» » Brothers

Brothers epub

by Yu Hua


Brothers epub

ISBN: 0330452754

ISBN13: 978-0330452755

Author: Yu Hua

Category: No category

Language: English

Publisher: Picador Paperbacks (February 5, 2010)

ePUB book: 1318 kb

FB2 book: 1483 kb

Rating: 4.1

Votes: 696

Other Formats: lrf txt docx mbr





at once hyperrealist and phantasmagorical. We can see a true picture of the country refracted in this funhouse mirror.

Brothers (simplified Chinese: 兄弟; pinyin: Xiōngdì) is the longest novel written by the Chinese novelist Yu Hua, in total of 76 chapters, separately published in 2005 for the part 1 (of the first 26 chapters) and in 2006 for part 2 (of the rest 50 ch. .

Brothers (simplified Chinese: 兄弟; pinyin: Xiōngdì) is the longest novel written by the Chinese novelist Yu Hua, in total of 76 chapters, separately published in 2005 for the part 1 (of the first 26 chapters) and in 2006 for part 2 (of the rest 50 chapters) by Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House. It has over 180 thousand characters in Chinese, more than the 100 thousand characters that were originally planned for the book

As comically mismatched teenagers, Baldy Li, a sex-obsessed ne’er-do-well, and Song Gang, his bookish, sensitive stepbrother, vow that they will always be brothers-a bond they will struggle to maintain over the years as they weather the ups and downs of rivalry in love and making and losing millions in the new China.

Published in 2005 and 2006, Yu Hua s Brothers spans many of these same emotional extremes. Though he originally conceived of the idea for the novel as early as 1995, Yu Hua was inspired to revisit the project during a seven-month sojourn in the United States and France that he began in late 2003. The China he left behind, meanwhile, was in the grip of a pre-Olympics beauty-pageant fever. In September of that year, for instance, a national beauty pageant was held on Hainan Island as a prelude to Chinas first time hosting the Miss World competition two months later.

Yu Hua's ambition here is to create an epic of China's last four decades: a portrait of the country's .

Yu Hua's ambition here is to create an epic of China's last four decades: a portrait of the country's transformation from political thuggery to money worship. In the interests of achieving a faithful likeness, he has discarded the cool, sparing voice that made his name as a serious novelist between the 1980s and 1990s, and opted for crudeness in almost every respect: in the freakish protagonists and plot twists; in the repetitions and expletives; in the fountains of body fluids.

Yu Hua’s Brothers, translated by Eileen Cheng-yin Chow and Carlos Rojas, has what we might call a yiyin problem. Not because the novel is obscure or allusive or stereotypically Chinese. Brothers is, in fact, very much a social novel of the late 20th century. All that ought to make it a blockbuster in the West, as it has been in China, where on its release in 2005 and 2006 (in two volumes) it sold more than a million copies. Yet for all these recognizable qualities, reading Brothers in English can be a daunting, sometimes vexing and deeply confusing experience.

Yu Hua. A year later he obtained a passport with a Japanese visa so that he could travel to Japan to drum up some business. A year later he obtained a passport with a Japanese visa so that he could travel to Japan to drum up some business re interested in investing again. Baldy Li was now not lacking in money, but seeing that he was about to become as rich as an oil tanker, he immediately thought of his five former partners and felt that he should give them another opportunity, allowing them to follow him on the road to wealth. Still in his tattered clothing, Baldy Li went to see Blacksmith Tong. The last time he arrived. From the acclaimed author of Brothers and To Live: a major new novel that limns the joys and sorrows of modern China-a deeply resonant contemporary fable, written with the author's hallmark sophisticated yet bawdy humor and piercing eye for the telling detail

Yu Hua. From the acclaimed author of Brothers and To Live: a major new novel that limns the joys and sorrows of modern China-a deeply resonant contemporary fable, written with the author's hallmark sophisticated yet bawdy humor and piercing eye for the telling detail. Yang Fei was born on a moving train, lost by his mother, adopted by a young switchman, raised with simplicity and love-utterly unprepared for the changes that await him and his country.

