The Incarnations and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £14.99
  • You Save: £7.34 (49%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Incarnations has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Used Good condition book may have signs of cover wear and/or marks on corners and page edges. Inside pages may have highlighting, writing and underlining. All purchases eligible for Amazon customer service and a 30-day return policy.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Incarnations Hardcover – 3 Jul 2014


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£7.65
£6.72 £2.54
£7.65 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Incarnations + The Bone Clocks
Price For Both: £17.65

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (3 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857522574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857522573
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Barker (born 1978) is a British novelist. She has an English father and a Chinese-Malaysian mother and grew up in East London. She is the author of the novel Sayonara Bar, which Time magazine called "a cocktail of astringent cultural observations, genres stirred and shaken, subplots served with a twist" and The Orientalist and the Ghost, both published by Doubleday and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Her third novel The Incarnations (Doubleday, July 2014) is about a taxi driver in contemporary Beijing and interwoven with tales from the Tang dynasty, the invasion of Genghis Khan, the Ming dynasty, the Opium War, and the Cultural Revolution. While writing The Incarnations she spent several years living in Beijing, researching modern and imperial China.

Product Description

Review

"Reads as China's Midnight's Children. Utterly remarkable" (The Independent)

"An extraordinary novel. Erudite, intriguing and compulsively readable, THE INCARNATIONS takes the reader on an intimate and mesmerizing journey through Chinese history. Susan Barker, a born story-teller, has written one of the most remarkable novels of recent years." (JOHN BOYNE)

"A thrilling journey through a thousand years of obsession and betrayal and a vivid tapestry of the individual's struggle against the tyranny of history, this is the most extraordinary work of imagination you'll read all year" (ADAM JOHNSON, WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2013)

"A brilliant, mind-expanding and wildly original novel" (CHRIS CLEAVE)

"What a ferociously talented writer Susan Barker is. The Incarnations is a hallucinatory ride. Highly recommend" (ANNA HOPE, Author of WAKE)

"Remarkable - ambitious in scope, painstakingly researched and most importantly, a gripping read." (Publishing Perspectives)

"A MUST-READ - July picks" (Marie-Claire Magazine)

"Ambitious in scope, scholarly in depth, and absolutely rivetting ...Sure to make an impact and she deserves all the praise - and most likely prize(s) - that will follow." (South China Post)

"Light and often witty ...There is tragedy, though perhaps not where the reader expects it, but there is also hope." (www.thatsmags.com China)

"Invigorating. To recreate convincingly a single historical period is an achievement. To recreate six is to approach virtuosity ... Deft, smart, various and warm: a very good book indeed." (Sunday Business Post, Ireland)

"Multi-layered and masterful. Suspend your disbelief, flow along with this wonderful book." (Guardian)

"Barker resembles David Mitchell in the ability to weave together past and present in a convincing, and ultimately intriguing, manner" (Sydney Morning Herald)

"China reels with tension" (LA Review)

"

This is a beautifully structured novel, and the interspersed letters describing previous lives are engrossing and sharp. These past lives are too real to feel like mere metaphor. Cruelty, betrayal and slavery reoccur over the centuries, and are echoed in Wang’s modern life.

The prose is light and often witty, and the characterization is one of the book’s most impressive aspects… This is an extremely satisfying and intelligent book

" (That’s Shanghai)

"A wonderful piece of historical/fantasy/suspense fiction unlike anything else I've read... Constantly unpredictable and surprising" (Goodreads)

"Barker is a phenomenal storyteller. She time-travels seamlessly from the Tang Dynasty in AD 632 to contemporary Beijing and each snippet of each incarnation, rich in convincing detail, is utterly mesmerising" (Goodreads)

"Barker has created a set of characters who jump off the page and Wang's heartrending story is sensitively told" (madabouthebooks.co.uk)

"Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, and literary classics, The Incarnations is a taut and gripping novel that sheds light on the cyclical nature of history and it hints that the past is never truly settled." (Fantastic Fiction)

"Remarkable... a time-bending fantasy with an unknown (and possibly unreliable) narrator sweeping us down the rabbit hole of history" (http://granitestudio.org/)

"Vivid and engaging" (Asia Review of Books)

Book Description

A literary novel of betrayal and intrigue in China lived again and again by one soul across a thousand years - for fans of THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH and WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Palmer on 12 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Incarnations is a narrative woven from the strands of the life of Wang, a taxi-driver living in Beijing and his past lives. Wang's life is in 2008, around the time of the final preparations for the Olympic games but we also learn a lot about his earlier life and the lives he has lived before.

