  • Title: The Boat to Redemption
  • Author: Su Tong Howard Goldblatt
  • ISBN: 9780385613446
  • Page: 411
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dear Comrade.Your request is very important to us At a future date we will give it careful attention and scrutiny.Revolutionary greetings to you.Disgraced Secretary Ku writes letters every day asking for a reprieve He was banished from the Party when it was discovered he does not have a fish shaped birthmark on his bottom and is therefore not the son of the revolutionaryDear Comrade.Your request is very important to us At a future date we will give it careful attention and scrutiny.Revolutionary greetings to you.Disgraced Secretary Ku writes letters every day asking for a reprieve He was banished from the Party when it was discovered he does not have a fish shaped birthmark on his bottom and is therefore not the son of the revolutionary martyr Deng Siopang, but the issue of a river pirate and a prostitute Mocked by the citizens of Milltown, Secretary Ku leaves the shore for a new life among the boat people on a fleet of industrial barges during the boom time under Chairman Mao.Refusing to renounce his status as a Party official, he maintains a distance with Dongliang, his teenage son from the gossipy lowlifes who populate the barges of the Golden Sparrow River One day a feral little girl, Huixan, arrives looking for her mother, who has jumped to her death in the river The boat people, and especially Dongliang, take her to their hearts But Huixan sows conflict wherever she goes, and soon Dongliang is in the grip of an obsession for her He takes on Life, Fate and the Party in the only way he knows Raw, emotional and unerringly funny, the latest novel from the bestselling icon of Chinese literature is a profoundly human story of a people caught in the stranglehold not only of their own desires and needs, but also of a Party that sees everything and forgives nothing.
    The Boat to Redemption Dear Comrade Your request is very important to us At a future date we will give it careful attention and scrutiny Revolutionary greetings to you Disgraced Secretary Ku writes letters every day asking

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    1. The Boat to Redemption by Su Tong Overlook Press, 2011 Trans from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt Although I am a strong believer in the power of the imagination, I also believe that good literature can only be born in an environment that gives us the elements necessary to transmute them into something else A good writer doesn t simply copy reality, but s he can t entirely reinvent it either What I am trying to get at is this if, in a society, all the writers are teaching creative writing, the r [...]

    2. WowI really had to struggle to finish this I think because it was narrated by a young man who was obsessed with a woman and talked about his erections all the timeALL THE TIME I would have given up on it except I had already read 200 pages or so, hoping that something would happen or would change, but nothing did This book was nominated for a Man Booker Prize, which is a big deal in the English language arena I guess it was nominated by a man.

    3. I have mixed feelings about this, and though I quite liked it in the beginning, I feel rather let down by the development of the book It seems to have enough material for a short novella, but not enough for the medium length novel that it is The main problem is that the book harps, that is, it introduces a certain small number of phrases, character conflicts, and themes, and then harps on about them too much Themes such as the water gourd loves the sunflower, which is intended to poetically expr [...]

    4. I struggled to finish this, I felt the book was very slow and not a lot happened But I did feel there were some concepts which were very interesting such as the shame associated with erections and how the men were a slave to them.

    5. For anyone familair with the work of Su Tong, the title The Boat to Redemption might sound a bit odd Redemption isn t usually a theme handled within the works of this Chinese author The man excels in stories that are mean and hopeless and yet utterly readable and fascinating.The same can be said of this tale It starts off with the story of Ku Wenxuan, who is believed to be the son of a revolutionary martyr, and enjoys a life of power and fortune as a secretary for the Communist Party That is, un [...]

    6. i liked it been awhile i try to avoid fiction, and from Chinese writer i do not know the literature world of china, and i bump into a lot of junks without research but this one actually was listed in asian man brooker award.i have to clarify on this, for most review strike hard on controversy with the Erection it was a metaphor, male s desire and egoism One have to be suspicious when it not only for sex, when its was unusually often quoted in book i see it born with desire in human nature, desir [...]

    7. Su Tong s The Boat to Redemptionwas nothing like what I expected The story of a father son in Maoist China is both intriguing and baffling Ku Wenxuan is the son of a martyr of the Revolution and as such has lived a life of privilege a comfy government job, a beautiful wife and a position of honor in the community Until, one day, his status is revoked His beautiful wife, a staunch party member who reads government propaganda over the radio, leaves him He loses his comfy job and is banished to a b [...]

