Customer Reviews for

Country Driving: A Journey through China from Farm to Factory

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Road Trip

    I've read all of Peter Hessler's books and this one is by far my favorite. I wish I was able to do like Hessler and drive through China, encountering newly paved highways and dirt roads leading to long forgotten places. There is a small detour where the author makes a home in a village for a number of months, but he continues his journey on the road to encounter ordinary Chinese citizens trying to make a living in a continuously changing China. There are corrupt Chinese officials, honest village leaders, artists, simple country folk, factory workers, and entrepreneurs both in factory towns and small villages. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about China and how its citizens and a foreigner may perceive the progress of China in different ways.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2012

    Couldn't put it down

    Highly humorous, informative, and entertaining, there are three stories in this book. Each offers glimpses into the evolving world of the Chinese. The 1st is really about driving in the country and exploring the Great Wall. 2nd is a story about a country family as they learn to adapt to their rapidly changing/urbanizing world. 3rd is a story about one factory and the people whose livelyhoods depend on it. This is very well written and my favorite Peter Hessler book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    Great!

    A wonderful book about travel and the state of China today.

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  • Posted December 27, 2012

    I think Hessler is the best kind of journalist, and the opposite

    I think Hessler is the best kind of journalist, and the opposite of a sensationalist. He just hangs out with local people and conveys their struggles as they try to completely change things. He must be a friendly guy to be allowed such access to people's family and business lives. They let him listen in as they conduct job interviews, discipline kids, handle tax inspectors, plan factories from the ground up, or have dinner with their families.

    Part of the book concerns road trips. But most of it is about getting to know groups of ordinary people. Their intense pragmatism and determination to improvise give Hessler his opening to learn. We see how development zones are funded, how factories are thrown together, how police buy shares in speed traps, or how traveling circus shows operate outside the law. Mostly, Hessler shows us common people taking huge risks, flying by the seats of their pants, making mistakes that are both dangerous and hilarious, clawing their way to a slightly better day.

    --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    If interested in modern China, you will enjoy

    Our book group tackled this, some of us read only one or two of the three sections. I liked the human portraits best, scattered among the three sections. some of book group laughed at the driving parts in the first section while others were appalled. The village and factory sections, 2 and 3, drew me in the most, especially when children or adolescents were in focus. Very well written, lends itself to selection among the three parts depending on your own personal priorities.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Really Good Book

    Lots of first hand info about an important and, for many of us Americans, obscure part of the world. Well researched and enjoyably written.

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