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A Single Pebble

By Bob Hodges, Fleming Island, Fla. / March 30, 2009

A Single Pebble by John Hersey portrays ancient life along the Yangtze River.  A young American engineer travels against the river's swift currents aboard a junk pulled by trackers who trudge together on paths along the bank.  Today's freighter cargo ships, 3-Gorges Dam electrical output, and relocation of rural and river-town populations are a striking contrast.  Much is now submerged – but hopefully the spirit of Hersey's characters will remain.

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