Read Brothers by Yu Hua Online - EPUB Format - A Satirical and Epic Tale of Modern China
Brothers by Yu Hua: A Review and a Guide
If you are looking for a novel that will challenge your views on modern China, make you laugh and cry, and keep you hooked until the end, then you might want to check out Brothers by Yu Hua. This epic and wildly unhinged black comedy of Chinese society running amok has been a bestseller in China, a finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and a winner of France's Prix Courrier International. In this article, we will give you a summary and an analysis of this remarkable novel, as well as show you how to download it as an epub file for your convenience.
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What is Brothers by Yu Hua?
Brothers is a novel by Yu Hua, one of China's most acclaimed and influential writers. It was first published in two volumes in 2005 and 2006, and later translated into English by Eileen Cheng-yin Chow and Carlos Rojas in 2009. The novel spans four decades of Chinese history, from the Cultural Revolution to the economic boom, through the lives of two stepbrothers: Baldy Li, a sex-obsessed ne'er-do-well, and Song Gang, his bookish, sensitive counterpart. The novel follows their adventures and misadventures as they struggle to survive, love, and make sense of a rapidly changing world.
Why is Brothers by Yu Hua a popular and controversial novel?
Brothers has been praised by critics and readers alike for its bold and original vision of China's transformation from a socialist state to a capitalist powerhouse. The novel depicts the absurdity, the brutality, and the humor of this process with a sweeping and Rabelaisian panorama of characters, events, and themes. The novel also explores the complex relationship between the two brothers, who represent different aspects of Chinese society: tradition and modernity, loyalty and betrayal, innocence and corruption.
However, Brothers has also been criticized by some for its graphic violence, sexual explicitness, and political incorrectness. Some have accused Yu Hua of being vulgar, cynical, or even anti-Chinese for portraying his country in such a negative light. Others have argued that Yu Hua is using satire and symbolism to expose the hypocrisy, greed, and moral decay of contemporary China.
How to download Brothers by Yu Hua as an epub file?
If you are interested in reading Brothers by Yu Hua on your e-reader or mobile device, you can download it as an epub file from various online sources. One of them is Internet Archive, where you can find a free copy of the novel in English translation. You can also find other formats such as PDF or MOBI on this website. Another option is eBooks.com, where you can purchase the novel for a reasonable price. You can also find other languages such as French or Spanish on this website.
Summary of Brothers by Yu Hua
In this section, we will give you a brief summary of the main characters, the plot, and the themes of Brothers by Yu Hua. However, we recommend that you read the novel yourself to fully appreciate its richness and complexity.
The main characters and their backgrounds
The novel revolves around two stepbrothers: Baldy Li and Song Gang. They are both born in Liu Town, a small and backward village in the south of China. Baldy Li is the son of Li Lan, a widow who runs a public toilet. He is nicknamed Baldy because he was born with a bald spot on his head. He is also known for his curiosity, his mischief, and his obsession with women. Song Gang is the son of Song Fanping, a respected teacher who dies during the Cultural Revolution. He is adopted by Li Lan, who marries his father shortly before his death. He is a quiet, studious, and kind-hearted boy who loves reading and writing.
The two boys grow up together as brothers, despite their different personalities and backgrounds. They share a bond of friendship, loyalty, and love that will be tested by the events and changes that will shape their lives.
The plot and the themes of the novel
The novel is divided into two parts: the first part covers the years from 1966 to 1976, during the Cultural Revolution; the second part covers the years from 1978 to 2005, during the economic reform and opening up. The novel follows the brothers as they experience the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures, and the dreams and nightmares of these turbulent times.
The first part of the novel focuses on the brothers' childhood and adolescence in Liu Town. They witness the madness and violence of the Cultural Revolution, which destroys their families, their teachers, and their culture. They also discover love, sex, and death for the first time. Baldy Li falls in love with Lin Hong, the town beauty who becomes his first girlfriend. Song Gang falls in love with Sun Wei, a girl from a wealthy family who becomes his pen pal. However, both relationships end tragically: Lin Hong is raped by a gang of Red Guards and later becomes a prostitute; Sun Wei is killed by her father who disapproves of her relationship with Song Gang.
The second part of the novel focuses on the brothers' adulthood and middle age in Shenzhen, a booming metropolis in the south of China. They witness the rapid and radical transformation of China from a poor and isolated country to a rich and globalized one. They also pursue different paths and goals in life. Baldy Li becomes a successful entrepreneur who makes millions from various businesses, such as selling scrap metal, manufacturing sanitary napkins, and organizing beauty contests. He marries Lin Hong, who becomes his trophy wife after undergoing plastic surgery. He also has numerous affairs with other women, including his own sister-in-law. Song Gang becomes a humble worker who makes a living from repairing bicycles. He marries Yumi, a peasant girl who becomes his faithful wife after surviving a landmine explosion. He also devotes himself to writing novels, which are rejected by publishers.
The novel explores various themes such as family, friendship, love, betrayal, loyalty, ambition, greed, corruption, morality, identity, culture, history, politics, and society. The novel also uses various techniques such as satire, symbolism, irony, humor, tragedy, realism, surrealism, and fantasy to create a vivid and compelling portrait of China in transition.
Analysis of Brothers by Yu Hua
In this section, we will give you a brief analysis of the style and tone of Brothers by Yu Hua as well as some examples of symbolism and satire in the novel.
The style and tone of Brothers by Yu Hua
Brothers by Yu Hua is written in a simple and straightforward language that reflects the oral tradition of storytelling in China. The novel uses short sentences, colloquial expressions, and repetition to create a rhythmic and engaging narrative. The novel also uses vivid descriptions, dialogues, and anecdotes to bring the characters and settings to life.
