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The Girl Who Played Go Paperback – 1 May 2003

8 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 May 2003
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; New edition edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701176121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701176129
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,167,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Measured . . . Precise . . . The historical backdrop, itself a forceful character, provides a compelling context for this economical story of impossible love."-Sara Ivry, "San Francisco Chronicle" "Spare prose adorned with images that linger in the mind . . . In this elegant translation . . . the dreamlike, mesmerizing alternation of voices stands in uneasy contrast to the operatic violence of the plot."-Janice P. Nimura, "New York Times Book Review""What makes Sa's novel so satisfying is the deceptive simplicity of her narrative strategy . . . We watch in fascination as the terrible secrets of their lives begin to coincide."-Charles Matthews, "San Jose Mercury News""Shan manipulates the scope of silence with a wisdom beyond her years."-Elsa Gaztambide, "Booklist""Dreamy . . . powerful . . . this unlikely love story . . . is beautiful, shocking, and sad."-Jennifer Reese, "Entertainment Weekly""Lovely and delicate as a carved jade flower . . . This is beautiful writing."-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal""Harrowing . . . While exploring epic themes like the loss of innocence and the meaning of honor, it lingers on the tiny, exquisite details of life in a remote, cosmopolitan Manchurian town in the thirties."-Elizabeth Schmidt, "Vogue" "From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'A carefully wrought novel-a story that is worth telling, and intriguingly told' Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jess on 12 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
Breathtakingly written, Sa's elegant language carries you through the whirland of love and sorrow life brings. Somehow she manages to capture the deep intensities of love, and leave you with a dark haunting sorrow as the book climbs gracefully to its dramatic climax.
Not only is the language beautiful, but the story it relates is tense, gripping and filled with a rich passion rarely found in contemporary fiction. Set in a shaky country, amid troubled times where people are forced to struggle against all odds to mould their futures in the finicky political environment around them, their is a sort of shy hope that comes with tragedy of love and betrayal depicted.
I've never read any of Shan Sa's other works, but after the taste this book has given me, I'm intrigued by her style, and intoxicated by her portrayal of China, and I've no doubt I will go on to savour every last word she writes. Definiately one of, if not the best book I've ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 25 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an unusual read - but interesting.

It's a story set in China during the 30s - a sort of love story centred around the ancient game of 'Go'. This is the second time I have read this book. I'd recalled enjoying it and thinking it was good the first time (about five or six years ago) but didn't remember much about it - or 'why' I thought it was so good. (if that makes any sense!) Anyhow; about a third in this time, I was puzzled as to what it was that I'd actually liked about it first time around, then it began to 'pick up' and I began to remember what it was and really got into it!

This has both an unpredictable and 'tragic' ending in store for the Reader, and gives much thought-provoking. However; I did find some of the phrases and language just a bit too 'modernistic' in places for the perios, but then this could simply be due to translation.

I did like the fact that it has a good sized print type though that's easy on the eye, and that it also has VERY short chapters - some only as long as two pages! I LOVE short chapters; they give such convenient breaks, and one is not 'over-faced' by pages and pages before being able to place a book mark for later.

Recommended.
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By Spy Groove on 23 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
It is a new kind of story for me. Not exactly like Romeo & Juliet or Sampek Engkay, the degree of love between the Japanese soldier and the Chinese girl had reached beyond physical barrier even before the inevitable circumstances took over. There were only minor, polite contact between them, and yet, they knew each other's soul.
It is amazing how by playing go, you'll get to know your opposite's nature which oneself doesn't always do. So is in the war. The setting of Japanese invasion into China in 1930's is frequently compared to the strategies played in go. Although I know nothing about go, I think I could take in the messages conveyed well. This is not a book of how to play go. This is the book of the soul of the players and the soul of people.
Mind you that this is not a simple falling in love kind of a story, it is more complicated. The girl and the soldier each had their own (many) lovers with the Japanese soldier acting like other soldiers at that time by visiting prostitutes. Each has their own faults and weakness. Their mutual love of go had nourished further attachment along the way, unnoticed by each.
The words are beautifully composed, added with some ancient poetry from China and Japan. I must say the anonymous element between the soul lovers gives a dreamy, mysterious touch to the story without sacrificing the characters around them. With selective dialogs, Ms. Sa has managed to give us a well crafted tale about love, life and death. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tiw on 27 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
Shan Sa is very skillful in describing the feelings of both her kind and the man-kind with an unusual way of exposing the story. I enjoyed reading it, even quoted some parts in my daily life. Well done.
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