No matter what other merits or lack thereof this book had, I'd give it 5 stars just for how much it got me thinking. Although I've read several books about the Cultural Revolution and even studied it in a class at a prestigious university, nothing brought it home like this book. It should be required reading.
I find it odd that other people found the story of Cheng's experience boring. Maybe it's a testament to my usual textbook-like fare, but I whipped right through this book--I found it very fast-paced and engaging.
The only real criticism of this book I have is that I thought the author did think a little too highly of Shell. I'm sure that the author didn't break any laws working for them, and perhaps the same is true of Shell's Shanghai office while she was there... at the same time, she makes the statement that they're not a company that's involved in politics; I disagree.