The Bridegroom Stories (PDF kindle) Author Ha Jin



10 thoughts on “The Bridegroom Stories

  1. says:

    This is a collection of short stories published in 2001 but some of the individual stories date from as early as 1997 They are typically set in an emerging China post Cultural Revolution but not too long after as Western ideas make their way inThey are a hit and miss collection mostly revolving around personal relationships in China many of which deal with what are probably not only Chinese problems but they are in this book government intervention a reliance of the traditional structures of society unhappy relationships and financial problems Transition from a socialist society to a capitalist society brings about a complex confusion and a raft of inconsistencies that must be negotiated for many of the various characters as well as Western ideas being introduced to Chinese society in some cases in general but in other cases by individuals who have lived overseas returning to ChinaSome of the stories didn't make a lot of sense to me one example was the first story A man eating in a cafe has tea thrown on him by a policeman for no reason When he objects he is arrested and charged with being a saboteur and forced to sign a statement confirming this Upon his release he buys lots of meals from a range of restaurants eats a little from each plate and leaves which results in a hepatitis epidemic in the town I don;t really follow the logic hereThere are stories of revenge; stories of unreuited love; where money changes the situation for the protagonist; homosexuals covering up in hetro relationships; a man with amnesia who forgets he has a family; and othersI probably didn't enjoy these as much as other reviewers3 stars


  2. says:

    Before I share my thoughts on this book I would like you to consider this bit of history Mao Zedong died in 1976 and the decade long Cultural Revolution that shook up China and led to the persecution and death of many Chinese ended with his demise and with the arrest and eventual conviction of the Gang of Four which includes Mao's wife In 1978 Deng Xiaoping a Party member who fell out of favour with Mao won the power struggle within the CCP and it was he who introduced capitalism inspired economic reform to China Now imagine living in these turbulent times an era in between a planned economy State Owned Enterprises with secure designated jobs and housing units and strict Party control and a socialist market economy exposure to a modern Westernised lifestyle and a future that is open to your own interpretation It must have been scary to live during these insecure years not knowing where the country is headed To highlight the feelings of this period Ha Jin infuses his very short stories with irony and sarcasm So did I like the book? Unfortunately not as much as I had expected It has got to be one of the most frustrating books I have read this year Humiliation petty behaviour injustice and unsatisfying endings galore in The bridegroom stories WARNING SOME SPOILERS AHEADThe fun started as soon as I reached page 2; completely out of the blue a local policeman throws tea over the protagonist of Saboteur and his wife It's from this point onwards that the story escalates Strangely enough there seems to be no reason at all for the incident Throughout the story the focus is on the dire predicament of poor ill and mistreated Mr Chiu; not even his own lawyer can assure that justice is done In the end Mr Chiu has to admit his defeat and sign a false statement that it was indeed he who disrupted public order His revenge is sweet however by eating at several small food stalls he succeeds in unleashing a hepatitis epidemic in Muji Revenge is a theme that recurs in Flame and in After Cowboy Chicken Came to Town In the first story a rejected suitor returns after many years only to humiliate his former love interest In the latter cultural clashes between American Japanese and Chinese culture lead to the Chinese staff being fired The story ends with the angry laid off workers plotting sabotage In many stories social control both informal and formal is apparent Love is seen as something that may or may not grow after marriage Most important is making a suitable match and producing children Those that deviate like the Woman from New York the bigamous man with amnesia in Alive the wonderful but gay Bridegroom and the poor Broken young female typist are all thwarted shunned andor even severely punishedA few of the stories can appear preposterous to the Westernised mind A Bad Joke is a good example it's about two peasants who are misfortunate enough to have a casual remark not only misinterpreted but completely blown out of proportion A comment like that would most likely be disregarded in current day China but in the uncertain period they lived in it guaranteed a prison sentence or a severe punishment at the leastIt's not so much that I disliked the book but I did feel disappointed by the brevity of Ha Jin's stories They felt unfinished and I would even go as far to say that some of them seemed underdeveloped I short I really would have preferred Ha Jin to elaborate on one or instead of these twelve short snippets about people in Muji city For example In the Kindergarten features a little girl wanting to help her teacher gather purslane She and the other children have been promised a little extra for dinner but instead the teacher takes the leafy vegetable home I kept wondering why Perhaps to supplement her own meals? Or to earn a little extra on the side by selling it as TCM? The ending of this story is particularly unexpected and strange Finally I would like to emphasise that the setting of this book is the early 1980s not contemporary China Many changes have taken place in the past 30 years and modern day mainland China is a very different place than the country described in Ha Jin's book Ie Many State Owned Enterprises have proven not to be viable in a thriving market economy leading to massive unemployment and the encouragement of entrepreneurship something that has not been around for very long as The Entrepreneur demonstrates If a Cowboy Chicken fast food restaurant would open nowadays people would not complain that it's not as good as traditional Chinese food but open up shanzhai restaurants next door instead Informal social control can never be truly eradicated but entire subcultures have sprung up in the past decades individuality is no longer frowned uponThe strength of his story collection is its poignancy and cruelty wrapped in dark humour He has successfully captured the essence of the period A good effort but because of reasons mentioned above ultimately not as good as I had hoped


