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One Million Characters

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397,862 Characters to Go



Today I finished reading the novel 《第七天》 by 余华.


The story centers around protagonist 杨飞 and his experiences before and after his sudden untimely death. Unlike other 余华 novels, 《第七天》 is a work of surrealist fiction. The narrative present is set in the afterlife; all major characters in the novel are dead. Like 余华’s other novels, 《第七天》 is at turns tragic, funny, morbid, and sweet. It is not his best novel, but it might be my favorite.


The Chinese in 《第七天》 is not difficult to understand. The novel is easier to read than 《活着》 and 《在细雨中呼喊》, though probably harder than the dialogue-heavy 《许三观卖血记》. 


Demands on my time prevent me from writing a longer review. In August, I moved to Shanghai and started a new and exciting job, which keeps me very busy. I continue to read Chinese nearly every day and am confident I will meet my 1,000,000 character goal this year. 


Link to 《第七天》: 
Some statistics: 
Characters read this year: 602,138 
Characters left to read this year: 397,862 
Percent of goal completed: 60.2%
List of things read: 
《三八节有感》by 丁玲   (2,370 characters) 
《我在霞村的时候》by 丁玲   (10,754 characters) 
《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》by 毛泽东   (18,276 characters) 
《自杀日记》by 丁玲   (4,567 characters) 
《我没有自己的名字》by 余华   (8,416 characters) 
《手》by 萧红   (7,477 characters) 
《牛》by 沈从文   (8,097 characters) 
《彭德怀速写》by 丁玲   (693 characters) 
《我怎样飞向了自由的天地》by 丁玲   (2,176 characters) 
《IBM Cloud文档:Personality Insights》 by IBM   (25,098 characters) 
《夜》by 丁玲   (4,218 characters) 
《虎雏》by 沈从文   (46,945 characters) 
《在巴黎大戏院》 by 施蛰存   (6,181 characters) 
《分析Sonny Stitt即兴与演奏特点——以专辑《Only the Blues》中曲目 《Blues for Bags》为例》   (5,483 characters) 
《一个女剧院的生活》 by 沈从文   (61,154 characters) 
《致银河》 by 王小波   (17,715 characters) 
《在细雨中呼喊》 by 余华   (132,769 characters) 
《熊猫》 by 棉棉   (53,129 characters) 
《1988:我想和这个世界谈谈》 by 韩寒   (81,547 characters) 
《偶然事件》 by 余华   (20,226 characters)
《第七天》 by 余华  (84,847 characters)

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Nice review. 第七天 is my favourite 余华 novel too. I think it's his most original work of fiction, although I may be wrong as I have not read all of 余华's novels. 

Congratulations and all the best in your new job in 上海 !

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