China’s bad-boy blogger and auto-racing hero Han Han tells it like it is in the People’s Republic, relying on a deep reservoir of wit and wisdom and a wily insistence on justice for all.
Scaling the Great Firewall of China may be a tall order, but the 30-year-old Han Han has succeeded remarkably well. In fact, shock and awe will probably be the emotions that first register with readers unfamiliar with or ambivalent about Chinese culture. Yes, someone living inside Communist China is writing these things online—and, yes, has yet to face serious consequences. Prepare for even more enlightenment and entertainment, because the firebrand behind these invaluable posts is more Jon Stewart than John Brown. The sly and often funny dispatches take on Communist Party corruption, inequality, injustice, censorship and more. But the author isn’t shy about taking on some of his other countrymen in the process. “Patriotism can sometimes be a form of self-preservation,” he writes, “but sometimes it is a matter of the tone you set, and the tone we are setting shows we have no class.” Han Han navigates around these and other cultural potholes with the same assuredness he shows on racetracks all over of the world. The finish line here is a relevant view of modern Chinese life, and Han Han’s commentary on events both large and small inside China drives past politics, outruns Sinophobia and brings Chinese society into sharp focus.
A must-read for anyone, especially 20- and 30-somethings, itching to understand China today.