  3. says:

    Short stories that take place in China after the Culture Revolution I don't know exactly what that was but I'd say they take place in the 1970s and 1980s Most had to do about learning English and attending school which I'm guessing was Ha Jin's wheelhouse Easy to read sometimes funny and makes you realize how alike everyone is in wanting to get revenge put their best foot forward for an old beau not knowing what's behind a marriage and protesting against the man even when that's just your manager


  4. says:

    This is a collection of short stories The first one was uite a surprise ending All of them bring out the stark cultural differences between Western and Eastern culture and politics I especially liked the story called Cowboy Chicken Another surprise ending


  5. says:

    My first of Ha Jin A compilation of stories revolved around Chinese culture and social a story of people living in a community conflict of familygeneration problem in love and relationship bureaucracy and the difficulty of strict working system bit of erotic scenes and few taboo matters It was written well not draggy with fascinating narratives love Ha Jin's style of writing Point of stories were sometimes just about a daily life of the characters but it been given a smooth and proper plot a very sharp insight making it a bit interesting Having few as my personal favorite Saboteur sort of a revenge story but was written in a very unexpected situation Alive a story about a man losing his memory after an earthuake and having a new life without realizing he was actually a man with family I love how it was ended Broken a bit obscene but I love the idea The Bridegroom a conflict of sexual identity very unexpected but I love Old Cheng character After Cowboy Chicken Came To Town what a mess but loving thisVery comical sometimes a bit sarcasm inspiring but none predictable


  6. says:

    The Bridegroom is a series of 12 stories taking place in and around China's Muji City Author Ha Jin's structure is clear and simple but he says so much in these sentences readers may find themselves re evaluating their own styleAfter Cowboy Chicken Came to Town was my favorite story as I liked seeing a communist worker being influenced by capitalism wanting democracy in the end as well The titular story The Bridegroom is also haunting detailing a man's plight with his son in law's homosexuality Going so far as to institutionalize the man the narrator finds out about his daughter and his own life than he ever thought possible Going to tran1 in the RMTBRBB I hope you enjoy this as much as I did I think there are some similar authors on your wishlist


  7. says:

    Wow this is the best Ha Jin I've read yet my favorite stories were Alive and Broken they were so haunting and really stuck with me I couldn't stop thinking about them Also After Cowboy Chicken Came to Town is so funny and fascinating It really highlights some major cultural differences in terms of Chinese vs American ways of operating a business or just communicating and behaving in general Though these were my favorites every single story in this book is captivating and worth reading


  8. says:

    Short stories set in modern day China It's a nice cross section of different lives in a different culture Interesting moving and entertaining writing


