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Peking Paperback – 9 Jun 1989

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Paperback, 9 Jun 1989
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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (9 Jun. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330301349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330301343
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 11.4 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 905,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A magnificent epic novel on modern China. The book is worth reading solely as a factual reminder of the chaos and calamity of China as a quarter of the world's people struggled and suffered towards modernity in the stormy and cruel decades between 1920 and 1980 - The Toronto Star Canada. Anthony Grey's gripping fiction, based on meticulously attributed sources, is part epic, part blockbuster - A sometimes melodramatic but nevertheless moving chronicle - Profoundly sincere theme - The Times. Peking is a blockbuster - an excellent read, panoramic in scope and often powerful in effect - Fascinating stuff: but what lingers on is the teller of the tale, the voice behind it - Financial Times. The English writer has hit upon a winning formula for historical novels that rest on solid research and are painstakingly balanced - Japan Times. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Anthony Grey became a foreign correspondent with Reuters after beginning a career in journalism in Norfolk where he was born and educated. He later covered the Cold War from East Berlin before being assigned to China. The only British journalist then resident in the Chinese capital, he became the focus of worldwide headlines in mid-1967 at the height of the Cultural Revolution, when he was siezed as a hostage by Mao Tse-tungs's Red Guards. Held in solitary confinement for two years, he became the most publicised prisoner of the Cold War era, and the first western political hostage of modern times. Following the ordeal, he went on to establish himself as a radio and televsion broadcaster and a best-selling international historical novelist (Saigon, Peking, Tokyo Bay) focussing particularly on the Far East. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack Haslam on 2 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know China quite well having worked there and visited most parts of the country over a period of more than 20 years. In particular I have visited many of the places mentioned in the book; both in Peking (Beijing) and along the route of the "Long March". I procured the book for its nostalgia value to me. Grey is a captivating author who researches thoroughly and in great detail, and his style of writing manages to bring people and places "alive". Apart from the geographical associations, Grey manages to provide a fascinating description of the nature, beliefs and behaviours of Chinese people. I enjoyed the book very much and recommend Grey to other readers. I ahve also read and enjoyed "Saigon" and Tokyo Bay" by the same author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book because I was going on holiday to China and wanted to understand more about its recent history. It was much easier to read than I expected and I found it exciting and engaging. I am not in a position to judge the historical accuracy of the background, but it felt authentic and the details of 'the long march' undertaken prior to the creation of the People's Republic was very interesting. It also helped me to understand why so many of China's historic buildings had been . It is of course a novel and at times the story seemed a bit unrealistic and far fetched - but the plot devices provided really good mechanisms for linking events and groups of people into a lively and compelling narrative. The main protaganist is a flawed character and cannot sustain a relationship with his daughter - but we understand what he has been through and why he behaves as he does and it is hard not to feel sorry for him at the end of the book as his past is revealed in tragic circumstances. I would recommend this as a good introduction to anyone who wanted to understand more about China's history during the 2nd half of the twentieth century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline Harwood on 4 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read this book more than once and done my own research on the facts. Anthony Gray tells the story as if he was there with very few elaborations on the facts but it is not a dry documentary. Reading this book caused me to want to know more and to travel along the route of the Long March myself. It is a truly modern epic. I would love to see it made into a film if that were possible.
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