Oracle Bones

  • by Peter Hessler
  • Narrated by Peter Berkrot
  • 18 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A century ago, outsiders saw China as a place where nothing ever changes. Today, the country has become one of the most dynamic regions on earth. In Oracle Bones, Peter Hessler explores the human side of China's transformation, viewing modern-day China and its growing links to the Western world through the lives of a handful of ordinary people. In a narrative that gracefully moves between the ancient and the present, the East and the West, Hessler captures the soul of a country that is undergoing a momentous change before our eyes.


What the Critics Say

“A brilliant observer with a novelist’s ear for character and dialogue, Hessler is both fascinating and funny.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“A remarkable travelogue documenting aspects of a country still little understood.” (Kirkus)
“Engaging.... Acutely observed, moving, frequently funny and a perspicacious X-ray of China’s zeitgeist.” (South China Morning Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Another Excellent Work

Oracle Bones is another excellent book from Peter Hessler. He writes from a unique and insightful perspective. He has lived in China for many years; beginning as an English teacher at a Chinese college. He has remained in close touch with his former students, whose own experiences in working after graduation in the ???New China??? form an important part of the book. Mr. Hessler has also been accredited as a foreign correspondent in China for the New Yorker magazine. As a writer of magazine articles, he has been free to develop stories and themes at much greater length and depth than would have been possible as a reporter for a daily newspaper. In my view that is a big plus for his readers.

His books reflect first hand experiences and conversations with Chinese residents (not all of them native Chinese, by the way) from various walks of life, many of whom he can consider good friends. They also reflect extensive interview notes, some scholarly research, and a whimsical eye for things comic and ironic in everyday life. Mr. Hessler also shares poignant conversations with Chinese who experienced the trials and terrors of the 1960???s ???Cultural Revolution??? and the earlier ???Anti-Rightist??? campaign of the late 1950???s.

As readers we are fortunate that Mr. Hessler has developed considerable literary talent. The writing is clear, suited to the humor or poignancy of the events or conversations he is describing, and has a personal tone that allows us to share his fascination and feelings in what he is seeing and hearing.
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- Michael Moore

Great Book, except for the narration.

If you are interested in Chinese/China, this book is really good. The only problem is the narrator thoroughly an completely butchers the Chinese words in this otherwise terrific audio book.
To be fair to the narrator, his voice is interesting and expressive. It's just the Chinese language parts that do him in. Maybe if I did not speak Chinese I would not care so much.
However, as a Chinese Language and Lit graduate who lived in Asia for a few years, I was taken away with this book. The author is great. I will look for other books from Peter Hessler.
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- Daniel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-23-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios