When special investigator Ding Gou'er hears persistent rumors that there is cannibalism in the province called the Republic of Wine, he goes to learn the truth. Beginning at the Mount Luo Coal Mine, he meets Diamond Jin, legendary for his capacity to hold his liquor and fondness for young human flesh. A banquet is served during which the special investigator, by meal's end in an alcohol-induced stupor, loses all sense of reality. Interspersed are stories sent to Mo Yan himself by Li Yidou (aka Doctor of Liquor Studies), each one more mad than the next. Wild and politically explosive, The Republic of Wine proves that no regime can stifle creative imagination.