Title: Leave Me Alone
Page Count/Review Word Count: 312
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
Wow, the inconceivable has happened – I’ve given a 9/10 to a book with a couple of typos in it. But somehow, they almost add to its character – after all, the book has been translated from Chinese into English, and so the occasional mistake is surely forgivable. And actually, the overall quality of the writing here is very high – I’m actually not sure whether to credit the author or the translator for that one. It’s kind of beautifully simple, like how Bukowski used to write.
This book is fairly similar to some of the work by people like Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson and the beat poets, in that it’s unflinchingly honest and holds a mirror up to the world that it was conceived in. Leave Me Alone is set in the Chinese city of Chengdu, and follows the interweaving stories of three young people through the eyes of Chen Zhong, a young man with a love of debauchery.
It’s kind of hard to explain why I enjoyed this book so much – it was just well told, dark, and easy to read, a winning combination. I can see how the author managed to build such a huge following online – he serialised it on his website, and the publicity from that ended up with his book deal.
This is the first of two books of Chinese literature that I’ve been sent of late, and both of them have been excellent. I wouldn’t be surprised if the western world starts to hear from more Chinese writers than they’re used to, because if the level of quality shown here is any indication, they’re pretty damn good. Go out and read some!