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Tales of the Taoist Immortals [Kindle Edition]

Eva Wong
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £15.50
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Book Description

As
a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Eva Wong heard and memorized many tales told to
her by Hong Kong's finest professional storytellers, by actors on the radio,
and by her grandmother. These popular tales of the Taoist immortals were also
often dramatized in Chinese operas.


The
stories are of famous characters in Chinese history and myth: a hero's battle
with the lords of evil, the founder of the Ming dynasty's treacherous betrayal
of his friends, a young girl who saves her town by imitating rooster calls.
Entertaining and often provocative, these tales usually include a moral. The
immortals are role models in Chinese culture, as well as examples of
enlightenment. Some of the immortals were healers, some were social activists,
some were aristocrats, and some were entrepreneurs. The tales chosen by Eva
Wong here are of the best-known immortals among the Chinese. Their names are
household words and their stories are told and retold by one generation to the
next.



Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1834 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications (1 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CLTWPGK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #857,727 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice and Simple 1 Aug. 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found this book enjoyable to read because the stories are short and punchy. I was slightly disappointed because I wanted to know more about the characters historically, and having enjoyed other Eva Wong publications would have liked to have read the author's comments after each tale.
This book does exactly what it says on the tin. There are only seven pages of introduction and then it's straight in. I found the translation easy to read and the book left me feeling happy.
I would recommed this book for fun or younger readers - It reads like Grimm Tales. For a more meaningful appreciation of the Taoist immortals I would turn to another book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Instructive 18 Dec. 2011
By Laura De Giorgio TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The stories in this book are from Eva Wong's childhood - stories told about Chinese heroes and Taoist Immortals.

Stories are divided into five sections; The Eight Taoist Immortals, Sages, Magicians, Diviners and Alchemists.

In Taoist tradition, the stories of immortals are meant to teach as well as to entertain. Even the immortals themselves learned lessons in these tales.

Taoist immortals are as diverse as any group of people. Some were healers, some were teachers, some were social activists and politicians. Some cultivated the Tao by living in seclusion, others lived in society but shunned the values of the establishment.

Despite their diveristy, the immortals had several things in common: they were interested in the Tao at an early age, they shunned fame and fortune, and they lived simple and unencumbered lives.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tales of the immrotals 8 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not bad, a little short and lacking in deeper details, but worthy of purchase to keep info as a hard copy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Role models of spiritual attainment 17 Nov. 2004
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The secrets of the Tao are transmitted only to the right person, even if you only meet him casually on the street."

I loved the stories in this little book. I found them to be both inspiring and comforting- this would make a great collection of bedtime tales for either children or adults.

There is just something consistently inspiring about the Immortals. They all share the same core characteristics: interest in the Tao at an early age, the shunning of fame and fortune, generosity, and the living of simple and unencumbered lives. Even when approached by the Emperor with high position and riches the typical Taoist immortal responds with "thanks, but no thanks." And if they do accept the task of advising a great lord for the good of the empire, they get out before the decline and the purges start. Oh yes, and they almost always have an excellent sense of humor.

The stories are divided into the Eight Immortals (the archetypical patterns of what it means to be an immortal); the Sages (the greatest of the scholars and patriarchs to achieve immortality- including Lao-Tzu, Chang-Tzu, Wen-Tzu, and the Yellow Emperor); Magicians; Diviners; and Alchemists.

If you think that you know something of Chinese culture through chop-socki films and Chinatown, you owe it to yourself to immerse yourself in this book. You'll find yourself much closer to the heart than to the fringes. And there is more than a little Taoist wisdom to be absorbed here.

"Whether you are a noble or a commoner, rich or poor, famous or unknown- at best you'll end up as a ghost. My destiny lies beyond this."

Lin Ling-su
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting stories, but no context 8 Feb. 2005
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In her introduction, Wong states her objections to other books that come across as dry, historical records. She wants the voices of the masters, not lists of dates and places. She has written her book accordingly. These are readable, non-academic stories of Taoist sages and masters. Dozens of different masters are presented, each in a short and readable anecdote. At the end of the story about some master, a few lines state the era and area in which [s]he lived, if known.

This book's goal is its weakness, however. It present each famous name in isolation, with no organization by place, time, or school of thought. It's almost impossible to get any sense of continuity, or sense of which sages lived at the same time. Some are simply identified as having lived in some dynasty - a span of a thousand years. It would have been nice if the information were just a little more specific.

Also, the relationships between different immortals and different Taoist traditions are rarely spelled out. Chuang Tzu, a major author, gets the same three or four pages as any other. The more practical sages are lumped in with the ones who founded the alchemical tradition, blurring distinctions that I find worthwhile.

It's an interesting and lively set of stories, but unsastisfying for any reader who wants more historical information.

//wiredweird
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Entertaining and Instructive 29 Oct. 2004
By Laura De Giorgio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The stories in this book are from Eva Wong's childhood - stories told about Chinese heroes and Taoist Immortals.

Stories are divided into five sections; The Eight Taoist Immortals, Sages, Magicians, Diviners and Alchemists.

In Taoist tradition, the stories of immortals are meant to teach as well as to entertain. Even the immortals themselves learned lessons in these tales.

Taoist immortals are as diverse as any group of people. Some were healers, some were teachers, some were social activists and politicians. Some cultivated the Tao by living in seclusion, others lived in society but shunned the values of the establishment.

Despite their diveristy, the immortals had several things in common: they were interested in the Tao at an early age, they shunned fame and fortune, and they lived simple and unencumbered lives.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, personable, educational, and entertaining 17 Feb. 2002
By Steven Savage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Eva Wong has taken tales of Taoist immortals of various kinds, and their mystic fellow-travellers, and compiled them into this wonderful, readable book. Most of these tales come from her childhood, and have that feeling of listening to the very storytellers she listened to.
No attempt is made to reconcile the stories, they are merely presented simply and effectively. So you'll meet Immortals who ascended to the Celestial spiritually and others who perfect the pill of immortality, sages and politicians, ner-do-wells and royalty. This provides a wonderful view of different stories surrounding these colorful and interesting characters, presented without attempts to bend them to a mold.
Eva Wong has translated many documents, but this one, from the heart, is as important, stimulating, and interesting as anything that's passed through her capable hands. Indespensible for any student of Taoism, legend, and Chinese culture.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Origins of the Taoist Immortals 30 July 2001
By Neil MacLean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book gives you the stories of all the famous Taoist immortals, from Lu Tung Pin to any you can think of pretty much. Eva Wong takes the stories from those she heard from storytellers in Hong Kong when she was young, and as such, they are entertaining as well as informative. There's not a whole lot to this book, but if you're looking for information on a certain Taoist immortal, it will probably be in here.
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