In the Pond by Ha Jin

In the Pond

Ha Jin

Shao Bin is a small fish in a big pond. You'll share his sense of injustice - an ordinary man fighting the petty jealousies of the Party bosses. Bin's satirical cartoons cause the conflict which escalates in a series of surprising and amusing events. This is an interesting example of Communism at work showing just how different Chinese society is. The ending might be a little over sweet, but it definitely proves that the pen is mightier than the sword.


The work accomplished, Bin felt joyful. Soon his joy was replaced by ecstasy. In his mind Chairman Mao's instruction began reverberating: 'The boundless joy in fighting Heaven, the boundless joy in fighting Earth, the boundless joy in fighting Man!' Those words representing the mettle of the proletariat, warmed Bin's heart and invigorated his blood; he felt younger, as though he had eaten a lot of ginseng or deer antler. Yes, with his brush, he was ready to engage the enemy.

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel

Books with similar mood

Digging to America

Anne Tyler

A Boy of Good Breeding

Miriam Toews

The Understudy

David Nicholls

Today Will Be Different

Maria Semple

His 'n' Hers

Mike Gayle

The Ivy Chronicles

Karen Quinn

Point of Sale

Peter Sansom

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

Dancing With the Two-headed Tigress

Tina Biswas

White Powder, Green Light

James Hawes

Standing in the Rainbow

Fannie Flagg

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa

Nicholas Drayson

Deacon King Kong

James McBride

Breaking Away

Anna Gavalda

I Don't Know How She Does It

Alison Pearson

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo

Julia Stuart

Girls Can't Make Gun Noises

Paul Surridge

The Pleasure of My Company

Steve Martin

Diary of a Provincial Lesbian

V G Lee

The Mobile Library: the Case of the Missing Books

Ian Sansom

Behaving like adults

Anna Maxted

A Long Time Dead

Joe Pemberton

In Doctor Nos Garden

Henry Shukman

The Colour of Love

Preethi Nair

A Boy Made of Blocks

Keith Stuart

Unexpected Lessons in Love

Bernadine Bishop

The Light of Amsterdam

David Park

The Making of Henry

Howard Jacobson

Bad Dirt

Annie Proulx

Only in America

Dominic Holland

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Abbi Waxman

Black Orchids

Gillian Slovo

Park and Ride

Miranda Sawyer

Frankie and Stankie

Barbara Trapido

Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes

Billy Collins


Sylvia Smith

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett

Writers and Lovers

Lily King

Marriage Material

Sathnam Sanghera

The News Where You Are

Catherine O'Flynn


Chris Keil

The Paperchase

Marcel Theroux

Valeria's Last Stand

Marc Fitten

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

Forget Love

Babsy Tom


Gerard Stembridge

Footnotes to Sex

Mia Farlane

Time and Fate

Lance Price