Ha Jin's seismically powerful new novel is at once an unblinking look into the bell jar of communist Chinese society and a portrait of the eternal compromises and deceptions of the human state. When the venerable professor Yang, a teacher of literature at a provincial university, has a stroke, his student Jian Wan is assigned to care for him. Since the dutiful Jian plans to marry his mentor's beautiful, icy daughter, the job requires delicacy. Just how much delicacy becomes clear when Yang begins to rave. Are these just the outpourings of a broken mind, or is Yang speaking the truth-about his family, his colleagues, and his life's work? And will bearing witness to the truth end up breaking poor Jian's heart? Combining warmth and intimacy with an unsparing social vision, The Crazed is Ha Jin's most enthralling book to date.
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by Ha Jin
by Adrienne Miller
by Nancy Springer
by Linda Sue Park
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
by Marni McGee, Ronald Mellor
"The title refers to Dr. Yang, professor and mentor, a man of great brilliance. It's also a metaphor for the system he served in China in the 1980s. Since his stroke, Yang seems to have become a raving madman. Jian, his student and possible future son-in-law, attends the old man daily at the hospital and listens to his ranting. What he hears are ideas--seditious, heretical, revolutionary--and a disillusioned man's deconstruction of hope. Norm Lee's performance informs the experience of a pre-Tianamen Square China. His voice is fine as a reed, bending at the slightest nuance, lifting at the merest suggestion. The pace is slow, and the descriptions are overlong; but in this idea-driven novel Ha Jin pours words onto the page, and they transform into living beings. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine"
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