I received this book for free from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
"The year is 1978. China is an isolated empire of conspiracy, deception and delusion.
"From Radio Beijing comes an astonishing announcement: China will unilaterally disarm. Is this a Great Leap Forward for mankind -- or a plot to take over the world?"
This is the same belief I held concerning the collapse of East Germany in December 1989 followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Was this a ploy to get more territory or to spread the communist ideology? I was a skeptic. The above intro to the preface gave me hope of an interesting book.
However, the book is a poorly painted picture of 1978 China, a spy who has traveled to that country to determine the true intent of disarmament, and the not so colorful caricatures of people he meets along the way. Full of big words and not a lot of substance, Burke demonstrates the vocabulary to write a terrific novel, but not the ingenuity.
The book was intended to be a satirical comedy according to the descriptions found throughout the net. I failed to find any of the humor it was said to have contained. I am still trying to determine which part humor and which pure fluff.
I have watched movies where I have walked out of the theater in their middle. But worse than a bad movie, in forcing myself to finish this book I lost far more than a mere two hours of my life that I will never get back.
The characters are so poorly defined the book reads as one continuous rambling of a madman with mental diarrhea. What is the opposite of writer’s cramp? The Great Leap Forward by Armand Burke.