Books – May 09

Now with stars (out of 5)!
*** Rachel Dewoskin – Foreign Babes in Beijing
**** Timothy Mo – Sour Sweet
*** Nordhoff and Hall – Mutiny on the Bounty

Foreign Babes was a fairly entertaining tale of the time in the 90s when China was opening up somewhat, and one girl’s adventures there. There are some interesting characters and Dewoskin writes fairly well. It’s all a little fluffy, but pretty good. Also, you can find videos online of the Chinese soap opera she was on, and it looks awful.

Sour Sweet is about a family of Chinese immigrants in England. The characterizations were very good, and the flow of the story is not too predictable. I’d like to read more by Timothy Mo.

Mutiny on the Bounty was good, though I didn’t expect how much it was going to be about lazing around in Tahiti. I guess there are two more books that cover the fate of the other members of the Bounty’s crew — this one focuses on the group that stayed in the ship but settled in Tahiti. Captain Bligh’s story (many men in a very small boat) and Spencer Christian’s story (fleeing to parts unknown in the Bounty) are in the other books. Nordhoff and Hall slightly fictionalized the story by inventing a narrator who was based on a real officer. So they had license to get more into the character’s head and dramatize the events of the drama, all of which was well done. Though I’m not sure I’m interested enough in the story to go through two more books about it.