The day the sun died : a novel

by Lianke Yan

Other authorsCarlos Rojas (Translator.)
Hardcover, 2018





New York : Grove Press, 2018.


"Yan Lianke has secured his place as contemporary China's most essential and daring novelist, "with his superlative gifts for storytelling and penetrating eye for truth" (New York Times Book Review). His newest novel, The Day the Sun Died--winner of the Dream of the Red Chamber Award, one of the most prestigious honors for Chinese-language novels--is a haunting story of a town caught in a waking nightmare. In a little village nestled in the Balou mountains, fourteen-year-old Li Niannian and his parents run a funeral parlor. One evening, he notices a strange occurrence. Instead of preparing for bed, more and more neighbors appear in the streets and fields, carrying on with their daily business as if the sun hadn't already set. Li Niannian watches, mystified. As hundreds of residents are found dreamwalking, they act out the desires they've suppressed during waking hours. Before long, the community devolves into chaos, and it's up to Li Niannian and his parents to save the town before sunrise. Set over the course of one increasingly bizarre night, The Day the Sun Died is a propulsive, darkly sinister tale set against the national optimism of the Chinese dream" --… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member RajivC
This is a very strange book, and while it kept me going, I cannot honestly say that I understood all of it.

The book is a fable when, one day, the sun seemed to die and people started dream walking. During this night, when the sun died, strange things happen. People behave in strange ways, in ways that they may not have done when they are awake.

When Niannian's father makes the supreme sacrifice of immolating himself at 6:00 am (when time stood still), the sun came back, and suddenly the lost hours were recovered.

Is the dream state our real state? Are we in the state of dream walking, our lives governed by politicians, marketers and spin doctors? Has the author, Yan Lianke spun a fable that would ask us to question the very state of consciousness we live in?

Read this book, and see for yourself.
… (more)


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