Depending upon your beliefs, the idea of reincarnation is either a pleasant fantasy or something more profound. In the context of the novel it serves different purposes. The lives he has lived before seemingly run parallel with the events portrayed from his younger life. They also seem to work to explore the psyche of historical and modern China. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on modern or historical China, but Barker does seem to be working to describe the attempts of China to re-find its place in the world through understanding its long history while always moving forward.

A lot of this is hard going. There's a lot of violence and, depending upon how you read this, we are seeing Wang's neurosis writ large. Barker is a skilful writer, though. Most of it is well-written without reading like a project for a creative writing class.

The different threads are all pulled together neatly and the end though not obvious doesn't come as a surprise; I appreciate that.

Overall, recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JoyLouise on 6 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gripping, riveting but ultimately depressing read in its unmitigating cruelty. Regime after regime, character after character suffers, are betrayed or betray others. As a portrait of mans' cruelty it is certainly powerful and skilfully, imaginatively written. I was totally immersed but overwhelmed with a surfeit of violence and longed for a glimmer of hope at the end, but it seems the cycles of loss, isolation and inhumanity are doomed to be repeated ad infinitum.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Feb. 2015
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Incarnations is quite an eclectic book drawn, as it is, from various periods in China's history ranging from seventh century Imperial China right up to the relatively recent Cultural Revolution in the 1960s under the auspices of Mao Zedong. In a setting just before the Beijing Olympics, the main protagonist is taxi driver Wang, married with a young daughter who is exceedingly sceptical when someone apparently unknown to him gradually reveals his previous incarnations. Naturally the incarnations are colourful and usually violent - it would not make much of a story if he had previously been a simple, toiling peasant who died in his bed!

Somewhat against the odds I thought this mix worked rather well. The author is a good story teller and is able to set her scenes quickly and effectively. Of course the reader either has to believe in reincarnation or be able to suspend disbelief from the word go. However the latter would apply to many books and that does not make them any the less enjoyable. There are the odd moments of humour too - one that sticks in my mind was when it was revealed that Wang's wife, Yodi, was initially incarnated as a dog flea and then, clearly on a progression, became a tapeworm in the gut of a cow. Not much sympathetic treatment from the author there!

Overall I found this to be an enjoyable book which moves seamlessly between different time periods and which has clearly been well researched.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nettlewine VINE VOICE on 28 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's a long time since I was so immersed in a book. The way in which the unexpected story unfurls - robustly, as a ship's sails in a high wind - is absolutely entrancing. The novel requires Barker to create environments and dialogue from wildly diverse eras - AD632 to 2008 - and yet she makes it seem effortless; an anticipated hard slog through ancient China is a light dance.

The central characters are subject to (and executors of) some pretty brutal treatment, but Barker stays on the right side of indulgent in her descriptions, and the appalling facts are rendered in a way I can only describe as hard-as-nails. The most explicit example of this would be the prostitute who accepts brutal treatment in exchange for a favour.

The confidence and poise of the writing are one of its major strengths - it could have been twice as long and just as palatable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Martin F. Williams on 22 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An audacious novel in both scope and narrative style. Don't try reading this after a glass or two of Merlot; you will need to concentrate fully as the story skips from century to century. It is well worth the effort required, despite the graphic nature of the content.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 16 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an intelligent and well-researched novel but not the tour-de-force that I had hoped for. Wang is a taxi driver in 2008 Beijing who doesn't know that he has lived before. Through a series of narratives told by a fellow soul, we witness moments in the long history of China: from the Tang dynasty in the seventh century CE to Mao's state in the twentieth.

The writing is deft and sometimes brutal but, somehow, this failed to grip me. There's an interesting story (or stories) here but also an odd kind of detachment in the narrative which left me feeling outside the book looking in, rather than living through the world of the stories.

Despite the enticing cover, this book ultimately left me untouched and unmoved - 3-stars.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback