Badlands: Penguin Special: Penguin Special

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Penguin Random House Australia, Oct 15, 2012 - History
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An evocative account of the infamous nightlife district of pre-communist Beijing, from the internationally acclaimed author of the book Midnight in Peking.

The Badlands, a warren of narrow hutongs in the eastern district of pre-communist Peking, had its heyday in the 1930s. Home to the city's drifters, misfits and the odd bohemian, it was a place of opium dens, divebars, brothels, flophouses and cabarets, and was infamous for its ability to satisfy every human desire from the exotically entertaining to the criminally depraved.

These vignettes of eight non-Chinese residents of the precinct - White Russians, Americans and Europeans - bring the Badlands vividly back to life, providing a short but potent account of a place and a way of life until now largely forgotten, but here rendered unforgettable.

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About the author (2012)

Born in London and educated there and in Glasgow, Paul French has lived and worked in Shanghai for many years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China and has written a number of books, including a history of foreign correspondents in China and a biography of the legendary Shanghai adman, journalist and adventurer Carl Crow.

His book Midnight in Peking was a New York Times Bestseller, a BBC Radio 4
Book of the Week, and will be made into an international miniseries by Kudos Film and Television, the UK creators of Spooks and Life on Mars.

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