• Do Not Say We Have Nothing

  • By: Madeleine Thien
  • Narrated by: Angela Lin
  • Length: 20 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-11-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (253 ratings)

Regular price: $38.49

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Publisher's Summary

Madeleine Thien's new novel is breathtaking in scope and ambition, even as it is hauntingly intimate. With the ease and skill of a master storyteller, Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations - those who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution in the mid-20th century; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, in one of the most important political moments of the past century. With exquisite writing sharpened by a surprising vein of wit and sly humor, Thien has crafted unforgettable characters who are by turns flinty and headstrong, dreamy and tender, foolish and wise.
©2016 Madeleine Thien (P)2016 Recorded Books
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Critic Reviews

"This audiobook marries a haunting, compelling story and a memorable performance by its narrator. Angela Lin reads with assurance, confidence, and a gentleness that captures the mood of the story.... Lin also uses her impeccable Chinese language skills to pronounce the names and keywords that dot the text, lending credibility and atmosphere to this lyrical audiobook." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 02-13-17

Devastating and complex

Would you consider the audio edition of Do Not Say We Have Nothing to be better than the print version?

I had a conversation with a friend who read the book. I had no idea how one could read it, given all the subtleties of the Chinese language that were brilliantly narrated. My friend had no idea how one could listen to it, because it was such a complicated story.

Would you be willing to try another book from Madeleine Thien? Why or why not?

I would possibly try a future book by this author, but not soon.

Which scene was your favorite?

There was a beautiful scene of a noodle-selling woman who offered hungry student protesters something to eat for free. It was all she had to offer. The tenderness of the exchange and conversation was uplifting in the midst of a confrontation that lacked humanity and decency.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was struck by the random violence and targeted violence of mobs and political movements that care nothing and know nothing about the lives they destroy. Deep meaningful life is sacrificed for political ideologies and slogans that get repeated but no one really knows what they mean. The fear of being a thinking creative person in times of revolution was palpable. Thien's writing pulls the listener into the dread and danger of daily living without falling into graphic descriptions of violence.

Any additional comments?

I do have to admit, a lot of the long expositions and explanations of music, math and literature were lost on me. It was not an easy book to follow, but its subject matter and characters will stay with me.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By barbara on 11-25-16

Moving, timely, compassionate

Any additional comments?

This book really stunned me. It will live with me for a long time. I am amazed at Madeleine Thien's storytelling expertise, and the way she wove the history of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath through the stories of the extended family and friends at the novel's core. At times, as an audiobook, I occasionally struggled in my attempts to track the narrative arc, because the narrative shifts back and forth between past and present a lot. But despite that small difficulty, I was awed by the book's mastery; it is gigantic and tender at the same time. I think it's a must-read for everyone, particularly in these post-Trumpian times.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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