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Download Inside the Red Mansion: On the Trail of China’s Most Wanted Man Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Inside the Red Mansion: On the Trail of China’s Most Wanted Man, by Oliver August Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (83 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Oliver August, Simon Vance Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Inside the Red Mansion is a suspenseful, slyly entertaining journey into the heart of the new China. Due to a mix-up on a routine reporting assignment, Oliver August stumbles onto the hunt for China’s most wanted man, Lai Changxing, an illiterate tycoon on the run from corruption charges. Sensing something emblematic in this outsized tale of Lai’s rise and fall, August sets out to find the self-made billionaire, hoping that if he can understand how Lai reinvented himself, he will also better grasp the tectonic forces transforming modern China.

Lai embodies the story of China’s recent success as well as its Achilles’ heel: its command economy, blended with the free market, is riddled with corruption. Moving ever closer to the elusive tycoon, August introduces us to a people in the midst of head-spinning self-transformation. We meet a nightclub hostess and her gaggle of “Miss Temporaries”; powerful businessmen on a debt-settling round of nocturnal golf; and a foie gras king who markets his goose liver by the ton and prefers it deep fried. This is a China seething with desire, engaged in a slapstick fight with its past, and hell-bent on the future.

Inside the Red Mansion is the first book to capture the giddy vibe of contemporary China and its darker vulnerabilities.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This must-read, can’t-put-it down tale shows the China only hinted at on the evening news—a place of outsized egos, over-the-top commercial development and shadowy, tradition-bound authoritarian rule.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rob Koch | 5/31/2013

    " I guess the book was interesting but could have been half the length. He didnt make any new points after about 100 pages. If you are interested in China it might be worth skimming. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Edelhart Kempeneers | 10/23/2012

    " Het viel mee. Maar China Road en Lost on Planet China waren veel beter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Rui | 10/23/2012

    " Searching for the allegedly most wanted man in China. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cns | 10/7/2011

    " It's not the most exciting premise, but while the author is on the trail of the "most wanted man," he examines the lives of ordinary Chinese and how they are dealing with a new capitalist system. And he has a lesbian sidekick! "

  • > Show All
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About the Author

Oliver August studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University, then joined the Times of London to become its youngest-ever New York correspondent. He spent seven years in China as Beijing bureau chief and then moved to the Middle East in 2006.