An Excess Male

An Excess Male

A Novel

Paperback - 2017
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China's one-child policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by forty million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than 25 percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is the story of one such leftover man's quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated communist ideals, and social engineering.--from back cover.
Published: New York, NY :, Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062662552
Branch Call Number: F KIN
Characteristics: 406 pages ;,21 cm


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CMLibrary_akeller Jan 05, 2018

It took me a while to get into this book. It's from the perspective of four different people: Wei-guo, Hann, XX, and May-ling. It takes place in China in the future where their one child rule has made it so there are 40 million men who can't find wives. Wei-guo is one such man. Hann, XX, and May-ling are married and are considering taking Wei-guo as third husband (Hann and XX being the first and second as well as brothers). Hann (who is 60) is considered willfully sterile (aka gay), but he's discreet and tries to keep it hidden because it is a crime.

This took off half way and kept me interested, but the pacing felt off. It was slow for the longest time and then everything seemed to happen at once. I thought the second half was a lot better than the first. Out of all of the characters, I came to like XX the best because of his love for dogs and his intelligence (he is gifted at computer science and hacking). He has such a hard time fitting in and doing things properly, but I rooted for him in all of his awkwardness. The ending wasn't what I wanted, but not sure it could have turned out any differently.

NBaccari Nov 09, 2017

If you are a fan of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, you need to give this book a shot. It's speculative fiction about the impact of China's One Child policy on the near future. In it, men vastly outnumber women, and women take on multiple husbands to create what are called Advanced Families. King's novel is a really fascinating take on how this affects society, families, relationships between men, and between men and women.

KateHillier Oct 13, 2017

China's One Child policy and a preference to males has resulted in a shortage of females. Getting married is extremely desirable and men must compete to be accepted into a marriage. A woman can also have up to 3 husbands. Wei-Guo is 44 and desperately wants to be the third husband to May-Ling. Her first husband, Hann, however is less open to the idea and Wei-Guo's fathers are not thrilled either. There are rules upon rules and expectations and laws and it is utterly fascinating to explore. There's also a lot a out what people think marriage is and what it ends up being. Fabulous read overall.


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