By Geling Yan, read by Neil Dudgeon.
This first novel in English by a Chinese journalist is an extraordinary evocation of modern Chinese life, the apparently booming economy, the huge gap between rich and poor, and the omnipresence and corruption of the party.
Abridged and produced by Chris Wallis.Dan Dong, an unemployed factory worker, discovers that by posing as a journalist, he can get access to the many promotional banquets held in Beijing every day, getting a fabulous meal and a months wages into the bargain.
But life as a journalist, even for a 'banquet bug', has its downside, bringing him into contact with the corruption endemic in modern China, and tempting him to do something about it.
Banquet bug Dan Dong sets off to attend another banquet, but this one will change his life.
Dan's career as a fake journalist seems to be picking up steam, but he would much rather just be a banquet bug.
Why can't they leave him alone to enjoy his meals in peace?
Dan's worst fears may be about to come true, but life as a banquet bug couldn't last forever, could it?
Dan has decided it's time his wife, Little Plum, has a go at a banquet.
But while she's grappling with the shark's fin soup, Dan's reputation as the peasants' champion turns up to bite him.
Dan Dong's career as a fake journalist and banquet bug has taken a strange turn.
He is writing articles, and has a reputation as an expert on peasant farmers.
Perhaps he will become a real journalist, unless taking his wife Little Plum to a banquet yesterday was a fatal mistake.
The cull of banquet bugs begins - what chance Dan Dong? And is this any time for a driving lesson?
Everyone seems to see Dan as an honest man, which is odd considering he's a fake.
But when Ocean Chen calls, Dan feels obliged to go.
Dan is at breaking point.
The moral demands everyone is making of his non-existent journalistic skills are more than he can bear.
But a new career beckons, one he seems very suited for; requiring no moral judgement and no skill whatever - film extra.
The Nudity Banquet beckons, and Dan sets off with a light and curious heart - but there are surprises in store.