peteg's blog

Ge Fei: The Invisibility Cloak.

/noise/books | Link

Kindle. Carmela Ciuraru at the New York Times sold it to me in her brief review. Canaan Morse's translation is a little uneven, charmingly so, almost as if he intermittently chooses to forget how Chinese maps to English. Some images and idioms that are presumably amusing and possibly enlightening, maybe even transgressive in the original, and I guess a footnote or two may have helped for us culturally impoverished types. I enjoyed it as a wander through present-day Beijing with an amiable narrator living a straitened existence as a craftsman of high-end audio equipment; such audiophilia is something I can't endorse or condemn. The fluid segues come to an overtly abrupt conclusion in the last chapter or two as things move a little too quickly for satisfaction.

Just to nitpick a bit: Ciuraru's review is wrong about Cui living with his sister and her husband; he lives in her apartment while she resides in their dear departed mother's.

Apparently this is the first novel by Ge Fei to be translated into English, but now Penguin Australia also has his Flock of Brown Birds available. I'll try to get to it soon.