China Underground

Front Cover
Counterpoint Press, 2009 - Travel - 306 pages
23 Reviews
At the beginning of the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a place more exciting than China. Westerners hear much about China’s role as the next "global superpower,” but they know less about the young people who make up China’s varied and fascinating subcultures.
Drawn by the streets humming with the energy of constant change, Zachary Mexico, who had spent two years in China, returned there in the summer of 2006 to conduct formal research on how the changing environment has affected the Chinese of his generation. Readers are introduced to a wannabe rock star from the desert of Xinjiang, trying to make it big in Shanghai; a disillusioned journalist; a budding screenwriter; a vagabond ladies’ man; a straight-A student at China’s best university; a Chinese mafia kingpin; a punk band trying their best to stay relevant; a prostitute; the world’s most polluted city; Beijing’s drug-fueled club scene; and many others.
This is an engaging firsthand account of a young American writer’s encounter with the new China and the young people who are pursuing their future there. China Underground tells their stories, and some of Mexico’s own.

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Review: China Underground

User Review  - Astrid Yrigollen - Goodreads

I found this book very interesting till about the middle, then the interviews sort of lagged and it was a push to finish it. I did like the the friendly sort of interview style that Mexico had, the ... Read full review

Review: China Underground

User Review  - Alexandria Washington - Goodreads

Awwww yeah, stories about the different subcultures of this monolithic new hegemon? Count me in! Wait, it's mostly our author talking about himself and his connections? Okay, cool. Whatever. "China ... Read full review


1 z The Peasant Who Likes to Take Pictures 1
2 z The Black Society 23
3 z The Chickens 43
4 z The Best and the Brightest 59
5 z The Slacker 75
6 z The Uighur Jimi Hendrix 95
7 z The Rabbit 115
8 z The Most Polluted City in the World 133
10 z The Screenwriter 169
11 z The Filmmaker 191
12 z The Killers 213
13 z The Real Hustler 231
14 z The Punks 251
15 z The Journalist 273
16 z A Night Out in Beijing 293
Acknowledgments 305

9 z The Bohemians 147

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About the author (2009)

Zachary Mexico started studying Chinese at age fifteen and first traveled to China a year later. He has studied at Columbia and Qinghua Universities. He plays in the rock group The Octagon and the electronic duo Gates of Heaven. He lives in Chinatown in New York City.

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