    8. Several Chinese novels I have read lately exhibit what I can only somewhat uncharitably call teenage sexuality, although this may unfairly characterize the teenagers among us I do not wish to go into this too explicitly, but will only suggest that we might draw a distinction between Yu Hua s Brothers, with its somewhat tittering focus upon female genitalia, and Su Tong s The Boat to Redemption, with its fascination with the peculiarities of the male equivalent Gosh, a whole new way of classifyin [...]

    9. The stunning book cover made borrowing The Boat to Redemption irresistible A Chinese boy growing up in Mao era China faces hardship and humiliation after his father, Ku Wenxuan, loses social status Milltown residents believed he was a martyr s son and rescue him from an orphanage because he had a fish shaped birthmark on his ass That status gave him privileges and a prestigious government job Officials decide Secretary Ku isn t the martyr s son and he exiles himself to a barge His wife leaves, b [...]

    10. Well, the curse of the Booker nomination strikes again The book sounded interesting China in the 1960s 1970s, with an un person working on a barge on the Golden Sparrow River Enter a wilful orphan child, result, lots of interesting scenarios Well, maybe I think perhaps it lost a lot in translation, or perhaps I was the wrong audience There were pieces of the book that were, I think, meant to be funny, but I found them dreary In fact, I found most of the book dreary, as it describes life in Mao s [...]

    11. I actually really looked forward to reading this book after reading about it in an article regarding Asian writers The first half of the book was good, I was very drawn into the relationship of the main character and his infatuation with a young girl but then everything just seems to go downhill Dongliang who provides the narrative is a bratty teenager at the start of the book but as he ages his behaviour just gets worse and it was very hard for me to carry on reading because I was reading from [...]

    12. This was a sad book in many ways the inadequacy of the politically ruined father casts a shadow over the upbringing of his son, set in developing China, from the time of the cultural revolution, through to recent times Dongliang is obsessed with Huixian, and his perception of her seizes his life from adolescence to adulthood Set on the river boats where life is basic and austere but with with an independence from the restrictions of life ashore as controlled by the Party, Dongliang tries to tra [...]

    13. This book started well with a parody of a communist official who has been banished for not having the correct birth mark on his bottom The entrance of an orphaned girl into the world of the barge people also was promising There were a couple of interesting scenes where the local officialdom created their own rules.There was a long diversion of the orphaned girl who becomes a propaganda tool and numerous circular passages over various themes which never seemed to go anywhere The narrator was imma [...]

    14. This novel by Su Tong author of Raise the Red Lantern is difficult to categorize it s sort of a coming of age story set during the Cultural Revolution Another reviewer described it better it s a political parable A political parable where a life is worth less than a shovelful of dirt and power can bob arbitrarily, repressing and destroying Nominated for the Booker Prize, with fetching cover art.

    15. When the regime claims that one man s martyr ancestor wasn t really his ancestor, his family disintegrates He has to start working on a barge as part of a fleet and his son joins him Unable to overcome the trauma, the boy grows up into an adult unable to communicate his feelings and his life glides deeper and deeper into disaster, while petty politics, greedy people and cold feelings of those surrounding him suffocate him Very black story but an excellent read.

    16. This one started slow but I ended up really liking it, even though I m not sure what I think about the plot Compared to the short stories I tried by Mr Tong, this was less surreal I do wonder how much was lost both in the translation and my lack of context for Chinese culture, especially for the historical period covered in this book.

    17. This novel started out well, read like a tragi comic take on the Great Cultural Revolution The problem is that the story never moved beyond the beginning set up the one basic joke got stale Still, if you want to immerse yourself in the absurdity of the Cultural Revolution, you might appreciate this novel.

    18. The promise of the early chapters were an inevitable letdown, as this is a novel that ends up a disappointment, going nowhere Overly long, tiring to read, I really felt that this novel would have benefited from having at least 100 150 pages cut from it.

    19. I bought this as a cover buy it sounded like a good romp though I never heard about the author before the novel started of rather well but I agree with the other reviewers that the book started to drag in the middle it didn t have enough steam for the length that it is.I also found the main character s obsession with a little girl rather disturbing and I don t get the point of that particular part of the story or maybe the clue was in the last 150 pages which I skim read.

    20. Interesting setting and context, but terrible characters I didn t like a single person in the whole story.

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