Chinese fantasy novels help American kick cocaine habit

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/21 18:48:47

A young American kicked his cocaine habit after reading translations of Chinese fantasy novels online.


"I went home wanting to get high every day," Kevin Cazad was qouted as saying by on Monday, adding that "Now, I prefer to read the novels. They are addictive like drugs, but not harmful to my health."


Cazad, 29, born and raised in Riverside, California works as an IT technician at Amazon.


He broke up with his girlfriend in 2014 and became devastated. He refused to socialize and indulged in cocaine.


It was a random chatroom experience that changed his life. "Someone asked me, 'Have you read Coiling Dragon?'," Cazad recounted, "and it was recommended to me immediately."


Translated by American fan "RWX" and posted on Wuxiaworld, a website for Chinese fantasy novels, Coiling Dragon quickly captivated him. "I kept reading and totally forgot to eat."


The book is about the adventures of Lin Lei, whose mother went missing when he was born and whose father was killed when he was a teenager. Lin works hard, and dreams of restoring his family's dignity.


Raised in a single-parent household, Cazad feels he can relate to Lin. "Our life experiences are similar," he told the reporter. "My mother gave me a different last name and she hopes one day I would have a big family of my own."


To show his affection for the story, he showed the reporter a black dragon tattoo on his arm, which, according to him, is Lin after being transfigured.


Yet Coiling Dragon was not enough to satisfy him. Cazad found other websites of translated Chinese fantasy novels, and began reading them.


He lost interest in drugs half a year later, busy reading Chinese fantasies and talking about them with other fans, who call each other "Dao brothers."


Coiling Dragon's author, Zhu Hongzhi, said he's quite surprised at Cazad's experience. "I was like, are you kidding me? But I have heard fans telling me that their lives have changed a lot thanks to this novel."


Yet experts are not in the least surprised at the global influence of Chinese online novels. Wu Wenhui, CEO of China Reading who has been monitoring online literature websites in English, pointed out the advantage of Chinese online fantasy literature.


"Chinese fantasy novels cater to their needs of people's imagination," Wu said, "and they provide a setting totally different from that of Marvel, with an alluring oriental hue."


Cazad's "cure" for his drug addiction has gone viral. "I feel proud," Weibo user "xiaoxiao" said, "that our stories can have such an impact on the Western community."


Others joke about the addictiveness of fantasies. "I must say," Weibo user "ganyubo" wrote, "It is far more difficult to quit reading Chinese fantasies than quitting drugs!"

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