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Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing

Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing - Alan Paul apparently quickly written for profit, lacking any drama, pacing, buildup, or insight. Paul through massive efforts and the heavy support of his wife who held down the tough job apparently just about became a minor regional talent in Beijing, but his lack of Mandarin, musical ability, personal aesthetic sense prevent this from being a China classic such as the four-star [b:Foreign Babes in Beijing|27234|Foreign Babes in Beijing Behind the Scenes of a New China|Rachel DeWoskin|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348890838s/27234.jpg|27880] or even three-star [b:Mr. China|109705|Mr. China A Memoir|Tim Clissold|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347537544s/109705.jpg|105727]. it was worth the 1.99 ebook special but not more. moreover, having had a few years' expat experience in China, it was a book I felt obligated to read, but I can't recommend it on its merits or as an introduction to gated-community China except for somebody really planning to commit to the country.

the biggest problem, as I wrote, was that Paul was very dependent on his accomodating spouse the whole time, so instead of a great, dynamic personality conquering things on its merits, we have instead the sort of lackadaisical story of a tagger-along getting some of the 'china statistics' (=if 2% of China has heard of you, that's 30 million people; if Paul's broadcast on TV hit an audience of 30 million, well, that's 30 million really poor, impoverished people who happen to just see 'laowai novelty of the minute' on a variety show and will forget his name by next year). the book does have some merit in its descriptions, some insight into the culture and dynamic, and a certain optimistic spirit, but you'd be far better off putting anything above $2 towards, even, Seven Years in Tibet, or Shanghai Baby.