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Publisher's Summary

Weijian Shan's Out of the Gobi is a powerful memoir and commentary that will be one of the most important books on China of our time, one with the potential to re-shape how Americans view China, and how the Chinese view life in America.

Shan, a former hard laborer who is now one of Asia's best-known financiers, is thoughtful, observant, eloquent, and brutally honest, making him well-positioned to tell the story of a life that is a microcosm of modern China, and of how, improbably, that life became intertwined with America. Out of the Gobi draws a vivid picture of the raw human energy and the will to succeed against all odds.

Shan only finished elementary school when Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution tore his country apart. He was a witness to the brutality and absurdity of Mao's policies during one of the most tumultuous eras in China's history. Exiled to the Gobi Desert at age 15 and denied schooling for 10 years, he endured untold hardships without ever giving up his dream for an education. Shan's improbable journey, from the Gobi to the "People's Republic of Berkeley" and far beyond, is a uniquely American success story - told with a splash of humor, deep insight, and rich and engaging detail.

©2019 Weijian Shan (P)2019 Gildan Media

What listeners say about Out of the Gobi

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Must read for anyone!

I thought I would be taking a risk on buying this book as there were very few reviews on Audible in comparison to other books but I saw it at a bookstore in the San Diego airport so I thought I would give it a try. I couldn’t stop listening to this book and listened to it any chance I got. The story is captivating and incredible and I enjoyed every minute of it. It teaches the importance of perseverance and hard work and making the best out of any situation.

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Superb history!

Step inside the mind of a man who endured the Great Leap backward and the cultural revolution of China! Weijian, you sir are a true inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story!

3 people found this helpful

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Great View of recent China History

As I am close in age to the Author I found his story one I was glued to till the end - A fantastic look at the last 40 years in China and US relations - thank you so much for sharing your story

3 people found this helpful

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Definitely Worth Reading

This is a great story! One of the few I have heard about concerning the effects of Mao’s rule on the people. The only two drawbacks are that the booked seemed to end rather abruptly, and I would like to have known more about life in China (on his family) while he has in the US. These are quite minor critiques. It wasn’t a book I could not put down, but I did always looked forward to the next amazing adventure. He has had a phenomenal life! The narration was excellent.

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Fascinating!

If you are interested in Chinese history and culture, then this is the perfect listen for you! This book was absolutely fascinating!

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Author’s impressive struggles to end up a banker?

Enjoyed much however should have been better edited to delete repetition. Author carefully avoids opinions and criticism that could impugn his standing with Chinese authorities.
Gobi experiences often dull - I guess that’s part of what he desired to communicate

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Great overview of 20century China.

China will never be understood with our an understanding of its privation, work ethic, corruption and and attachment to Mao and socialism. At heart it’s still a dictatorship.

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  • Emanuele
  • 04-03-22

Inspiring and insightful story

Inspiring story.

The most interesting aspect of this book is the chance it offers to examine western society from an outsider's perspective, and Communism from an insider's. It also gives a lot of lucid insight into Asian culture. The author's mindset, attitudes and the circumstances which lead to his success are clearly outlined, and the tone feels genuine and relatable, making it pleasant to listen to.

The book is interesting overall, the many anectodal contents are generally meaningful, and almost always either insightful or curious, fewer times funny, but not rarely felt a bit dull and took me some effort to go through.

I'd read it again, and can recommend it to those who are interested in the topics it explores.

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  • Brian
  • 12-02-21

A great story of depth and insight

I very rarely - maybe never, have enjoyed such a long and detailed story of one man's journey. The detail of Weijan's experience in China and then America lets us feel and see deep into these places - I feel like I have been there with him. The narrator adds much to the quality with his soft-spoken manner and perfect pronunciation of Chinese words - I could easily believe it was the author talking. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • Ai King
  • 03-15-21

MustRead humbling tale of how to thrive by working hard, self challenge to be better daily

MustRead humbling tale of how to thrive by working hard, self challenge to be better daily

This is truly a hero’s journey except told from a humble man’s perspective.

Can we/you emulate to become Shan if we were in his shoes?