PositiveThe Financial TimesThe cast, roughly equally split in gender, although mostly millennials or middle-aged, are rendered with admirable nuance ... These kinds of debates will be familiar to anyone who has lived in China, but Langfitt’s achievement is to bring them to life ... As Washington risks a new cold war with Beijing, Langfitt excels at humanising a country increasingly presented in purely oppositional terms ... The book has some omissions: there is little here for those seeking a detailed account of economic growth, the education system or the repression of ethnic minority groups in regions such as Xinjiang. But, on the whole, Langfitt achieves a breadth rarely found in journalistic accounts of the country ... All correspondents must perform a balancing act between describing diverse stories and drawing larger conclusions about where a country is heading. Here, Langfitt’s book is sometimes less successful ... The political tightening and nationalist rhetoric are real, but many of the demands made by Langfitt’s characters are hard to fit into this framing ... This resistance to a single narrative is ultimately a testament to the strength of the reporting, which helps show that China’s recent history does not clearly point to a pre-determined destination — unlike a taxi ride.