With notice that Netflix has made a series of The Three-Body Problem I’m revisiting the novel as an audiobook. Though I read it first only 18 months ago, I only have the barest memory of the story.

Written by Chinese author Liu Cixin, the first two chapters of the book are heavily influenced by the Cultural Revolution and its immediate aftermath. Audiobooks travel at a different speed to reading and this time around I had enough space to realise I didn’t understand what was meant by “Reactionary”. It is a word used a lot and clearly has a weight I didn’t understand. A reactionary is someone who want to return to the previous political state.

I began by reading up on the Cultural Revolution and exploring terms as I went. Admittedly still a cursory understanding of what is a deep and complex subject I followed the main thread of what happened easily enough. In short, politics and the power struggles that are hand-in-hand as the movers and shakers hold onto that power by whatever persuasive and violent means they can get away with.

According to Wikipedia, the motive was the “Preservation of communism by purging capitalist and traditional elements…” by creating a situation where “hundreds of thousands to millions of civilians” died.

The more I read, the more horrified I became. It makes the craziness that we seen in the USA tame by comparison.

I’m interested to see how the Netflix series translates.