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A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Length: 372 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Description


'an utterly captivating, and disorientating, journey through language and
through love' -- Independent

'funny and charming...more than a love story' -- Guardian

"An original, clever and endearing read" -- Sunday Express rev by Viv Groskop

'Charming, bittersweet novel...compelling...'
-- Daily Express

'Compelling' -- Tatler

'This is an entertaining novel that will have fans' -- Financial Times

`...a delicate love story' -- Good Housekeeping

`...a touching, charming story of romance in a global age' -- In Style Magazine

`A real one-off'
-- Publishing News

`A sweet, sad and charming book' -- The Gloss Magazine

Financial Times

'This is an entertaining novel that will have fans'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2143 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0701181141
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003IQ169W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,824 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was a little put off by the premise of "A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers", as the fact its claim to be written in "deliberately bad English" sounded suspiciously gimmicky to me. I over-rode my apprehensions and bought the book, however - and I'm very glad that I did. This book is well-deserving of its shortlisting for the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize, and while I still think the concept is something of a marketing ploy, it is all the same an integral part of the book, and one which became less noticeable the more of it I read.

Xialou's characterisation of a Chinese girl setting foot out of her country for the first time is pitch-perfect. Zhuang is comic, naive, and eager to learn, and in spite of her lack of academic qualifications, she is a true philosopher. It is so very rare to feel as though one is next to a character, experiencing everything she experiences and watching the London streets through her eyes. I honestly can't remember the last time I've felt so close to a fictional character, as though she were sharing all her secrets with me.

There are moments when I thought that Xiaolu could have afforded to have honed her subtlety a little - for example, a reference to "Walt Whiteman" late in the novel made me wince. There were also times when I felt that Zhuang was becoming a little repetitive. That being said, it wasn't all miss. There are some really beautiful moments of honesty, where Zhuang speaks plainly, breaking back into Mandarin and saying: "I am sick of speaking English like this. I am sick of writing English like this. I feel as if I am being tied up, as if I am living in a prison...the English culture surrounding me becomes enormous. It swallows me, and it rapes me. I am dominated by it.
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Format: Paperback
I think this light, simple story promises more than it delivers. The story is of Z, a you Chinese girl who is sent to the UK to study English by her parents. It is about Z's struggle with the different cultures, the language barrier and her relationship with the English man she falls in love with.

Guo seems to have tried to produce something profound, a fresh view of human relationships stripped bare by the crossing of cultural boundaries. In reality, I found that it read like a damp love story where the couple are so incompatible and unsuited for each other that you wonder why they don't just call it a day and leave each other alone. I got tired of reading about their little squabbles and disagreements, their tense silences and irritations. It was constantly frustrating to read about an adult affair from the child-like perception of Z - She comes across as needy and desperate, without any sign of her developing or maturing until the very last pages. By the end of the book I found myself hoping that her (rather hopeless) lover would do us all a favour and work up the courage to shed the dead weight of his Chinese girlfriend who moved in with him because of a misunderstanding.

Her lover is described as restless and dissatisfied with life, with hints at a traumatic past having turned him into someone jaded and old beyond his years. Z reads some of his old diaries and tries so piece together how he became who he is, but that particular story line is dropped without conclusions, leaving me thinking that he was basically just a bit of a useless moper with a limp handshake - The very antithesis of a masculine half of an exotic, boundary-breaking love affair.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very moved by this book - a 'Love Story' for the C21. In principal it is a simple story of a Chinese girl coming to London to learn English.... but as the girl struggles to learn and make herself understood, she increasingly questions the attitudes and values of the English, and in particular her lover, a would-be artist, framer and drop-out. (Not so much culture clash as cultures zooming in opposite directions!) Along the way she begins to examine her own attitudes and values, and her inner conflict over her status as a mere 'lover.' As she masters the language, another frustration grows - the relationship is doomed: the understanding arrives, but the desire does not depart.

This is as much a coming-of-age/loss-of-innocence story as it is about East meeting West; told with startling honesty, wit and insight. It hits out at the nature of love, and comes closer than many of the more 'serious' books.

Don't be put off by the "deliberately bad" English - it adds to the sense of disorientation, but the vocabulary is chosen with precision and intelligence so the meaning becomes clear with very little effort.
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Format: Hardcover
Wonderful book!

You share a journey with the book's narrator, someone who's discovering London, Britain, Europe, Men and herself... Some parts of the journey are extremely funny, some parts are sad, others joyfull! All written from a fresh perspective and very, very readable...

My Chinese fiancee has also read this, loves it and confirms it's very true to the Chinese experience of arriving in London!

And finally, it's not Chick-Lit!
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