Book Report: Brothers

Brothers, by Yu Hua is available in Chinese or English, and in Audiobook form at the Lawrence Public Library. It’s long – but I loved it.

The New York Times says

“Brothers” is, in fact, very much a social novel of the late 20th century. It deals with the emergence of China as a capitalist market state, a story familiar to anyone who reads the newspapers, and it’s as blunt, puerile, libidinous and trashily sentimental as any 24 hours of American reality TV. 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….Imagine a novel written by William Dean Howells together with D. H. Lawrence, updated by Tom Wolfe and then filmed by Baz Luhrmann, and you’ll have some idea of what “Brothers” would be like, had it originated in the West.

It has been criticized as low-brow and crass (especially at home in China), but I doubt anyone who actually read The Faire Queeneor Ubu Roi would say that. The author also wrote To Live, which became an amazing movie that China banned – which of course made it a monumental best seller there and abroad.