China Underground by Zachary Mexico | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
China Underground

China Underground

4.5 7
by Zachary Mexico
     
 

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At the beginning of the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a place more exciting than China. Westerners hear much about China’s role as the next “global superpower,” but they know less about the young people who make up China’s varied and fascinating subcultures.
Drawn by the streets humming with the energy of constant change, Zachary

Overview

At the beginning of the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a place more exciting than China. Westerners hear much about China’s role as the next “global superpower,” but they know less about the young people who make up China’s varied and fascinating subcultures.
Drawn by the streets humming with the energy of constant change, Zachary Mexico, who had spent two years in China, returned there in the summer of 2006 to conduct formal research on how the changing environment has affected the Chinese of his generation. Readers are introduced to a wannabe rock star from the desert of Xinjiang, trying to make it big in Shanghai; a disillusioned journalist; a budding screenwriter; a vagabond ladies’ man; a straight-A student at China’s best university; a Chinese mafia kingpin; a punk band trying their best to stay relevant; a prostitute; the world’s most polluted city; Beijing’s drug-fueled club scene; and many others.
This is an engaging firsthand account of a young American writer’s encounter with the new China and the young people who are pursuing their future there. China Underground tells their stories, and some of Mexico’s own.

Editorial Reviews

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China is often in the news, but our knowledge of this massive country is cursory at best. Carefully controlled by the Chinese government, little escapes the scrutiny of those who monitor the media. With such a large land mass, a mix of cultures, and one of the world's oldest civilizations, it's surprisingly difficult to frame an accurate picture.

In China Underground, Mexico takes us on a kaleidoscopic journey into the lives of its denizens to reveal the "new" China. It's a riveting ride, with cameos by a drug hustler, a group of club kids, a new prostitute, and some seriously stressed-out teenagers cramming for their college entrance exams. Mexico visits the artists and musicians who comprise the creative class, and the scores obsessed with the newest role-playing game. Through his lens, we see a people disillusioned and full of despair -- a people who've embraced the Western values we cherish.

Like Suketu Mehta's portrait of Mumbai in Maximum City, Mexico's peek behind the Great Wall is surprisingly revelatory. Did you know that the Chinese shun credit cards as well as voice mail? Or that the population of many of its cities makes Manhattan seem like a quiet country meadow? Read this gripping, sometimes comic, always illuminating book and find out what it's like to live in China today: the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Summer 2009 Selection)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593762230
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
01/27/2009
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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