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Many Splendoured Thing [Paperback]

Suyin Han
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Triad Books; New edition edition (7 Sep 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586035583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586035580
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 369,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I can scarcely believe it is more than 50 years ago that I first read this book, yet each time that I come back to it (as I often do) I find myself as much enchanted as when I first read it. What a rich tapestry it weaves of life in the Crown Colony of Hong Kong as it emerges from the shock of Japanese Occupation during the Second World War, only to be faced with the threat of Communist China and the gargantuan influx of refugees crossing the border daily into Hong Kong and presenting the colonial authorities with massive social problems. However it would be mistaken to think that all refugees from China were penniless paupers. Quite a few were rich Shanghainese merchants and industrialists and the majority of Han Suyin's Chinese circle of friends come from this group.It is in this setting that Han Suyin's semi-autobiographical love story occurs.The facts behind the novel became accessible through her autobiography "My House Has Two Doors". The identity of her real lover was Ian Morrison, an Australian correspondent of the London Times, killed by a land-mine during the Korean War. "Time" magazine printed a scathing review of the novel shortly after its publication reflecting the prurient attitudes and prejudices of the expatriate population of the Crown Colony during the decade following the end of the Second World War. Han Suyin's approval of the People's Republic of China also made her an easy target for Cold War Warriors and particularly those of Senator McCarthy's disposition.
Sadly the novel has now gone out of print, a great loss to future generations of readers. Her use of language is strikingly beautiful, her descriptions capturing the very essence of the scenes, and the Epilogue is one of the most touchingly dramatic pieces of modern English I have encountered.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book. 11 April 2011
Watched the film version of this book recently and decided to try and find a copy of the book as I had never read it.Sure enough Amazon came up trumps! The film always makes me cry and the book had the same effect! It's a very emotional story and I was surprised how much it differed from the Hollywood version. Enjoyed it very much and it will go on my read again shelf!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book review 9 Mar 2011
I bought this book for someone else - it was published many years ago, and they are certainly enjoying this book, well done amazon for enabling me to find this special book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless 21 April 2008
By impie - Published on
This is a book from a different age when it was possible to develop a theme more slowly but it remains a beautifully constructed many-layered novel. On the surface it is a love story but there is a fascinating historical perspective that is of particular interest as China's importance grows. Beneath those aspects is the insight into class and race prejudice that is as relevant today as it was in Hong Kong in the fifties. The book is strongly autobiographical yet remains a novel. Any reader would identify with or recognise characters from their own world. I can recommend this book to readers with the time to enjoy beautiful descriptive writing and a gentle yet thoroughly absorbing story of great humanity.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear snapshot of 1950 1 Mar 2012
By Elaine Douglass - Published on
This is a deep historical novel, autobiographical. A crystal clear snapshot of Hong Kong and China in 1949-50 (and the Korean War). The author is a person of great character, restraint, emotion and powers of observation. The copy I received was printed in 1950 or 1952, contains a dated introduction by the "Commissioner-General for the United Kingdom in South-East Asia"! This was apparently Han's second book. One can read about the life of this distinguished author on the net and see here on Amazon the many books she subsequently wrote. Apparently she is in her 90s now and lives in Europe. Han Suyin is a great treasure of our world. This book was a fine companion to Philip Snow's The Fall of Hong Kong, which I read a few months ago.
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