Yu Hua’s Brothers begins in the toilet. Yu Hua was born in 1960 in Zhejiang, China. He finished high school during the Cultural Revolution and worked as a dentist for five years before beginning to write in 1983. And there, you will probably know whether you want to read this book or not. Because right from the start, your senses are assaulted with fecal. He's since published four novels, six story and three essay collections, and his work has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean.

As comically mismatched teenagers, Baldy Li, a sex-obsessed ne’er-do-well, and Song Gang, his bookish, sensitive stepbrother, vow that they will always be brothers-a bond they will struggle to maintain over the years as they weather the ups and downs of rivalry in love and making and losing millions in the new China. A bestseller in China, recently short-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and a winner of France’s Prix Courrier International,Brothersis an epic and wildly unhinged black comedy of modern Chinese society running amok.

A crisp clean softcover, no markings throughout, not an ex-lib.
This is actually 2 novels published as part 1 and part 2. The first part, set during the cultural revolution, is the most astounding, heartbreaking, beautifully written thing since Anna Karenina. You just ache for EVERY ONE of these characters, both when something wonderful happens and when something horrible happens. It's also hilarious and raunchy. The second part immediately takes on an allegorical, satirical tone and sounds like it's by a totally different author. Characters start doing things that make no sense -- a man, completely in love with his wife, who as a boy in the first part was the most loveable character in the story, goes off with a shyster traveling salesman to sell breast augmentation cream--which he knows is snake oil--and, to help boost sales, gets breast implants to show ladies that the stuff works. Why? lame. But don't miss the first part f this book. it's beyond amazing.
First off, I will say this: I could not put this book down. Well, I kind of forced myself to put it down...I could have easily devoured this thing in one night had I let myself, but I stretched it out over a week. It was, as I said before, an absolute joy to read. Fun, action-packed, and all about my favorite character from the original Marathon Man, Scylla aka "Doc" Levy. I was pretty devastated when Doc was killed in "Marathon Man"; I saw the movie before I read the book, and once I discovered that there was not only a sequel to Marathon Man but, wait holy crap, Doc comes back to life?! Sign me up! But I digress...

This is not something Goldman just whipped off because he wanted to exploit the success of "Marathon Man"; on the contrary, it must have taken an extraordinary amount of time, research and effort to write this story. It's a good deal longer than "Marathon Man." The characters are many, the plot twists are numerous, and the backdrops move from one elegant European setting to another (mostly England). A couple of times I found myself sitting back and going "Wow, how does he come up with some of this stuff??" Really, the depth and size of Goldman's imagination is extraordinary. Extraordinary enough that a seemingly ridiculous concept (Scylla didn't really die by being gutted by Szell; he was just really, really badly injured and his appearance was altered by surgery, and he was whisked away to a remote tropical island for six years until he is required back to save the world) becomes plausible. If you can set aside your disbelief (stranger things have happened after all), and just accept the fact that Goldman really wanted to bring back Scylla, and hey, it's an entire novel about Scylla and that's fantastic, then you're in for a fun and entertaining romp. The protagonist from the first novel, Scylla's younger brother Babe, also appears in several scenes, as a married and successful Ivy league professor.

Yes, as mentioned in other reviews, there are some interesting "James Bond" caliber weapon choices; mind-altering mist, liquid that induces thoughts of suicide, poisoned briefcase handles, and there are some truly loathsome enemies (The Blond and Cheetah for example) but what I liked most about this novel was the way it dives right into Scylla's character.

After recovering his physical health and rebuilding his strength on the island, Scylla returns to employment under a new identity with the morally ambiguous, shadowy government agency known simply as "The Division." We know that Scylla looks much different due to the plastic surgery he received as part of his identity wipeout; several characters comment on not recognizing him, but other than being "suntanned", we don't get much of a physical description. Scylla is described in the book as being very tan, very, very handsome, with the same big hands, muscular body, and broad shoulders from the first book. So it's obvious that the only thing altered was his face, but Doc was described as handsome in the first book as well, a guy who had a great smile (to quote Babe, "he was a fabulous-looking guy") and no problems with women. Thus, it's sort of left to your imagination as to what Scylla's new face looks like.

