• The Shanghai Free Taxi

  • Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China
  • By: Frank Langfitt
  • Narrated by: Frank Langfitt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $21.81

Buy for $21.81

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

As any traveller knows, the best and most honest conversations take place during car rides. So when journalist Frank Langfitt wanted to learn more about the real China, he started driving a cab - and discovered a country amid seismic political and economic change.

The Chinese economic boom, with its impact on the environment, global trade, and the tech industry, has been one of the most important stories of the 21st century. Yet few realise that the boom is largely over and that the new reality in China is unequal growth, political anxiety and a newly empowered strongman president.

In order to understand this new world, Frank Langfitt offered the citizens of Shanghai a simple deal: a conversation in exchange for a free taxi ride. Rides turned into follow-up interviews, shared meals and even a wedding invitation. In this adventurous book, we get to know an array of quirky yet representative characters like Beer Horse, the pushy dealer who sells Langfitt his used car; Rocky, a stylishly dressed migrant worker who loves John Denver music; and Xiao Chen, who moved his family to Hawaii to escape China's oppressive education system but was unable to get out of the country himself.

Unfolding over the course of several years, The Shanghai Free Taxi is a sensitive and eye-opening book about a rapidly changing country.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Frank Langfitt (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

More from the same

What listeners say about The Shanghai Free Taxi

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

China-bashing, limited perspective

This does not reflect ordinary life in Shanghai. While the idea of a taxi driver having conversations with ordinary folk should provide an interesting range of people's experiences, the writer is continuously focused on his own political objectives, and chooses to focus is stories to serve those objectives. The challenges highlighted by the writer are just a very small part of life in China, and there are many more aspects of life to understand and learn from.

"Country Driving" by Peter Hessler is a much more genuine reporting of experiencing China through driving.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Julie L
  • Julie L
  • 02-11-20

Great voice. Great stories. Amazing idea.

This is an excellent listen. I found myself laughing and talking to no one about the different people who got into Frank’s car. If you prefer nonfiction that is accessible and entertaining, this is the book for you.

Julia

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ryan Aitken
  • Ryan Aitken
  • 11-10-19

One of the best books I’ve ever listened to.

So interesting, balanced and accurate. This book paints and honest and thoughtful story of people’s lives.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emanuele
  • Emanuele
  • 04-30-22

Lots of bias, interesting concept, well executed

The book starts off as almost obnoxiously eurocentric and judgemental; I was surprised and pleased to see how towards the end, some more open minded opinions are given. Overall, the idea behind the book is great, and it's executed well. I wouldn't consider this to be a captivating read, but it was varied, vivid, and interesting enough.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for rikki
  • rikki
  • 10-16-19

Nothing to see, move along

I have read many books about oppressed people so had high hope for this one but the people were not really rebels or hustlers just ordinary people doing ordinary stuff. the lack of free speech and uncensored internet/information leaves me with the same impression as when i was there 30 years ago, they say the communist party is great in public because if they don't something bad happens to them, its just they have a bit more money now.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-20

China revealed in a very real story

I wasn't sure at the beginning whether this book would hold my attention but it just got better & better. I loved the open & caring attitude of the author/driver & increased my understanding of the people of this complex, fascinating country.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-20-19

Interesting insight

I lived in China between the years of 2007 and 2012 and i found this book covered in a very balanced view of China and it's people. highly recommended