Compelling stories

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Land of Big Numbers kept me reading from one compelling story to the next. The settings, mostly within China, subtly pointed out some of the difference of living in these areas and how this might differ between my more familiar United States, Canada, and Europe. As I watched the second impeachment trial of a United States president and scenes of the insurrection at the United States Capital building, it was interesting to compare governmental controls in these different settings. While most of the stories are realistic, I found those that edged into a bit of magical realism the most fascinating. In "New Fruit," a distinctive fruit that allows people to feel the very best of emotions (falling in love, kindness, brightness) one season, the next season leads to feelings of shame and grief. In "Flying Machine," we build with an old man everything from a noodle-slicing robot to a flying machine as he tries to impress his village and become a member of the Chinese Communist Party. This is a collection well worth reading.