A Single Pebble am Kindle John Hersey is a good writer He creates characters well his stories move along with great energy and he makes a reader care deeply about what goes on But som
A Single Pebble am Kindle John Hersey is a good writer. He creates characters well, his stories move along with great energy and he makes a reader care deeply about what goes on. But sometimes, despite all those qualities, he just misses. This is one of those times. A young American engineer has been sent to China in the 1920s to inspect the Yangtze River for possible locations on which to build a dam. He travels up that unpredictable and powerful river on a junk, through gorges, rapids and whirlpools. Surrounded by the junk's owner and his young wife, the cook and a large crew of trackers, who literally pull the junk, the young man tries to reconcile his American belief in progress with the legends and ways of a primitive culture. He becomes obsessed with understanding Old Pebble, the head tracker, who takes on the personality of almost a river god.The story of the journey is gripping as the extreme adventure of prevailing over all the river's dangers is told. Hersey excels in writing the detail and realism of such a foreign location and people. Obviously the theme is east meets west, a theme which is shown by the events of the story contrasted with the young American's reactions.Unfortunately we are rather hammered over the head by the engineer's attempt to come to grips with the contrasts, which feels like being lectured to instead of being allowed as a reader to draw one's own conclusions. Possibly such a tone was needed in the mid 1950s, but reading the book in the 21st century, knowing that the dam got built, puts it in a different light.. A young American engineer sent to China to inspect the unruly Yangtze River travels up through the river s gorges searching for dam sites Pulled on a junk hauled by forty odd trackers, he is carried, too, into the settled, ancient way of life of the people of the Yangtze until the interplay of his life with theirs comes to a dramatic climax.. A viral Books A Single Pebble This novella is absolutely gripping. It tells the story of a 24-year old American engineer who sets off to explore the Yangtze in order to draft plans for a major dam - an undertaking which, as we now know, wasn't actually completed until 2008, nearly a century after the events imagined by Hersey. The young man travels up river on a junk owned by Old Big, an experienced mariner who has had his share of misfortunes, and in fact lost a boat on a previous journey. Old Big is married to Su-ling, a pretty girl half his age. The crew also includes a cook and, last but by no means least, Old Pebble, the head tracker of the expedition. The young foreigner, who has learnt Mandarin, spends a fair bit of time with Su-ling, who seems to be under orders to tell him all sorts of legends about the areas they go through. He is attracted to her, while surmising that she is in love with Old Pebble, who is in fact young and amazingly athletic. His other title is Noise Suppressor, because part of his job consists in singing to cover the groans of the trackers as they pull the junk up river against the fierce current. From the very beginning, the American is fascinated not only by Old pebble's strength, agility, and beautiful voice, but also by his declared contempt for money and all the other signs of success the American believes in. For instance, when he wins at some game and his fellow trackers accuse him of cheating, he throws all the coins he's won into the river. Hersey does a marvelous job of describing the narrator's complex feelings towards the Chinese. He is deeply ambivalent towards Old Pebble, whom he admires tremendously, yet would like to convince of his own superiority as a scientist. He doesn't know how to interpret the superstitious rituals in which the tracker and the cook take part with both deep conviction and manifest irony. He's very proud of thinking that, thanks to himself and others like him, there will soon be no need of trackers. He fancies himself a great liberator of mankind, while being reminded at every turn that junks have gone up the Yangtze for thousands of years, and that these incredibly brave, sturdy and skillful people are justly proud of what they can do. The themes of this book are universal: youth versus maturity, modernization versus tradition. The American has a Western sense of time, and nearly loses his rag when he suspects Old Pebble of having stolen his watch, in retaliation for his boasting about the future dam and the likes of Old Pebble becoming redundant. A further irony being that the narrator's watch was already broken. Eventually, in a particularly tricky bit of the gorge, Old Pebble loses his footing and has to be dropped into the raging waters to prevent a more serious accident to the team and the loss of the junk itself. The owner first seems to rejoice over the accident, then takes enormous risks in a doomed attempt at rescuing the drowning man. While the narrator believes Old Big dead, the junk arrives at destination. Feeling sad at parting with people he's spent so many weeks with in sometimes life-threatening circumstances, the engineer invites Su-ling and the rest of the crew to a banquet, but when they show up at his inn, where he's had time to change into clean clothes, he's shocked to see how ragged and unkempt they look. The precarious conviviality he experienced on the junk cannot be replicated on land, and the cultural gap between them yawns wider than ever. At this point, Old Big reappears, and forces the engineer to compensate him for the loss of the head tracker, which the young man half believes to have been a form of suicide. This is one of the densest and meatiest studies of communication problems between people of different cultures I've ever read, among many other things. WOW.
Your friends at A Single Pebble Restaurant Reserve a table facebook twitter DINNER Take Out Service Only Tuesday Saturday starting at PM OPEN TUESDAYS SATURDAYS BANK STREET BURLINGTON, VERMONT . A Single Pebble by John Hersey A Single Pebble tells the story of an American engineer who goes to China in the s to figure out how to dam up the Yangtze River He is the narrator of his A Single Pebble Hersey, John Feb , A Single Pebble Hersey, John on FREE shipping on qualifying offers A Single Pebble A SINGLE PEBBLE, Burlington Menu, Prices Restaurant Aug , A Single Pebble, Burlington See unbiased reviews of A Single Pebble, rated of on Tripadvisor and ranked of restaurants in Burlington. A Single Pebble Photos Reviews Chinese We love the Single Pebble and it s always a go to place for out of town guests we re hosting The Lychee Martini is an every visit item, as is the Mock Eel and the Hot Sour soup We really like the family style service, with everyone accessing a dish from the turntable in the center. Dinner Menu A Single Pebble Book your A Single Pebble reservation on Resy DINNER MENU SMALL DISHES Sliced Barbecue Hanging Pork Double Garlic Broccoli Mock Eel Chilled Shredded Chicken Cha Tzu Style Vegetable Chips Dry Fried Green Beans Scallion Pancake Dou Hua .