• Wolf Totem

  • By: Jiang Rong
  • Narrated by: Jason Culp
  • Length: 22 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 29-04-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (20 ratings)


Beijing intellectual Chen Zhen volunteers to live in a remote settlement on the border of Inner and Outer Mongolia, where he discovers a life of apparent idyllic simplicity amongst the nomads and the wild wolves who roam the plains. But when members of the People's Republic swarm in from the cities to bring modernity and productivity to the grasslands, the peace of Chen's solitary existence is shattered, and the delicate balance between humans and wolves is disrupted. Only time will tell whether the grasslands' environment and culture will ever recover.
Wolf Totem has been a sensation ever since it shot to the top of the Chinese best-seller charts in 2004. A beautiful and moving portrayal of a land and culture that no longer exists, it is also a powerful portrait of modern China and a fascinating insight into the country's own view of itself, its history and its people.
©2008 Jiang Rong (P)2008 Penguin Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Welsh Mafia on 28-02-16

The grand loop....a Mongolian Circle of Life?

The imperative to pick this one up was an article that I read in a Saturday Review section of The Guardian, where it was listed as one of the school reading books on the list of the Eton head of English - well, if its good enough for them, its worth a look for me.

As in the past, one of the most satisfying parts, if not the most satisfying, is the discovery of new voices in the most unexpected of places. And this saga certainly fits that bill.

Its a simple, complex tale where the progress of life under the Mao marching cosmos is contrasted against Tengri-observing herding population of Inner Mongolia. Inevitably, there are continual references to the underlying ways and rhythms - but Big Life and Little Life are beautifully sketched out and the metaphor of the Wolf is worked but not over-worked.

This is a long book which needs continued attention (lots of prep!) but there is no effort to sustain attention since it is well written in translation. I was thankful for the recommendation - privileges flow from those who are prepared to work for their education, a universal principle as much at home in super-charged China as on the playing fields of Eton.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Aviinash on 14-11-09

Heart Breaking

Really sad that in the name of development we are destroying the land and dangerously playing with the balance of natural forces. A must read book.

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