The Critics: “Oracle Bones” by Peter Hessler

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  05.06.06 | 2:35 PM ET

imagePeter Hessler’s new book, Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present, earned a glowing review in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. Writes Seth Faison: “[H]e goes beyond the usual ways of evaluating so complex a culture. Instead, his focus wanders intelligently and settles into corners of China that we don’t ordinarily read about. With quiet power, his writing glues stories into a coherent whole.” That said, Faison wishes there were more of Hessler in the book: “Hessler reveals little about himself. He seems to thrive on what he calls the ‘floating life’ of a writer, observing contemporary China with detachment. The power of his storytelling would be even stronger if his own personality emerged in it.” Hessler’s River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze is a modern classic.

1 Comment for The Critics: “Oracle Bones” by Peter Hessler

Burl Willes 06.21.06 | 6:25 PM ET

This book is a masterpiece! I haven’t
been able to think about anything else
since I reluctantly read the last page
over a week ago.

An avid reader, I am having a hard
time finding anything that comes close
to Hessler’s beautiful writing and
in-depth research.

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