On Such a Full Sea Pdf Summary
Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.
On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lee’s elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.
In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class – descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China – find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.
In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the ultimate dilemma of an Asian-American novelist
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 21, 2014
I am a bit disturbed by one of the negative reviews headlined, ‘How about a dystopian China?’ I believe Lee’s choice of US as a setting for his dystopian novel is based on: one, he is a resident and a citizen of the US despite his Asian heritage. A novelist not so subtly confined to subjects colored by his Asian-American experience despite having been raised in American culture since he was three. A Caucasian writer, let’s say even if he might’ve been Canadian, without having to explain himself may choose at his fingertips any subject: geisha experience in Japan, historical novel of Vikings, samurai, or even Mongolian nomads, without questioning. An Asian-American writer will most likely will not be well-received if he chose to write about an Italian-American protagonist, or if he so desired, a plight of middle-America. After all, good novels aren’t necessarily born of first hand experience, but more importantly from keen observation, committed research, and most importantly human empathy; even an outsider perspective may render a certain breadth of insight that we may all appreciate.
I suspect if this author had not been of Asian descent, your comment would’ve taken to quite another trajectory; nor your nationalistic rancor that an Asian dared to write a less than flattering portraiture of US. And your recommendation perhaps he should’ve chosen China.
For me, the choice of US as a setting for a dystopian novel is apropos; after all, US is a hub of the world; its influence overreaching in the world of economics, politics, etc. The dystopian future imagined here feels to me an universal statement and a warning for all of humankind.
Personally, I really enjoyed this book. I’ve read two others by Lee, and it feels as if he’s evolved somewhat from his earlier writing; though it’s true this one is a departure from his other works in genre. I like the way he’s infused the dark subject with some lighter observations of human nature while piercing the depths of its darkness. And his ultimate conclusion; that of inevitability.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best dystopian novel I have read
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 9, 2015
This is an amazingly good dystopian novel. Chang-rae Lee has imagined a future world in great detail, and what distinguishes it from other dystopian novels I have read is that his imagined world is completely plausible because it is a straight extrapolation of trends that exist in *todays* world. I’m not going to recite the plot in detail – other reviewers have done that. All I will say that that if you extrapolate current problems (widening gulf between rich and poor, environmental destruction, and the tendency for the rich to lack concern about said environmental destruction owing to the belief that their wealth insulates them from it)- well, then what you get is the imagined future of “On Such a Full Sea”. I claim in fact our current world is not that far from there. Most of us are just too narrowly focused to see it.
An interesting baclkground story in his imagined future is a mass emigration of Chinese to America due to the envioronmental destruction of their own country. In “On Such a Full Sea”, these Chinese immigrants become the new American middle class, whose labor supports the elite “Charter” class above. These Chinese immigrants are clearly being exploited, yet live far better lives than the Caucasian lower classes who have descended to a barbaric uncivilized existence on a destroyed planet.
It is interesting to read this novel in conjunction with one of the many non-fiction “warning” books such as Naomi Klein’s new book “This Changes Everything”. Klein’s book, like all others in that genre, follows a standard pattern, which goes like this: “Look, we are headed toward catastrophe. The coming catastrophe is too awful to imagine, so I won’t. Fortunately, we can avoid the catastrophe is we just do X, Y, and Z”. The logic of Klein’s book (and all books of this genre) is flawed by the simple fact that there is no “we” that can make such a decision on behalf of the human race. Unlike the fictional Borg of Star Trek, humans cannot make collective decisions. Therefore, the coming catastrophe that will happen if “we” do not change our collective behavior, *will* in fact happen. The relevant question then becomes: What will it look like? Chang-rae :Lee’s novel provides a possible (and disturbing) answer to this question.
5.0 out of 5 stars Civil disobedience in a dystopian world
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 14, 2014
Light suffuses through the broken landscape as Fan becomes you’re guide on a trip into a possible future scenario.
A poetic rendition of a bright light traveling through darkness illuminating a dystopian landscape. Fan, a Dickenesque creature encounters both advantage and obstacle in search of a lost love and a brother taken before birth. The act of leaving a gated village and the safety of fellow workers and family becomes a seed of revolution as the town rethinks its position in a wider dysfunctional yet all to familiar social class that has built itself up from the remnants of an apocalyptic event, a world that reminds me of dementia and bad behavior patterns of the individual as plaque begins to corrupt the necessary signals that allows clear cognition ; the social group has retained isolated strings of a coherent order or a facsimile of our own but exaggerated and lacking in in a wider perspective causing both withdrawal and introspection of the inhabitants of this story or institutionalized bedlam.
It took me a while to become absorbed into the free flowing rhythm of this story but once there couldn’t put it down. It reminded me a little of Cormac Mcarthy lite – not as muscular yet lithe and supple placing the reader into the very sinew of a people whose every thought and action becomes meaningful to their evolving mindscape. One act of transgression becomes the pebble thrown in the pond that causes never ending ripples outward and inward. For someone < me>who was a bit reluctant to continue this I am so glad I persevered! Mr Lee is truly an artist and despite having to reread a few long sentences I woke up this morning after finishing it last night with a smile and so much to say that I’m afraid I’ll say too much if I haven’t already .Read it and stick with it. It’s filled with things that aren’t necessarily apparent at first but grow on you in a good way.
About Chang-rae Lee Author of On Such a Full Sea Pdf Book
Chang-rae Lee Author of On Such a Full Sea Pdf Book is a Korean-American novelist and a professor of creative writing at Stanford University. He was previously Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton and director of Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing.
On Such a Full Sea pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Riverhead Books; First Edition (January 7, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594486107
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594486104
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.27 x 1.12 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #251,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #434 in Asian American Literature & Fiction
- #1,768 in Dystopian Fiction
- #14,555 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 3.8 out of 5 stars 373 ratings
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