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Decoded
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Rating
"Mai plays adroitly with literary genre and crafts a story of Borgesian subtlety and complexity." "The New Yorker"""Rong Jinzhen, an autistic math genius with a past shrouded in myth, is forced to abandon his academic pursuits when he is recruited into Unit 701: a top-secret Chinese intelligence agency whose sole purpose is counterespionage and code-breaking. As China's greatest cryptographer, Rong discovers that the mastermind behind the maddeningly difficult Purple Code is his former teacher and best friend, who is now working for China's enemy but this is only the first of many betrayals. The first novel to be published in English by one of China's greatest contemporary writers, "Decoded" is a riveting tale of obsession and a profound exploration of the mind of an inspired genius, one that discovers in cryptography the key to the human heart."
Product Details

About the Author

Mai Jia, who spent many years in the Chinese intelligence services, is one of China's bestselling and most famous writers. He is the author of four novels, three of which have been turned into television series and films. Mai has won almost every major book prize in China, including its highest literary honor, the Mao Dun Literature Prize.

Reviews

"A gripping plot [and] otherworldly aura . . . Spectacular." --The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) "Mai plays adroitly with literary genre and crafts a story of Borgesian subtlety and complexity." --The New Yorker "Entirely original . . . A mix of spy thriller, historical saga, and mathematical puzzle that somehow coheres into a powerful whole." --Financial Times (London) "There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness about settling on one focused point of view . . . [Decoded's] deviations take the novel out of the realms of the hard-edged thriller into somewhere more surreal and unexpected." --Tash Aw, The Telegraph (London) "Decoded stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness, and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page . . . It is an absolute joy to read." --The Economist "Decoded is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is Decoded's enduring pleasure." --The Times Literary Supplement "Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map." --Wong Kar-wai, director of The Grandmaster "When I say that [Decoded] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting." --Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning author of Red Poppies "The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel." --Beijing Evening News A gripping plot [and] otherworldly aura . . . Spectacular. The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) Mai plays adroitly with literary genre and crafts a story of Borgesian subtlety and complexity. The New Yorker Entirely original . . . A mix of spy thriller, historical saga, and mathematical puzzle that somehow coheres into a powerful whole. Financial Times (London) There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness about settling on one focused point of view . . . [Decoded's] deviations take the novel out of the realms of the hard-edged thriller into somewhere more surreal and unexpected. Tash Aw, The Telegraph (London) Decoded stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness, and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page . . . It is an absolute joy to read. The Economist Decoded is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is Decoded's enduring pleasure. The Times Literary Supplement Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map. Wong Kar-wai, director of The Grandmaster When I say that [Decoded] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting. Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize winning author of Red Poppies The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel. Beijing Evening News " A gripping plot [and] otherworldly aura . . . Spectacular. "The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)" Mai plays adroitly with literary genre and crafts a story of Borgesian subtlety and complexity. "The New Yorker" Entirely original . . . A mix of spy thriller, historical saga, and mathematical puzzle that somehow coheres into a powerful whole. "Financial Times (London)" There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness about settling on one focused point of view . . . ["Decoded"'s] deviations take the novel out of the realms of the hard-edged thriller into somewhere more surreal and unexpected. "Tash Aw, The Telegraph (London)" "Decoded" stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness, and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page . . . It is an absolute joy to read. "The Economist" "Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure. "The Times Literary Supplement" Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map. "Wong Kar-wai, director of The Grandmaster" When I say that ["Decoded"] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting. "Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize winning author of Red Poppies" The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel. "Beijing Evening News"" "A gripping plot [and] otherworldly aura . . . Spectacular."--"The New York Times Book Review" (Editors' Choice) "Mai plays adroitly with literary genre and crafts a story of Borgesian subtlety and complexity."--"The New Yorker ""Entirely original . . . A mix of spy thriller, historical saga, and mathematical puzzle that somehow coheres into a powerful whole."--"Financial Times" (London) "There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness about settling on one focused point of view . . . ["Decoded"'s] deviations take the novel out of the realms of the hard-edged thriller into somewhere more surreal and unexpected."--Tash Aw, "The Telegraph" (London) ""Decoded" stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness, and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page . . . It is an absolute joy to read."--"The Economist " ""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure."--"The Times Literary Supplement ""Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map."--Wong Kar-wai, director of "The Grandmaster ""When I say that ["Decoded"] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting."--Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning author of "Red Poppies ""The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel."--"Beijing Evening News " "A gripping plot [and] otherworldly aura and flamboyant detail . . . Spectacular."--"The New York Times Book Review" (Editors' Choice) "Mai plays adroitly with literary genre and crafts a story of Borgesian subtlety and complexity."--"The New Yorker ""Entirely original . . . A mix of spy thriller, historical saga, and mathematical puzzle that somehow coheres into a powerful whole."--"Financial Times" (London) "There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness about settling on one focused point of view . . . ["Decoded"'s] deviations take the novel out of the realms of the hard-edged thriller into somewhere more surreal and unexpected."--Tash Aw, "The Telegraph" (London) ""Decoded" stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness, and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page . . . It is an absolute joy to read."--"The Economist " ""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure."--"The Times Literary Supplement ""Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map."--Wong Kar-wai, director of "The Grandmaster ""When I say that ["Decoded"] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting."--Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning author of "Red Poppies ""The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel."--"Beijing Evening News " Praise for" Decoded""[A]n entirely original work--a mix of spy thriller, historical saga and mathematical puzzle that somehow coheres into a powerful whole." --"The Financial Times"""Decoded", the debut work of Mai Jia, breaks the mould . . . It stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page. [Mai Jia] offers a beguiling and magical mystery tour of China. It is an absolute joy to read." --"The Economist""There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness abotu settling on one focused point of view, almost as if the narrative style is attempting to replicate the complexities of code breaking that lie at the heart of the novel . . . ["Decoded"] possesses an aesthetic of its own, a world in which the characters feel constantly teetering on the edge of obsession." --Tash Aw, "The Telegraph"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . In the end, it's the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded"'s enduring pleasure." --"The London Review of Books""Subtle and psychologically focused . . . the central story is a gripping one . . . it leaves you eager to read more of his work." --Alexander Larman, "The Observer""A mixture of Kafka and Agatha Christie . . . An utterly fascinating read." --Edward Wilson, "The Independent ""The book's subtle ambiguity is extended to its own conclusion, the decoding of which the reader is compelled to take part in." --"The Wall Street Journal""An engaging and highly unusual read." --"The Sunday Independent"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure." --"The Praise for" Decoded"""Decoded," the debut work of Mai Jia, breaks the mould . . . It stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page. [Mai Jia] offers a beguiling and magical mystery tour of China. It is an absolute joy to read." --"The Economist""There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness abotu settling on one focused point of view, almost as if the narrative style is attempting to replicate the complexities of code breaking that lie at the heart of the novel . . . ["Decoded"] possesses an aesthetic of its own, a world in which the characters feel constantly teetering on the edge of obsession." --Tash Aw, "The Telegraph"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . In the end, it's the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded"'s enduring pleasure." --"The London Review of Books""Subtle and psychologically focused . . . the central story is a gripping one . . . it leaves you eager to read more of his work." --Alexander Larman, "The Observer""A mixture of Kafka and Agatha Christie . . . An utterly fascinating read." --Edward Wilson, "The Independent ""The book's subtle ambiguity is extended to its own conclusion, the decoding of which the reader is compelled to take part in." --"The Wall Street Journal""An engaging and highly unusual read." --"The Sunday Independent"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure." --"The Times Literary Supplement""Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for m Praise for" Decoded""There is a determination to unsettle the reader; an uneasiness abotu settling on one focused point of view, almost as if the narrative style is attempting to replicate the complexities of code breaking that lie at the heart of the novel . . . ["Decoded"] possesses an aesthetic of its own, a world in which the characters feel constantly teetering on the edge of obsession." --Tash Aw, "The Telegraph"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . In the end, it's the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded"'s enduring pleasure." --"The London Review of Books""Subtle and psychologically focused . . . the central story is a gripping one . . . it leaves you eager to read more of his work." --Alexander Larman, "The Observer""A mixture of Kafka and Agatha Christie . . . An utterly fascinating read." --Edward Wilson, "The Independent ""The book's subtle ambiguity is extended to its own conclusion, the decoding of which the reader is compelled to take part in." --"The Wall Street Journal""An engaging and highly unusual read." --"The Sunday Independent"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure." --"The Times Literary Supplement""Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map." --Wong Kar-wai, director of "The Grandmaster" Praise for" Decoded"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . In the end, it's the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded"'s enduring pleasure." --"The London Review of Books""Subtle and psychologically focused . . . the central story is a gripping one . . . it leaves you eager to read more of his work." --Alexander Larman, "The Observer""A mixture of Kafka and Agatha Christie . . . An utterly fascinating read." --Edward Wilson, "The Independent ""The book's subtle ambiguity is extended to its own conclusion, the decoding of which the reader is compelled to take part in." --"The Wall Street Journal""An engaging and highly unusual read." --"The Sunday Independent"""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure." --"The Times Literary Supplement""Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map." --Wong Kar-wai, director of "The Grandmaster" "When I say that ["Decoded"] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting." --Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning author of "Red Poppies " "The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkn ""Decoded" is a subtle and complex exploration of cryptography, politics, dreams and their significance . . . There is much of interest in this book, from the strange, superstitious beginning to the gradual decline of the Rong family as the twentieth century progresses . . . But, in the end, it is the complexity of the characters that is "Decoded's "enduring pleasure." --"The Times Literary Supplement""Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map." --Wong Kar-wai, director of "The Grandmaster""When I say that ["Decoded"] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting." --Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning author of "Red Poppies " "The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel."--"Beijing Evening News " "Between the thrills of pulp fiction and those novels which come to be considered classics, there are boundaries and lines which, for many writers, are difficult to cross, and may take a lifetime (if ever) to realize. Mai Jia's achievement is that he has overcome that barrier with steady and assured strides. The footprints he has left behind form an ingenious, secretive literary treasure map." --Wong Kar-wai, director of "The Grandmaster""When I say that ["Decoded"] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting." --Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning author of "Red Poppies " "The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel."--"Beijing Evening News " "When I say that ["Decoded"] is excellent, I am referring both to its remarkable literary qualities and to the fact that it demands to be read in a single sitting." --Alai, Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning author of "Red Poppies " "The illogical nature of destiny, the brilliance and fragility of genius, and circumstances that bind people together irrevocably as they drift through the darkness of the night all form part of Mai Jia's strange and mysterious novel."--"Beijing Evening News "

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