Recently, I happened to be reading Jin Yong's novels, and this book came at just the right time.
I had long heard of the great reputation of Liushenleilei, but I consciously "avoided" reading his articles. Why? First, I used to have a kind of cleanliness obsession and didn't want to read this type of "fast food commentary." Second, if I read his articles before reading the novels, it would greatly destroy the artistic conception of the novels.
This time, I decided to read his books because I have already read many of Jin Yong's martial arts novels and am not afraid of "spoilers." At the same time, I have gained a new understanding of this type of article. Previously, I thought it was "fast food commentary," but now I think it is another perspective. Just like critics and storytellers in the past, they deconstructed the same book, incorporated their own understanding, and for others, it is a supplement. Why not read it?
Liushenleilei himself was a journalist for Xinhua News Agency and has seen too much of the complexities of human relationships. Therefore, his articles reveal various aspects of our human society, making people feel familiar. When writing this type of article, the most sensitive issue is whether there is "excessive analysis." In my opinion, there is some, but not much, and the flaws do not overshadow the merits.
Several articles about Zhao Min are very good, such as "Zhao Min's Ability to Invite for a Meal," which describes the things to consider when inviting someone for a meal in our human society—whether one has the qualifications and how to invite reasonably. Zhao Min sets a good example.
Another example is the article "Zhao Min, the Princess, Wants a Boat," which reveals the true state of the responsible bureaucratic system. Originally, they just wanted an ordinary fishing boat to track Granny Jin Hua, but the lower-level officials, upon receiving orders, kept escalating the situation, wanting to perform well in front of their superiors, resulting in a bungled operation.
Are the officials' actions wrong, or do they have better solutions? It seems that they don't, because if you don't do it this way, you may be seen as ineffective by your superiors. What's even worse is that if someone else does it this way and you don't, you will be considered even more ineffective. Therefore, when it comes to tasks from superiors, it is better to do them excessively well than just barely completing them, because even if you make a mistake, your superiors will see your "intentions."
The book also has many wonderful commentaries, all of which are based on some phenomena in our society or rules in the workplace, and they are quite interesting.
Being in different positions allows you to see different scenery. This is also why I am now willing to read this type of book. If a screenwriter also publishes a book called "XX Reads Jin Yong," I would also read it because I want to know what kind of scenery can be seen from the perspective of a screenwriter on the peak of Jin Yong's martial arts.