One of China's bestselling novels, an unusual literary thriller that takes us deep into the world of code breaking
In his gripping debut novel, Mai Jia reveals the mysterious world of Unit 701, a top-secret Chinese intelligence agency whose sole purpose is counterespionage and code breaking.
Rong Jinzhen, an autistic math genius with a past shrouded in myth, is forced to abandon his academic pursuits when he is recruited into Unit 701. As China's greatest cryptographer, Rong discovers that the mastermind behind the maddeningly difficult Purple Code is his former teacher and best friend, who is now working for China's enemy–but this is only the first of many betrayals.
Brilliantly combining the mystery and tension of a spy thriller with the psychological nuance of an intimate character study and the magical qualities of a Chinese fable, Decoded discovers in cryptography the key to the human heart. Both a riveting mystery and a metaphysical examination of the mind of an inspired genius, it is the first novel to be published in English by one of China's greatest and most popular contemporary writers.
"Virtuoso and genius: finally a chance to read the best selling novel by China's most popular author in Hebrew."
Ran Ben Nun, Yedioth Ahronot
"Decoded is a thrilling and highly readable novel that rarely loses its pace, thanks to Mai Jia's exceptional writing talent… helped by Ayelet Saciuk's meticulous and intelligent translation."
Yonatan Grossman, Walla!
"Decoded]'s consuming interest--and it truly is a page turner--comes from its…gripping plot, otherworldly aura and flamboyant detail."
Perry Link, The New York Times Book Review
"Five million copies of the praised spy novel 'Decoded' were already sold. Meet Mai Jia, the most successful Chinese author in the world. In an interview to Yedioth Ahronoth he gives his praises to the Israeli intelligence."
Harel Sholovitz. (24 hours)
"Decoded, the debut work of Mai Jia, breaks the mould . . . It stands out among Chinese novels for its pace, liveliness and the sheer novelty of the tale it tells. It grips from the first page. [Mai Jia] offers a beguiling and magical mystery tour of China. It is an absolute joy to read."
"[A]n entirely original work--a mix of spy thriller, historical saga and mathematical puzzle that somehow coheres into a powerful whole."
"A mixture of Kafka and Agatha Christie . . . An utterly fascinating read."
Edward Wilson, The Independent
"The book's subtle ambiguity is extended to its own conclusion, the decoding of which the reader is compelled to take part in. "
The Wall Street Journal
"Original... Captivating... Excellent translation"
Channel 10 (40' 30")
"Decoded is like as intriguing and captivating as a rare and strange flower."
Yonatan De Shalit, Makor Rishon