I read this book in 2 evenings, and if I had started earlier in the day I would have finished it in one go. Then I lent it to my bedridden cousin and she finished it in one day as well. We both loved it. It tells, through a series of Government Inspector interviews with villagers from one village in China, the story of a population that started off sad and poor and ended up kind of sad and rich through a series of programmatic infrastructure developments toward a new China and social change. I think it helped me to understand the chinese phrase “to eat bitterness”. I highly recommend this book. Through its interview style dialogue is communicated a subtle imagery and real feel for the characters. And like I said, its a fast read!