The Years of Rice and Salt Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Years of Rice and Salt

This book goes on the premise that the Bubonic Plague has wiped out 99% of the population of Europe after the first wave, leaving the eastern cultures to fill the gap left behind. Islam fills Europe, China discovers the new world by crossing the Pacific Ocean, and colonizes west to east. Taking place over several centuries, we follow the development of the world through the experiences of a family of constantly reincarnated people. A work of philosophy as much as work of speculative fiction.
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Chapter Analysis of The Years of Rice and Salt

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 50% Tone of book    -   sensitive (sigh....) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   alternate history Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Religious overtones?    -   Yes Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Intense exploration of society's culture?    -   Yes


Terrain    -   Jungle    -   Desert    -   Water    -   Mountains    -   Forests Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Kim Stanley Robinson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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