  9. says:

    I actually didn't finish this collection It was very well written no doubt about that but I found its appeal very variable For instance the longest and most acclaimed story concerning efforts by a regional Chinese TV company to stage a tiger fight with a real tiger and the hilarious fall out that ensues didn't grab me at allThe collection had many things I like in short stories domestic detail a knack for indicating cultural particularities while conveying that they are to be taken for granted and not exotic at all I was disappointed that they lacked or did not convey to me a strong sense of place obviously they're set in china but the particular city and its landscape never took shape for me and the characters didn't seem to notice the shape of their surroundings much Initially I was annoyed by the overwhelming masculine focus of the first half of the collection particularly in the case of the title story The Bridegroom I thought the choice of the father in law's POV for a story about a successful young husband arrested for homosexual behaviour was an oversight The wife who seemed perfectly happy to have married him or the mother in law who seemed to think her daughter had done well in securing a husband who made no onerous sexual demands would have made interesting POV narrators to meThe gender imbalance did improve in the second half of the book I particularly enjoyed the story told through a child's eyes of the kindergarten teacher who enlisted children to harvest fresh vegetables but said vegetables never made it to the table because the teacher was the reader deduces using them to pay or bribe a doctor for her abortionIn terms of form I particularly enjoyed the story of a poet and academic who crashed and burned out of his job told in the form of a letter of reference to a new prospective employer of said academic written by a former student now holding a teaching post The complexity of the student teacher relationship the student's growing disillusionment with his mentor and the damning with faint praise format of reference were all gorgeously rendered


  10. says:

    Short and simple 12 stories great travel time read


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read & download º PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ü Ha Jin

In The Best American Short Stories takes us back to Muji City in contemporary China the setting of Waiting It is a world both exotic and disarmingly familiar one in which Chinese men and women meet with small epiphanies and muted triumphs leavening their lives of uiet desperation through subtle insubordination and sometimes crafty resolveIn the title story a seemingly model husband joins a secret men's literary club and finds himself arrested for the bourgeois This is a collection of short stories The first one was uite a surprise ending All of them bring o The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, exotic and disarmingly familiar one in which Chinese men and women meet with small The Pope and Mussolini epiphanies and muted triumphs leavening their lives of uiet desperation through subtle insubordination and sometimes crafty resolveIn the title story a seemingly model husband joins a secret men's literary club and finds himself arrested for the bourgeois This is a collection of short stories The first one was uite a surprise The Burn ending All of them bring o

Summary The Bridegroom Stories

The Bridegroom Stories

Reversals transformations and surprises abound in these assured stories Parables for our times with a hint of the reckless and the absurd that we have come to expect from Ha Jin The Bridegroom offers tales both mischievous and wiseFrom the National Book Award winning author of Waiting a new collection of short fiction that confirms Ha Jin's reputation as a master storytellerEach of The Bridegroom's twelve stories three of which have been selected for inclusion Before I share my thoughts on this book I would like you to consider this bit of history Mao Zedon Janet Evanovich Three to Six Four-Book Set (Stephanie Plum, expect from Ha Jin The Bridegroom offers tales both mischievous and wiseFrom the National Book Award winning author of Waiting a new collection of short fiction that confirms Ha Jin's reputation as a master storytellerEach of The Bridegroom's twelve stories three of which have been selected for inclusion Before I share my thoughts on this book I would like you to consider this bit of history Mao Zedon

Read & download º PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ü Ha Jin

Crime of homosexuality Alive centers on an official who loses his memory in an earthuake and lives happily for months as a simple worker; when he suddenly remembers who he is he finds that his return to his old life proves inconvenient for everyone In A Tiger Fighter Is Hard to Find a television crew's inept attempt to film a fight scene with a live Siberian tiger lands their lead actor in a mental hospital convinced that he is the mythical tiger fighter Wu Son Short stories set in modern day China It's a nice cross section of different lives in a different