“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Complete Review of Xu Zechen's Running Through Beijing


In its depiction of these lives -- of twenty-somethings who live on the fringes of society (though in this Beijing that's a very broad fringe) -- Running Through Beijing is an engaging and quite interesting read. Yet character and story are both underdeveloped: there's little sense of who these characters are, from their background to their motivations, and the novel is one more of glimpses than continuity, preventing much sense of growth or change. Despite showing these scenes from their lives, readers leave the book with little sense of what might become of them.


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