An Excess Male

Maggie Shen King

fiction dystopian speculative fiction
challenging dark emotional slow-paced

416 pages | first published 2017

Set in a near-future China the One Child Policy has resulted in 40 million men unable to find wives. This book is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritatian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.

What the community thinks

summary of 126 ratings (see reviews)

Moods

dark 100%
emotional 100%
challenging 50%
mysterious 50%
reflective 50%
sad 50%

Pace

slow 50%
medium 50%

Strong character development?

Yes: 100%

Loveable characters?

N/A: 50% | Yes: 50%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 50% | Yes: 50%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 100%

Average rating

3.65