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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
In his book Chinese Rocks, author Peter Baird offers readers the fictional tale of Robert and his turbulent life in China. It all started in 2003 when Robert realized he was bored with his life. He began daydreaming about travel and living anywhere other than Canada. The more he thought about it the more excited he became. Cathy, his girlfriend thought it was a grand idea; however it took a few years to wrap up loose ends at home. In 2005 the couple flew out of Vancouver: destination Beijing. It is easy to imagine the uncertainty they felt as they began their new life. They were greeted at the airport by Annie who provided them with a welcome package and assisted them in traveling to their final destination, Hadan. “It all sounded terribly exotic.” But the closer they got to the city the more that image shattered. The city’s main source of income was from the steel mills which belched out black smoke that polluted the air, causing acid rain. The city was dirty with litter scattered everywhere. Robert loved China.
Chinese Rocks is a fascinating look at China, the culture, government, people, and education system. Peter Baird paints a vivid verbal picture of life in Hadan and Beijing. While this book is a work of fiction, it is so realistically written I had to check to make sure it wasn’t an autobiography. Both positive and negative aspects of living there are revealed in this tale. The author shares information most tourists would never have the opportunity to know for it is only attained through living among the people. I recommend this book to those interested in other cultures and in travel.