Oracle Bones : A Journey Between China and the West, Paperback

Oracle Bones : A Journey Between China and the West Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Peter Hessler's previous book River Town was a prize-winning, poignant and deeply compelling portrait of China.

Now, in Oracle Bones, Hessler returns to the country, excavating its long history and immersing himself in the lives of young Chinese as they migrate from the traditional Chinese countryside to the booming ever-changing cities and try to cope with their society's modern transformation.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages, b/w illustrations
  • Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Asian history
  • ISBN: 9780719564413



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Interesting and unusual; an area I know nothing about. Lots of fascinating stuff - on the oracle bones themselves (amazingly-preserved early writing from the Shang dynasty - 14th and 13th centuries BC!), on the reaction amongst ordinary Chinese people to 9/11 (bootleg videos of the twin towers news footage being sold with dodgy credits and cutting like a disaster movie), on migration to new and growing cities. I keep on failing to put it down at the end of a chapter - lots of stories, lots of human interest, lots to carry on for.I'm not sure that it has an overall structure but I'm very much enjoying it.--On finishing it - very interesting and readable, but not one to go back to again, I don't think.

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