Pow! (novel)

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Author Mo Yan
Original title 四十一炮
Translator Howard Goldblatt
Country China
Language Chinese
Genre Novel
Publisher (Eng. trans.) Seagull Books
Publication date
Published in English
15 December 2012
Media type Print (Hardback
Pages 386 pp (Eng. trans. edition)
ISBN 0857420763 (Eng. trans. edition)
Preceded by Frog

Pow! (Chinese: 四十一炮; pinyin: sìshíyī pào) is a 2003 novel by the Chinese author and Nobel laureate Mo Yan. The novel's protagonist is Luo Xiaotong, a village boy with a passion for story-telling. It is set in a temple, where Luo recounts the story of his life to an old monk.[1] He describes the difficult circumstances of his childhood in the "Slaughterhouse Village," a fictional town in which the population is obsessed with the consumption of meat and where corruption is rife.[2]

The novel has been interpreted as an allegorical commentary on the state of contemporary Chinese society, though Mo himself maintains that he is merely a storyteller, uninterested in ideology.[3]


  1. ^ "Mo Yan's New Novel: A Peter Pan tale", The Economist, 22 December 2012.
  2. ^ Hector Tobar, "Mo Yan's 'Pow!' packs a punch, however veiled", Los Angeles Times, 14 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Mo on Mo", The Economist, 3 January 2013.