Wednesday, 21 October 2009

January 2009 - Book 3

Book no 3 - Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

I am not a biography or autobiography reader. I have read and enjoyed a few, but they are not my chosen poison.I like the escape of fiction. But some true stories are certainly larger than fiction. This is one of those, and so well told.

The book tells the story of a dirt poor Chinese boy that gets chosen to go to the elite state ballet school - without ever having seen a ballet or know what it is about. It provides him with the opportunity to escape the hardships so graphically described and the chance to have a better future. In time he becomes a star and see the world. But he also realizes how he has been brainwashed to believe the communist principles forced down with the pirouettes.

The book is well written and holds the attention although it is a long read. I found life in communist China fascinating and the portrial of the west through his eyes is just amazing to read.

Cat's opinion: A well deserved 8/10


  1. I am an avid reader, more avid for mystery than nonfiction. But every once and a while they do get my attention. I lived in Okinawa for a year and sometimes it was hard to understand the beliefs and culture, but also facinating to get to know the people. Thanks for your book review. I will be coming back!

  2. I need to start reading again. I miss it so much. Thanks for this review it sounds like an interesting read.


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