• "A savage satire of Chinese authoritarianism and censorship"

    Financial Times, **Books of the Year**
  • "A biting and humane novel of stunning concision... Bleakly funny, incisive, stinging and – in its most destabilising passages – gut-wrenching... Ma has a marksman’s eye for the contradictions of his country and his generation, and the responsibilities and buried dreams they carry"

  • "His depiction of a totalitarian state is lancing... Believable and brutal, this is Ma’s boldest and, despite its brevity, most elegiac work"

    Financial Times
  • "This must be one of the liveliest novels about brainwashing ever written… For all the horror, Ma sees freedom in confronting the true nightmare of the past, perceiving that it is the only way to liberate our futures"

  • "Creepily Orwellian... makes Mao’s Cultural Revolution look like minor tinkering"

    Mail on Sunday
  • "Mr Ma's critique of the totalitarian mindset recalls that of Soviet-era dissidents...tragic and elegiac...garnished with both horror and tenderness"

    The Economist
  • "Wrenching...makes President Xi’s vision of national prosperity look like a recipe for insanity"

  • "Another blistering attack on the current ideology and political practice of the People's Republic... wonderfully well-paced, absorbing, darkly satirical and even funny at times"

  • "China Dream: an Orwellian tale with Chinese characteristics"

    Hong Kong Free Press
  • "A poetic take on the erasure of history, told through the psychological disintegration of a provincial leader"