- Taschenbuch: 309 Seiten
- Verlag: Sceptre; Auflage: Export ed (Oktober 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0340897570
- ISBN-13: 978-0340897577
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 11,1 x 17,6 x 1,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 984.051 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
When Red is Black. (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Oktober 2006
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'This third novel offers further fascinating insights into a country and procedures so far neglected by mystery fiction. Chen is a great creation, an honourable man in a world full of deception and treachery who is trying hard to apprehend the new world of China in transition, where communism still reigns but blatant capitalism is also tolerated, with its ensuing waves of criminality ... Connections and motives unfold like clockwork, and make for a great read.' -- Guardian 'Chen is the fascinating creation of poet and translator Qiu Xiaolong ... As in Qiu's first two books, the ghosts of Mao's bloody Cultural Revolution ... lead to murder.' -- Chicago Tribune 'Read When Red is Black" for insights into understanding today's Shanghai and China.' -- St. Louis Post Dispatch 'Compelling' -- Times-Picayune (New Orleans) 'A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society ... full of the sights, sounds and smells of Shanghai ... A work of real distinction.' -- Wall Street Journal 'These are mysteries to savor.' -- Booklist (starred review) '[A] terrific series ... a cultural twist and unusual direction that make [Qiu's] books well worth reading.' -- Rocky Mountain News 'Shanghai in transition ... fascinating' -- Kirkus Reviews 'Insightful.' -- Publishers Weekly 'The most sophisticated of the series to date and one feels Qiu pushing the envelope of the detective series genre.' -- Asian Review of Books 'A terrific murder mystery.' -- Midwest Book Review 'Captivating and intriguing.' -- Mystery News 'With strong and subtle characterisation, Qui Xiaolong draws us into a fascinating world where the greatest mystery revealed is the mystery of present-day China itself.' -- John Harvey 'Stupendous ... It does what detective fiction can do best: it captures the details, the grit of everyday life ... A matchless pearl.' -- Fresh Air, National Public Radio, USA on DEATH OF A RED HEROINE 'With strong and subtle characterisation, Qui Xiaolong draws us into a fascinating world where the greatest mystery revealed is the mystery of present-day China itself.' -- John Harvey 'A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society ... full of the sights, sounds and smells of Shanghai ... A work of real distinction.' -- Wall Street Journal 'Chen is an irresistible protagonist...Qiu's portrait of China in transition, a potential eye-opener for many of his Western readers, is an equally compelling attraction.' -- Kirkus Reviews on DEATH OF A RED HEROINE 'This third novel offers further fascinating insights into a country and procedures so far neglected by mystery fiction. Chen is a great creation, an honourable man in a world full of deception and treachery who is trying hard to apprehend the new world of China in transition, where communism still reigns but blatant capitalism is also tolerated, with its ensuing waves of criminality ... Connections and motives unfold like clockwork, and make for a great read.' -- Guardian
When Inspector Chen Cao agrees to do a translation job for a Triad-connected businessman he is given a laptop, a 'little secretary' to provide for his every need, medical care for his mother. There are, it seems, no strings attached ...Then a murder is reported: Chen is loath to shorten his working holiday, so Sergeant Yu is forced to take charge of the investigation. The victim, a middle-aged teacher, has been found dead in her tiny room in a converted multi-family house. Only a neighbour could have committed the crime, but there is no motive. It is only when Chen returns and starts to investigate the past that he finds answers. But by then he has troubles of his own. This is the third critically acclaimed Inspector Chen mystery set in post-Cultural Revolution China.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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The mystery itself isn't particularly fascinating, but it does provide an interesting perspective on modern Chinese history for those who aren't particularly familiar with it. The murdered woman had written an autobiographical novel ("The Death of a Chinese Professor") about her forbidden love affair with an intellectual poet when they were in a reeducation camp during the Cultural Revolution. She had been a Red Guard who was then denounced, and he was an intellectual, and thus politically"black" (ie. an enemy of the working class). The Cultural Revolution looms over the proceedings, and proves to have a powerful legacy even three decades later. Detective Yu is reduced to probing the political past of the people who lived in her building in order to try and learn of the motive for her killing. These political nuances will likely be rather complex to the general reader (despite the author's best efforts to explain all), which diminishes from the story somewhat. The investigation never really gathers any momentum, and there's never much of a sense of urgency about the matter. It's also weakened by a rather belated effort to follow what most readers will perceive to be a rather promising lead.
