The Crazed

The Crazed

Book - 2002
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Publisher: New York : Pantheon, c2002
ISBN: 9780375421815
0375421815
Branch Call Number: FIC Jin
Characteristics: 323 p

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RogerDeBlanck Jun 30, 2018

The title of Ha Jin’s third novel could be turned into a question. Who are the crazed? At some level, they include the entire Chinese system that views the human species as a stock of puppets. In a country like China, each person struggles with his/her decisions and choices, where an inner yearning to pursue the full extent of one’s individualism can land you under state suspicion. In The Crazed, Jin examines the plight of the Chinese people up to the point of Tienanmen Square. He shows how one’s subconscious longings lie hidden under the pain of detection. They remain unvoiced and inactive due to the fear of censure at the hands of the government, which has a singular intent to direct the fate of every citizen's mind. Jin brings all the forces of China’s history into clear focus, and he shows the contemporary predicament Chinese citizens face under a repressive government. He has the shrewd ability to take the struggles of the people in his home country and make their suffering real on a universal level.

r
Rock_Shadow
Sep 06, 2012

Fascinating look into the Chinese society just before and during the Tiananmen Square student uprising. The novel unfolds through eyes of a dying professor's lost mind, then takes a momentum through the lives of people close to him. The most fascinating part of the book for me was the visit into the poorest parts of Chinese countryside, wow! Very well done evolution of the narrator.

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Harriet_the_Spy Mar 11, 2013

Jian is a literature graduate student who finds himself, in the spring of 1989, caring for his professor who has just had a stroke. As student unrest spreads through the country, Jian remains apolitical and focused on his exams and his professor's health. Gradually, through his professor's crazed murmurings, he comes to understand that things are not as they seem, and that politics infuses every part of life. Forced to go into the countryside for the first time in his life, he confronts the reality of rural poverty and official corruption. Eventually caught up in the student uprisings himself, he realizes his life is changed forever.

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