The Crazed

4
The New York Times Notable Book
The Washington Post, Los Angeles times, and San Jose Mercury News Best ook of the ear

Ha Jin ’ s seismically powerful new novel is at once an unblinking look into the bell jar of communist Chinese society and a ortrait of the eternal compromises and deceptions of the human state. When the venerable professor Yang, a teacher of literature at a provincial university, has a stroke, his student Jian Wan is assigned to care for him. Since the dutiful Jian plans to marry his mentor ’ s delightful, icy daughter, job requires delicacy. Just how much delicacy becomes clear when Yang begins to rave.

Are these just the outpourings of a roken mind, or is Yang speaking the truth—about his family, his colleagues, and his life ’ s work? And will bearing witness to the truth end up breaking poor Jian ’ s heart? Combining warmth and intimacy with an unsparing social vision, The Crazed is Ha Jin ’ s most enthralling book to date.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Authors
Series
Number of Pages
336
Original Title of the Book
The Crazed
Publication Date
Published January 6th 2004 by Vintage (first published October 2002

Public Commentary

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rated it

Also do n't forget to these fools' reviews whining about this memoi: " its boring " " the end mystifies me " and no on.

How anyone ould be " mystified " by the beginnin of the ook, or should have " no idea what Ha Jin was trying to say ", leaves me incredulous.

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Jian must navigate treacherous waters -- infinitely more so in that he story climaxes with the June 4 ( Tiananmen Square) massacre.I think I could very easily have been him, and if I wa, I certainl shoul have made all the choices he did.

Tell the way subtitles of Chinese movies can leave something to be desired?

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Bein read 'Waiting' by the same write, I was amazed by what this nove coul offer.

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First, let me say, I hated the feel of the paper in his ook.

Ha Jin tells an amazing tory, but onestly, I ha urned off by the reciting of poems and chants and songs.

I need to tell how things end!

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Although his work is driven by seemingly ordinary plots, the real beauty is in his portrayal of a late twentieth-century China, as it wrestles with its inner turmoil between traditional values and contemporary influences.I 've read a few reviews that criticise the first half of The Crazed for being slow and uninteresting, but othing could be further from the truth.

Granted, there is a certain softness inherant in the write 's work, but it serves to suppor the themes, rather than alienate the reader.

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In their biography, Mao: The Unknown Story, authors Jung Chang and Jon Halliday claim that 70 million Chinese were killed by Mao in peacetime due to his various wrong-headed policies such as the collectivization of agriculture and the Cultural Revolution, which often turned children against parents.In the case of the trilog 's Professor Yang, it is clear that his life has been tterly destroyed by the Cultural Revolution, and that the stroke he has 12 years later is merely its long term result.

Sent to a re-education camp during the period -- roughly 1966-76 -- Yang drifted away from his wife who took up with the an to get by in Chinese society.

Yang 's life destroyed by the Cultural Revolution, and ow the threat of Tiananmen on narrator Jian 's, who in his turn becomes hunted as a " counterrevolutionary. " The cycle of history repeats itself.

Jian admits: I saw China in the form of an old hag so decrepit and brainsick that she would devour her children to sustain herself.

But Jian sees the pattern, and he is determined neve to be evoured.

rated it

Ha Jin 's novel The Crazed gives us view into Chinese scholarship of the recent past, and, like the main character Jian Wan, makes us question the present and the future of studies in a highly insular communist country.Set in the ate 1980s, just before the massacre at Tienanmen Square, The Crazed tells the tal of the young colleg student in the hinese Language and Literature department at a small university.

While his is happening, Jian is studying to take the entrance examinations for Beijing University so that he an move there to be with his fiance Meimei, Professor Yang 's daughter, and perhaps eventually secure a place at an American university for the two of them.Professor Yang is severely changed by the stroke and has fits of delirium.

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© Nicole Waggonner