The book is well-written, but I found the results
anti-climatic. I don't expect that McHugh would write
a rant on communism, and the idea of a Sino-Communist
future is at least different; however, considering
that it is based on the Chinese Communist model, her
society works better than I think likely given the
results of Communist China had prior to a huge influx
of hard currency from capitalist countries, which
wound up leading to an increase in slave labor there.
Obviously, gay characters have had difficulties in
capitalist systems as well, but I do think Western
capitalist cultures are far more forgiving of deviance
now and in the future than Sino-Communism is likely to
be. There, gayness is considered a crime and gay men
by definition criminals, who are considered
irredeemable. As I indicated, one gay character
chooses suicide once he has been suspected.
Zhang does develop from an aimless if talented
construction worker to an organic engineer--but he is
still not a deeply developed character.
However, the novel is quite good for a first effort.
I'm sure McHugh may well have improved with subsequent
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