|Plot Summary of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress|
1971: Mao's Cultural Revolution is at its peak. Two sons of doctors, sent to 're-education' camps, forced to carry buckets of excrement up and down mountain paths, have only their sense of humour to keep them going. Although the attractive daughter of the local tailor also helps to distract them from the task in hand.
The boys' true re-education starts, however, when they discover a hidden suitcase packed with the great Western novels of the Nineteenth Century. Their lives are tranformed. And not only their lives: after listening to the stories of Balzac, the little seamstress will never be the same again.
This synopsis report prepared by Steve Slack
An excellent read, which is a fairytale like story of two
city boys who are banished to the countryside in China as
part of the "re-education" program in 1971. The escapades of the narrator and his friend Luo are simultaneously
funny and bittersweet. They encounter the "most beautiful girl in all the nearby villages" (the Little Seamstress)
and she becomes Luo's girlfriend. The boys then stumble
upon books by French greats (Balzan and Duman and Romain Rolland) in a time when all books are forbidden except the propaganda materials.
Die Sijie, a filmmaker from France, won numerous awards
in France for this one, his first novel. Die himself
went through such a reeducation program in the early '70s.
This small book is first and foremost a great and easy read as a very engaging story.
This synopsis report prepared by R Prasad
|Chapter Analysis of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Kind of romance:
- love triangle/polygon
Inside culture (main char)
- story of the poor
- Being oppressed by outside culture
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Outside culture (society)
If story of urban/rural...
- Small town life
War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians
- Revolution, general
- accused criminal
- a teen
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 8 ()
- climbing on trails
- falling off
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- descript of kissing
- actual description of hetero sex
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
- little dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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