The Shanghai Free Taxi -Storyline and Review
‘The Shanghai Free Taxi’ is a story that gives the reader a peek into the lives of people in China – their experiences, belief systems, fears and worries, wishes, aspirations, and views about how they wish to see their country in the future.
Langfitt wants to understand the people and their stories as a foreign correspondent. He figures out that the best way to make people open up (who are otherwise known to be reserved OR many are not able to open up due to the fear of ‘being watched and heard’) was to offer them a free taxi ride in exchange for conversations. The idea becomes an instant success, and he gets more passengers willing to talk and have conversations. This gives him an excellent opportunity to understand the people and the changes that were taking place in their lives as China steers itself into becoming a superpower under Xi. The tremendous economic development in the country brings about a considerable shift in their lifestyle.
Langfitt interviews people from all walks of life, rich/poor, young/middle-aged/old, rural/urban backgrounds, and many more. This helps him widen his sphere of understanding and get a better perspective. He also talks about the political landscape of the country, the reasons behind certain landmark events in China’s history, policies and controls imposed by the government on its people, the tremendous economic leap, and the idea of democracy, which the government pushes aside.
The book ends with the hope of seeing China run by a government worth its people and wish for a bright future for the country. All in all a meaningful and engaging read.
- Publisher : W&N (11 Jun. 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1474612334
- ISBN-13 : 978-1474612333
- Dimensions : 12.8 x 3.2 x 19.6 cm
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