A swaggering true tale of sex, drugs and money in the new young professional class in China
ZZ’s parents got him out of Communist China—but now that he’s got his American education (including a law degree), under his belt, and now that China loves a go-getting capitalist like ZZ, what better time to return? America was never the “Wild East” like this one: Beijing is the perfect place to start a business, live large, and get a piece of every lissome girl, hash cigarette and bottle of Cristal China has to offer. ZZ taps into China’s unreliable but plentiful workforce of “spit-‘n-squatters” to start his brainchild, Goodiez, which delivers food all over Beijing. ZZ is the perfect guide to the real new Beijing: he’s got insider’s cred but an outsider’s eye for the strange mores and daily annoyances of Chinese life. In China High
, he offers a rare glimpse into the world of guan xi
(a network of favors), the insidious importance of “face”, and into the clubs and cafes— with all their above-ground and below-ground pleasures— frequented by the new young professional class in China.
But ZZ’s glam urban life comes to a crashing halt when he’s picked up by the police for smoking an opium-laced pot “Zigarette.” None of ZZ’s connections do more than get him a few extra dumplings at chow-time in Sunshine Prison, where unable to bribe his way out, he is forced to take a serious look at the life he has been leading.