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BOOK OF THE MONTH
MY LIFE IN FULL
Indra K. Nooyi
699

An intimate and powerful memoir by the trailblazing former CEO of PepsiCo

For...(+)

Author Spotlight

John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a  professional baseball player. After graduating ...(+)

  John Grisham  
 
 
 
Inside the Red Mansion
Oliver August

Classification : Travel & Adventure
Pub Date : Jan 01, 2007
Imprint : John Murray
Page Extent : 288
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9780719560071
Price : 699

About the book

In 1999, shortly after arriving in Beijing as The Times's China correspondent, Oliver August set out on the trail of China's most wanted man, Lai Changxing. An illiterate peasant from the coastal city of Xiamen, Lai created his own shipping empire from nothing before vanishing abruptly when the Communist Party accused him of corruption and fraud. Once the richest man in the country, Lai was now public enemy number one because his immense wealth became a threat to Beijing's power.

Oliver August's highly entertaining search for Lai takes him to the brothels, backwaters and boardrooms that define the spirit of an emerging nation. Fascinated by Lai's story, the author visits the town where he was born, travels on the boat used by his smuggling racket and stays in the hotel where government investigators interrogated and tortured his helpers. The book investigates the tycoon's meteoric rise, his catastrophic demise and the mystery that surrounds his disappearance. After two decades of capitalist reforms, the New China seems to have more clichés than people. Both free and oppressive, anarchic and authoritarian, totally chaotic yet highly regulated, China is changing completely whilst seeming to stay itself.

Part investigation, part personal memoir, Inside the Red Mansion is a deeply atmospheric journey into the New China. From the austere bureaucrats of Beijing to the gilded pirate coast opposite Taiwan; from the Gobi desert plains where migrant labour is recruited, to the skyscrapers and nightclubs of boomtowns like Xiamen, Oliver August's gripping yet thoughtful account reveals the dark side of China's economic miracle and a nation finally awakening to its desires. husbands that cheat click my boyfriend cheated on me with a guy


Read Review   Want to write a review?
Lai's life affords compelling evidence of the corruption behind the vitreous cladding of China's resurgence . . . told with sympathy, flair and admirable restraint, the story proves as seductive as one of Lai's scams'
Vivid prose . . . His portraits are so lively'
A fondness for China shines through August's pages. He is a careful and thoughtful observer, with an eye for emblematic contradictions'
A captivating exploration of the Chinese underworld . . . by an author whose prose and sensibility are more mature than his years and experience'
This book is delightful. Oliver August has managed to be both very funny and very perceptive. Inside the Red Mansion is a picaresque adventure that also provides a look at a part of modern China rarely glimpsed by the outside world'
Oliver August has found an excellent and unusual window through to which to view China, not only in the life and deeds of the super-rogue Lai Changxing but also as a memoir of August's own second life in Xiamen while he was pursuing his first as a reporter in Beijing. It is a compelling read, rich with fascinating details that convey the raw realities of China'
Oliver August uncovers the story of one of China's biggest and most flamboyant criminals, and in doing so offers a highly enjoyable yet often chilling insight into the underworld gangs that inhabit the dark side of the Chinese economic boom'
Come along for the ride on Oliver August's fun and illuminating romp through China's smarmy underbelly. This book will challenge your preconceptions about China and stick with you for years. A great introduction to the People's Republic of Sleaze'  
A vivid picture of New China and its underbelly'
This must-read, can't-put-it down tale shows the China only hinted at on the evening news - a place of outsized egos, over-the top commercial development and shadowy, tradition-bound authoritarian rule'
August's journey through Lai's world has produced a lively, highly readable book that goes into areas rarely dealt with by foreign reporters ... The author's enthusiasm, application and observation in following the trail of Lai brings alive for Western readers a slice of Chinese life other foreign readers have not reached'
The tales he tells of life in the most dynamic, upwardly mobile society on earth are engaging and his gallery of friends ... are a fetching crew ... Hugely entertaining'
August's hunt for Lai is a ripping yarn ...But even better than the narrative are his observations of how life works in the New China -- it is desperate, fast, entertaining and dangerous'
     
Oliver August
Oliver August was born in 1971 and grew up in Germany. After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford, he joined The Times and became its youngest-ever New York c...(+)