qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Book Review: The Incarnations, by Susan Barker
This was a random selection from the work book sale. Admittedly the picture of Chinese mountains on the cover was a draw, and the promotional cover sheet made it sound interesting.

The story is about Driver Wang, a Beijing taxi driver in 2008. He receives a series of mysterious letters, found inside his taxi, purporting to describe previous incarnations of himself and another. These are interleaved with the story of Wang's current life: his wife and child, his father and stepmother, the taxi drivers, other friends. Various reviews, both in the book blurb and online, compare the writing to David Mitchell (whose work I haven't read). For me, although the stories were well written, they were frequently too dark and brutal, and there's a lot of sex and violence, though there was enough intrigue for me to keep reading. Without giving too much away, there isn't a happy ending: some things are explained, some things are explicable, and others remain for me unexplained. Overall, I was a bit disappointed.
Tags: books, history
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