Drama, Historical fiction

Faces in the Crowd by Feng Jicai , Translated by Olivia Milburn

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I have had this book on my virtual shelf a while and was happy to finally get to it. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did! The author has a very simplistic style, and like the drawings that precede each short story, we are given caricatures of different people in a very effective manner. The translator has done an equally brilliant job of retaining a certain flavour to the narrations that did not keep reminding me that I was reading a translated work!
These are 36 stories, all not of exactly the same calibre but pretty entertaining in their own right. They delve into a lifestyle that no longer exists. The nostalgia of a ‘simpler’ time is very obvious in how the stories are held out to us to examine. Each character we encounter has a different speciality, and there is a whole spectrum of emotions associated with each chapter.
Even though the stories are short, I could not read them all in one go. I had to pause between every couple of them and come back to them at a later stage. I did not outright laugh or chuckle or weep, and usually, that by itself determines my rating of the reading experience. This time, however, I rated it by considering the world it introduced to me, something that probably exists in very remote pockets of our ever-shrinking world and the ease of the read.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes picking books about people and relish well-translated works.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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