Wednesday, June 26, 2013

All the Gold in China, by Kate Zeng

Disclosure: I received a free copy of All the Gold in China by Kate Zeng courtesy of the author, via GoodReads First Reads.


All the Gold in China tells the story of the China's Communist Revolution, through the eyes of an interlocking set of characters, but mainly focusing on Jong Lin, the aide and adopted son of General Han. Jong is mainly a passive narrator, in the style of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, and his own story does

not become particularly compelling until close to the end of the narrative. The other characters are almost entirely selfishly motivated, by greed for either money or for power, so they are difficult to connect with. The plot gets off to a very slow start, and then after an unrealistic climax, the ending tapers off as slowly as the beginning. Despite the length of the novel and its drawn-out denouement, there are still questions left unanswered.


Throughout this novel, the sentence structure is simplistic, and other than where the action is fast-paced, this makes the narrative somewhat stilted. The number of typographical and grammatical errors, although not so overwhelming as to hamper the story's readability, are nevertheless glaringly noticeable and unfortunate in a published volume. All the Gold in China could have used additional editing for linguistic style and narrative flow.

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