The tone of Brothers by Yu Hua varies from comic to tragic, from absurd to realistic, from cynical to sentimental. The novel mixes humor and horror, laughter and tears, hope and despair, The symbolism and satire of Brothers by Yu Hua
Brothers by Yu Hua is full of symbolism and satire that reflect the author's views on China's past and present. The novel uses various objects, characters, and events to represent different aspects of Chinese society and culture. For example:
The public toilet that Baldy Li's mother runs is a symbol of the filth and decay of the old China, as well as the source of Baldy Li's sexual awakening and curiosity.
The gold-plated toilet seat that Baldy Li installs in his mansion is a symbol of the excess and waste of the new China, as well as the emptiness and loneliness of Baldy Li's life.
The beauty contest that Baldy Li organizes is a symbol of the commodification and objectification of women in the market economy, as well as the loss of dignity and identity of the contestants.
The landmine that Yumi steps on is a symbol of the violence and trauma of China's history, as well as the resilience and courage of Yumi and Song Gang.
The space shuttle that Baldy Li wants to board is a symbol of the ambition and fantasy of China's future, as well as the futility and absurdity of Baldy Li's quest.
The novel also uses satire to mock and criticize various aspects of Chinese society and culture. The novel exposes the hypocrisy, greed, and corruption of the political system, the moral decay and confusion of the people, and the cultural clash and contradiction between tradition and modernity. The novel uses humor, irony, exaggeration, and parody to create a grotesque and absurd picture of China in transition. For example:
The novel satirizes the madness and violence of the Cultural Revolution, which turns neighbors into enemies, children into rebels, and teachers into victims.
The novel satirizes the rapid and radical transformation of China's economy, which turns peasants into millionaires, workers into entrepreneurs, and villages into cities.
The novel satirizes the obsession and imitation of Western culture, which turns Chinese women into plastic dolls, Chinese men into rap stars, and Chinese traditions into jokes.
The novel satirizes the sexual liberation and experimentation of China's youth, which turns love into lust, marriage into contract, and sex into spectacle.
The novel satirizes the spiritual emptiness and alienation of China's society, which turns family into strangers, friends into rivals, and life into death.
Brothers by Yu Hua is a monumental and fascinating novel that offers a unique and provocative perspective on China's recent history and current reality. The novel tells a compelling story of two brothers who experience the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures, and the dreams and nightmares of living in a changing world. The novel also explores various themes such as family, friendship, love, betrayal, loyalty, ambition, greed, corruption, morality, identity, culture, history, politics, and society. The novel also uses various techniques such as satire, symbolism, irony, humor, tragedy, realism, surrealism, and fantasy to create a vivid and compelling portrait of China in transition.
In my opinion, Brothers by Yu Hua is a masterful and original novel that deserves to be read by anyone who is interested in China or in literature. The novel is not only entertaining and informative, but also challenging and inspiring. The novel makes me think about my own views on China and on life. The novel also makes me feel a range of emotions, from laughter to tears, from hope to despair, from admiration to disgust.
If you enjoyed Brothers by Yu Hua, you might also like to read some of his other works, such as To Live, Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, Cries in the Drizzle, and China in Ten Words. You might also like to read some other Chinese novels that deal with similar topics, such as Red Sorghum by Mo Yan, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung, and The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Brothers by Yu Hua and their answers:
Who is Yu Hua and what are his other works?
Yu Hua is one of China's most acclaimed and influential writers. He was born in 1960 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. He worked as a dentist for five years before becoming a full-time writer. He is the author of four novels, six collections of stories, and three collections of essays. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages and have won many awards, both in China and abroad. He is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times.
What is the Man Asian Literary Prize and why was Brothers shortlisted for it?
The Man Asian Literary Prize is an annual literary award that recognizes the best novel by an Asian writer, either written in or translated into English. The prize was established in 2007 and is sponsored by the Man Group, a British investment company. Brothers was shortlisted for the prize in 2008, along with four other novels. The judges praised Brothers for its \"boundless imagination\" and \"tremendous narrative technique\". The prize was eventually won by Miguel Syjuco for his novel Ilustrado.
What is the Prix Courrier International and why did Brothers win it?
The Prix Courrier International is an annual literary award that recognizes the best foreign book published in France. The prize was established in 2003 and is sponsored by Courrier International, a French weekly magazine that publishes articles from newspapers and magazines around the world. Brothers won the prize in 2010, beating more than 100 other books. The jury praised Brothers for its \"flair for the macabre\" and \"Yu Hua's ability to make us laugh at tragedy\".
How does Brothers compare to other Chinese novels?
Brothers is one of the most ambitious and controversial Chinese novels of the 21st century. It covers a wide range of topics and themes that reflect China's past and present, such as the Cultural Revolution, the economic reform, the social change, the cultural clash, the sexual revolution, and the spiritual crisis. It also uses a variety of techniques and styles that challenge the conventions and expectations of Chinese literature, such as satire, symbolism, irony, humor, tragedy, realism, surrealism, and fantasy. It has been compared to other Chinese novels that deal with similar topics and themes, such as Red Sorghum by Mo Yan, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung, and The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin.
What are some of the challenges and benefits of reading Brothers in translation?
Reading Brothers in translation can be both challenging and rewarding for readers who are not familiar with Chinese language and culture. On one hand, reading Brothers in translation can pose some difficulties in understanding some of the nuances, references, idioms, jokes, and slang that are specific to Chinese language and culture. On the other hand, reading Brothers in translation can also offer some benefits in appreciating some of the universal themes, messages, emotions, and insights that are relevant to any language and culture. Reading Brothers in translation can also stimulate curiosity and interest in learning more about China and its literature.