Mini Review: ‘The Dark Road’, by Ma Jian

TheDarkRoad

POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

This book was so horrifying that, once I reached the middle, I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know how it would end and, more importantly, I just needed it to end. The squalour, the violence, the unbelievable cruelty and rape endured by Meili and the injustice of the whole situation made me feel slightly ill and very angry. The final scene was brutally, viscerally awful and, despite how bizarre and unexpected it was, it felt, in retrospect, inevitable.

Verdict: Read it if you have a high tolerance for weird and disturbing translation fiction. Otherwise, don’t.

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