Scylla/Doc is, without doubt, a complex and fascinating man. He is a mixture of light and darkness, kindness and cold-calculation. He is the deadliest man in the world, yet he is nothing like the enemy "spy drones" that surround him; he is the best at what he does, yet he loathes any type of "spy game" quirks/behaviors/cliches that go with the territory. For example, Scylla hates passwords; there is a pretty funny scene where he is suppossed to say a simple password to a woman in order to establish contact, but he absolutely refuses to say it because he can't stand the cliche of it all. You get the feeling that Scylla looks at the entire espionage business, and yes, even at himself, with a certain amount of amusement. I got the impression that Goldman himself was poking fun at some of the more "007" aspects of typical secret agent stories. Also, unlike many of his counterparts, Scylla does not seem to particularly enjoy killing (unless it's someone he hates). Other characters, notably The Cheetah (a completely unlikeable Division drone) and The Blond (a superbly creepy hitman) not only enjoy killing, they REVEL in it. They live for it. Killing is a personal pleasure for them, and as soon as they have disposed of one person, they are already salivating at the prospect of the next kill. Scylla, however, kills only when necessary (self-defense or when ordered to) and he does so quickly. He never feels joy at the prospect of killing, and he even expresses regret over the necessity of a few victims. To put it simply, Scylla is not a sociopath. He shows compassion and tenderness, sorrow and regret, and because of this, you're constantly wondering what makes him tick. What keeps him going? Why does he even bother? Why doesn't he take his new face, his clean slate, and his new identity and leave Division? To a certain extent, some of these questions are answered; Scylla enjoys certain parts of the job. He loves the chase, the challenge(or lack thereof) of new opponents, and the travel from place to place. However, there is also a part of him that longs for a normal life, and a part of him that wishes he had died where he'd fallen.

As we already know from his scenes in "Marathon Man", Syclla is extraordinarily intelligent, perceptive, and posesses a razor-sharp wit. Goldman's signature humor comes into play several times through Scylla, and I definitely laughed out loud on more than one occasion. Brothers allows us to see something that Marathon Man did not; it allows us to see a vulnerable, unsure, and yes, even frightened side of Scylla. Having been out of action for six years, Scylla finds himself completely alone in a world that has moved on without him. There is a brilliant scene in an airport after Scylla has first arrived back on the mainland. He reads a newspaper to pass the time before his flight, and realizes that he doesn't know what many of the words mean. Words such as "AIDS," "VHS/VCR" etc., are totally foreign to him, and he is terrified. He even questions whether or not he wants to come back to Division at all, and for a while, you wonder if he still has it in him. After a few stumbles, you may wonder: Does Scylla still have the speed, smarts, power and agility to survive as a top agent? That answer is revealed with an awesome and completely gratifying scene that literally had me cheering.There are times when you think that surely, Scylla is done for, he's messed up, he's been caught, and his brilliance shines through again and again. Scylla is a master of disguises, of different accents, and of stealth. He is, to be very blunt, excellent at what he does. And why? As mentioned in the novel, Scylla is a man with absolutely nothing to lose, who cares little whether he lives or dies. And that makes him the perfect agent. His brother Babe is the only person in the world that he gives a damn about, and he knows that he would put Babe in great danger should he attempt to reestablish contact with him. Still, his longing to see his brother again is undeniable and equal only to Babe's mourning for Doc, and his desire to have his older brother back. It's the brothers' love for each other that is really at the heart of both novels, and it's their mutual love and respect for each other that made Doc's death all the more tragic, and their love is what, I think, made me so eager to accept that Doc was still alive. I enjoyed their interaction and relationship so much, I couldn't bear the thought of it ending so tragically.

I know that my first question, like many people I'm sure, upon reading this book was this: Do Scylla and Babe reunite? The answer is yes, they do. I'll leave it at that, don't want to spoil anything!

