Single Pebble

Single Pebble

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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552067547
  • 9780552067546

Review Text

A young, sensitive American engineer, with one goal in mind-the harnessing of the Yangtse River- ships up river by junk to see for himself where a ??am could be placed. This is the story of that journey in time. For an American in a hurry the preposterousness of the delays - from 24 hours lest when the cook, at the moment of casting off, departed to get some fresh cabbage, to the slow mode of operation, indifference to time and the river, use of man power when motor power seemed an answer and, more overwhelming than the delays, the indifference to the human element, even when it involved the violent death of the lead tracker, Old Pebble,- all this added up to something more vital than Western hurry and hundreds of miles of hydro electric promises ahead. The story told against the saga of the journey is a slight one:- the lure and beauty and terror of the river finds its parallels in the romantic view he acquires of the slim young wife of the owner of the junk, as she nurses him back to health from a about of fever. On shore, the glamor fades- even the individuality of the separate members of the crew desappears. There is left only the faint hope that time would find the answer; the underlying realization that time, in Chinese terms, was no man's span; that superstition and dedication in the ways of the past must change. The book can be read as allegory, but what captures one in the reading is the impact of the river in all its beauty and violence; the symbolism of China's antiquity, impassivity and resignation; and the littleness of one man against an age old civilization, which corresponds to nothing we know. It is a short book, but a memorable experience. (Kirkus Reviews)show more