Oliver August used the case of Lai Changxing (賴昌星), the near illiterate rice farmer who ran a multi billion dollar empire of real estate and smuggling, to describe how China and its people transformed themselves in a decade of double digit economic growth, flexible rule of law, and corruption.
He did so by describing his endeavours to meet people who knew Lai (as well as Lai himself during his refuge in Canada) and the stories they told him. This also makes the book an example of the genre "Westerner learns to understand mysterious China". This improved in the second half of the book. With a slight love for the bizarre, the result is in an entertaining read....Continua