Much has been made about the apparent 180 degree turn taken by Scylla in terms of his sexuality, ie; he goes from homosexual to heterosexual without giving it a thought. However, I disagree that Scylla was ever a complete homosexual. Yes, he did have a male lover in Marathon Man ("Janey" or "Janeway,"), but Scylla never gave any indication that he went for men and only men. There aren't any scenes, in either book, of Scylla staring at another man and thinking how handsome he is, etc etc. From Babe's telling in the first book, Doc had been married and divorced a couple of times. And in "Brothers," Scylla sleeps with only women. Isn't it plausible that Scylla is bisexual? Or if not, that Janey was a one-time-only deal, the one and only man that Scylla would ever be attracted to, and now that he's gone, then that's it? I don't think that Goldman was trying to brush off Scylla's sexuality; he is not shy about having homosexual references, love scenes, and charcters in his books, nor should he be, but I think Goldman was trying to establish that Scylla's brush with same-sex love was a chapter in his life that is now closed. Perhaps Scylla's now-completely heterosexual tendencies are part of his new identity. Or perhaps he didn't see a guy good-looking enough to strike his fancy in "Brothers." Who knows. It's probably the least important aspect of the book to me.

My only problem with "Brothers" is the ending. I didn't like it. I was flying high until I got to the ending. Yes, it did feel a bit rushed, but mostly, it just confused me. I don't want to give anything away, but mostly I just wondered WHY Goldman chose to end the novel this way. The ending seemed to go against everything established in the first book, and everything that had built up for most of the second book. I didn't like the ending for one specific reason concerning Doc and Babe's relationship, and if you've read the book you'll know what I mean.

Besides the ending, this book is a joy. I truly, truly enjoyed it very much, and parts of it had me grinning from ear to ear. I love Goldman's work, and Scylla's character absolutely comes to life. Yes, parts of it are a bit nutty (you'll never look at cute kids the same way again), but Goldman makes up for it with plenty of wit, humor, wisdom, and action scenes as only Goldman can write them. Enjoy this one.
Yu Hua is one of my favorite authors ever, and he doesn't disappoint with this masterpiece! Written in his usual, no-nonsense, spare style, this book immediately thrusts you into the world of post Cultural Revolution China with two brothers (not by blood) Song Gang and Baldy Li. Unlike some of Yu Hua's other works, this book is not unrelentingly depressing, but instead offers quite a lot of laugh out loud moments from the first chapter in the outhouse. What I love about Yu Hua is that he doesn't pull punches. He puts a critical, funhouse mirror up to his own history, and nothing comes out unscathed. And like with many of his other books, it brought me to tears more than once. Wonderful read!
The novel tells the story of the deep and salvage transformations China has experimented in the last 30 years, becoming the sweat shop of the world. It is centered in the lives of two brothers, Baldy Li and Song gang, very poor and orphans at an early age. Anyway, Baldy Li, because of his entrepreneurship becomes a magnate. He represents the China elite, that are shown in Forbes, even that millions of Chinese live in very poor and hard conditions. On the other hand, Song Gang becomes a worker and even that he makes his best efforts he remains poor and suffers sicknesses and humiliations. He commits suicide but he sends a final letter to his rich brother asking him to take care of Song Gang spouse, Lin Hong. Very recommendable novel.
BROTHERS is a modern masterpiece that will be fully appreciated by few Western readers. Written for Chinese eyes and readers, it draws on staples of Chinese comedy (exaggeration, puns, silliness, earthiness), novels (Dream of the Red Chamber) and folklore (Monkey King).

The patient reader will harvest from the 600 pages an image of a town and nation in near-chaos but held together by tradition, a population seeking to break from custom and station in life, and individuals facing a destiny center on the alignment of stars.

The New York Times review of BROTHERS amplify the frustration a western reader will find in trying to penetrate the text. Yes, the translation doesn't quite do it justice.

However, a diligent reader will say, after finishing the novel, "Wow, that was a powerful story." I recommend the book for all those who want to understand China.