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The Last Empress Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Mar 2007


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Product details

  • Audio CD: 13 pages
  • Publisher: Recorded Books (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1428143521
  • ISBN-13: 978-1428143524
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 14.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,118,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

`Tzu Hsi emerges as a canny political leader, and she is a vivid and entertaining character - this is history as it plays upon the emotions. Empires crumble, hearts are broken' -- The Times

`A wild, passionate, fearless American writer' -- New York Times

`Like all good novelists, she implies as much as she says, and her
characterisation is subtle and worldly-wise'
-- Glasgow Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labour collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She moved to the United States in 1984. Her memoir, Red Azalea, was an international bestseller with rights sold in twenty countries. Her novels, Becoming Madame Mao, Katherine, Wild Ginger and Empress Orchid were published to wonderful reviews and impressive foreign sales. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alexa on 19 April 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the follow up story of Empress Orchid and picks up the story as Orchid begins to gain power. It follows her through coaching two new Emperors of China up to the point of her death. At times this book read slightly like a history book, with information dumped on the reader but once you get past that it is a wonderful book that gives the reader and interesting look into life within The Forbidden City. It is one of only a few accounts that is sympathetic with Orchid and throughout the book I genuinely felt for the character. While not as good as Empress Orchid and some events seemed twisted so as to make the Empress seem kind and gentle it was still a great book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By FUTURESTARdelux on 9 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
It's been a few years since I first read Anchee Min's first book on the life of China's Empress Dowager Tz'u-Hsi which blew me away.
I wasn't even aware that Anchee Min was even working on a second and final instalment of Tz'u-Hsi's life until i was browsing the isles of WHSmiths and came across "The last empress".

I quickly ordered the book from Amazon (much cheeper) and waited impatiently for its arrival.

As soon as "The last empress" arrived I dives straight in and was not dissapointed!

Anchee Min has created another masterpiece which is a must for anybody interested in Tz'u-Hsi, the Manchu dynasty, China or a great story made all the more amazing because it's a true story.

"The last empress" encompasses the later stages of Tz'u-Hsi's life and what are esentially the last years of the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty's rule in China.

In the west, the east and even in China itself Tz'u-Hsi has been demonised as "the dragon lady" an evil despot desperate to keep power and China in her hands.

It's wonderfull that Anchee Min has dared to think outside the box and portray Tz'u-Hsi as what she really was, the daughter of an impoverished and disgraced provincial governer who entered the forbidden city as a concubine and left in death as Empress Dowager.

All through the book we see how Tz'u-Hsi fought to save China from the "civilised" west and Japan who systematicaly "raped" China and forced unfair and embarassing treaty after treaty first on Tz'u-Hsi's husband, then her son and finally her nephew (and addopted son).

It disgusted me how the west and Japan took advantage ofChina which didn't want to fight and when it came to the point that they had to were no match for the Iron ships and guns of the west and Japan.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ventris Arden on 9 July 2008
Format: Paperback
Fascinating subject but clunkily written and ponderously repetitive. Nothing flows - the dialogue is glitchy and unreal and the narrative constantly repeats the same thoughts. Perhaps the Empress was incapable of original thought but her life was actually a lot more interesting than found here. I THINK the reader is supposed to empathise with the subject but there is neither sufficient character nor depth of background to make this Empress real. She just plods on, thinking the same old things, doing the same old things, little benefitting China. In the end, you don't care but worth looking up the Empress in the Britannica.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Zainab Mamujee on 20 July 2007
Format: Paperback
The last empress is the single best book to read this year! it carries on The tale of Empress Orchid from the book of the same name, and takes u deeper into the sad history of the Manchu Dynasty and as it crumbles. The politics of The Chinese Empire is discussed alot more in the second book, but it doesnt fail to explore the live of the Empress and the Emperor. Orchid, torn between the good of the Country and the good of her Son makes you believe that she should be the Mother of China. Beautifully written and set in the magnificant Forbidden city amongst the Eunechs and Ladies in waiting the story unfolds as to how women were both the saviors and the fall of the Empire.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Mukhtar on 20 May 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the continuation of the Empress Orchid. It takes effect when the Orchid's nephew is seletion as the future Emperor. This book is greatly inspired by the history of previous Chinese Emperors. It is greatly influenced by Empress Wu. Wu being the only Empress to run the Chinese Empire.

This story takes starts from and shows the relationships Orchid builds with her Nephew and her exceptence of him as a son. Her regrets of Tung Chih (her only son who dies) and how this changes the way she treats her nephew. It shows the effects of the relationships she looses in the past be it her husband, her son, her mother, her sister, other concubines, her precious Eunch and Nuharoo (the joint Empress). The bond that she shared with her Eunch is special to her and broken when he was killed and she finds the person and forgives the person as she learns to understand why people do things. It is Empress Orchid way of changing and adapting to changes that have occured in the past and the she deals with the future. It is highly influenced by the history of China protrays the life of Empress Wu in a positive way.

I liked this book and give 5 starts as it is a continuation and better then most continued books. Through this book i am able to learn more about the Chinese history. If you like the history of china then you will like this too. It is a journey well worth it.
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