Frank Langfitt (2019)

The taxi, while an essential part of the plot, doesn’t perhaps feature quite as much as one might expect in this exploration of China and the Chinese as they start to drive the 21st century. It’s a view from part way inside: not a Chinese view per se, but from a Western journalist with deep knowledge and strong sympathies for China, who manages to get a variety of people from the city and countryside to comment reasonably candidly about their experiences. It strikes me as a balanced and important contribution to understanding the nature of the emerging “Chinese century” (as it may, but will not necessarily, become), both its strengths and weaknesses.

3/5. Finished Thursday 17 December, 2020.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)