As in the previous books in the series, classical Chinese poetry is cited ad nauseam, and any scene involving food is lovingly lingered over and described in great detail. But perhaps the most interesting element of the book is its portrayal of the rise of capitalism in China, complete with rural to urban migration, conspicuous consumption, and overpopulation. While I was reading this, the New York Times ran a lengthy series of articles about rising class inequities in China and social and political unrest this has led to as the establishment benefits from corruption and factory and farm workers are left behind. The book does a nice job of showing the seeds of this, and how Chen and Yu struggle with the implications of this new economy. Chen is very clearly aware that he is being vastly overpaid for his translation and waits quietly to see what the quid pro quo will be. When it comes at the end, it reveals just how murky the ethical waters can be as Chen walks a fine line between grabbing a piece of the pie and falling in bed with the leaders of the new economy. So don't read this if you're looking for a gripping mystery, but do read it if you're interested in a nuanced account of the beginnings of Chinese capitalism and what life is like in a huge Chinese city populated by cast of well-realized characters.
This is a literate mystery, with lots of Chinese poetry and talk of Chinese philosophy, politics, and literature. The plot involves a woman who had been sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution who is found dead. She is regarded as sort of a dissident because of a book she published about a professor who perished as a result of the Cultural Revolution. The powers that be fear that they will be blamed for her death by the foreign press, although they insist they had nothing to do with it. They want Inspector Chen to solve this crime quickly to prove that it was not a political death. Inspector Chen has taken a couple of weeks off work, however, to translate a document (for big bucks) and can only get involved in an advisory capacity -- it's his subordinate Yu (and Yu's wife) who are doing the footwork.
This is a book that talks a lot about life in China (a lot of poetry and descriptions of Chinese delicacies like nothing we eat in Chinese restaurants!) I'm planning to go back and read the two earlier books because I find descriptions of faraway places quite interesting. If your only motive for reading a mystery is the plot, you may find the relatively slow pacing and digressions in the book (like the poetry) annoying. If you want to get an idea of what life is like in Shanghai, I think this book provides a fascinating glimpse -- it made me want to visit (except for the food described!)
Meanwhile the Shanghai New World Group CEO Yu provides Chen with an offer he cannot refuse. He will pay Chen an exorbitant fee to do him a favor by translating a major business proposal into English.
Yu pursues threads that lead nowhere while Chen earns money translating the business documents. Still Chen advises his junior partner on how to proceed. Soon Yu finds out that Yin shared a romance during the Cultural Revolution with Professor Yang Bing. Could someone have silenced the author because of something that occurred when Yin and Yang were together at a time when the Red Guard reeducated or killed the Black (anti worker)?
The third Chen tale is an exciting Chinese police procedural, but somewhat different than that of the two previous novels (see DEATH OF A RED HEROINE and A LOYAL CHARACTER DANCER) as Yu leads much of the investigation. The deep look at modern day Shanghai and brilliantly incorporating Chinese poetry into the love story of Yin and Yang enhance the story line. Though the ending seems soft, perhaps because the rest of WHEN RED IS BLACK is so powerful, Qiu Xialong provides a deep look at how historical events impact the present inside a terrific murder mystery.
The murder plot also carries political complications. The victim, Yin Lige, was known as a dissident writer for a novel she wrote about her politically doomed love for a "Black," or intellectual, poet Yang. A Red Guard in her youth, Yin was then denounced and sent to a reeducation farm during the Cultural Revolution, where she met Yang. Her book sank without notice until American interest in publishing it labeled her a dissident.
She died in a tiny room partitioned off a landing in an old dilapidated Western style house - the type of house that, ironically, is making a comeback in an expensive real estate project evoking the heyday of pre-revolution Shanghai. In fact, Chen has been recruited to translate a 50-page prospectus for the Triad-connected developer, who is paying him an amount equivalent to 30 years of his police salary, bonuses included. This leaves Yu in charge of the investigation.
The background, which incorporates Chinese love poetry and the subtle gradations of noodles and eels, as well as political fencing, class striations, economic upheavals and the uncertainty of change, provides plenty of murder suspects from the past and present. And if Xiaolong stints a bit on the mystery, she more than compensates with her fascinating portrait of a society in flux.