Ha Jin is the author of Waiting, which is more widely known than his book In The Pond. But I loved the cover on In The Pond and picked it up the second I spotted it. The story follows Shao Bin and his struggles with the evil bosses at his place of work.
It all begins when he isn’t given the housing he is supposed to get despite putting in more years than the people who do get it. While his wife wants him to bribe his superiors like his colleagues are doing, he refuses and pays the price when his name isn’t on the list for housing. Angry, he confronts his bosses who dismiss him and go about their work as if he isn’t there. This sparks an outrage and the artist he is shines through. The story is about the power of the common cartoonist and the people who rally behind him.
Ha Jin is an author who writes in an easy and simplistic manner. It is almost as if his writing reflects Shoa Bin’s one track mind. Must get housing, must bring corrupt people to justice. I haven’t read his other works so I can’t be sure but that’s how it seems. Or maybe it was to express the straightforwardness of the communist regime. No fluff and no flair, straight to the point. Bells and whistles are unnecessary if one can get the point across in a simpler manner. Whatever it was, the style of writing definitely suited the landscape of it, feeling bleak but resolute.
I really enjoyed the read. At 176 pages it is a lunchtime book, finish it over a meal or two, depending on how fast you read and how slow you eat. I’m really keen on picking up Waiting, I’ve heard it’s way better than In The Pond and if that’s the case, he I certainly an author to invest in. I’m sorry this review is short, I read this book a while back and had forgotten to write the review. Remembered while reorganising the shelves and decide to write it up.
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Also HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!