* The Incarnations by Susan Barker


The Incarnations interleaves the story of a modern-day Beijing cab driver with tales of his supposed past lives sent by a mysterious stranger. The tales are heavy on Chinese folklore and seemed hackneyed to me — and relentlessly and pointlessly violent. I enjoyed the modern story better, as Wang battles the bureaucracy, fights with his wife,  and struggles with his stepmother’s manipulations, but it’s only a small part of the book.

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