Charlie Reviews Su Tong's Shadow of the Hunter

I spent the early parts of the book alert for allusion or deeper meaning, either about human nature or about contemporary China, but I think the book can be taken at face value as a character-driven story about the suddenness and the burden of violence. Some other themes are ever-present: madness, for instance, ghosts, and the vicissitudes of the modern world (e.g., “There’s no shame in losing your soul; the way the world is going now, it’s happening to lots of people”, and the Taiwanese businessman referring to Miss Bai’s foetus as a ‘futures deal’). I happened to have read Crime and Punishment shortly before reading this and there are a lot of parallels for all three characters about the burden of crime and violence. It is like an existentialist Mexican stand-off, and the overall impact is deeply affecting.

attached to: Shadow of the Hunter


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madness, ghosts and strangeness in general are recurring themes in Su Tong's works, remember the short story collection, The Mad Woman on the Bridge, the short story The Water Spirit, etc. It is also a common theme of his last novels... It is part of his creative universe and makes it peculiar.

Brigitte Duzan, July 5, 2020, 7:01p.m.


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