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Rare Earth

by Paul Mason

Described as a story about love, journalism, ghosts, metallurgy, power, vintage militaria and large motorcycles, this book sounded intriguing! A TV reporter travels across Western China researching corruption, meeting crazy people, encountering violence and ghosts from the past. I expected a travelogue but it was much more. On the surface full of hilarious incidents but there's a serious side too, an insight in the evolution of modern China.

Extract

'Why have the English decided to send a war reporter to Ningxia? Could they be expecting some kind of social upheaval we had not anticipated?' that had been the mission defining statement given to Cai-Chun -li by her personal mentor, General Guo. Two days ago she'd know the answer: coincidence; just a drunken hack tasked with producing eye-candy for some second rate TV channel, approaching the end of his career. Both Brough and Carstairs had registered a mild 'beep' on China's intelligence radar. Both had passports plastered with entry visas into conflict zones. They'd been processed, noted and the Ningxia Wai-ban alerted to their presence ... Now with Brough heading for certain death in the desert, and some crazy Propaganda kid trying to kill her, Chun-li was having to revise the initial sit-rep.

Parallels

China Road by Rob Gifford
 

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