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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving and witty
I read this book about 3 years ago, and the memories have stayed with me ever since. It moves from past to present day, and keeps you coming back for more. I enjoyed the bits on Chinese culture which has always intrigued me, and the way Amy Tan brings out the inividual personalities of her characters.
Published on 9 Jun 2000 by cailint@absa.co.za

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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I have read quite a few women authors, honest
Without wishing to sound politically incorrect, sexist, or something even worse I have to say that I think this is probably more one for the ladies than the gentlemen - which classification I am technically allocated. I have past the half way mark and am simply not enjoying it; neither the story nor the characters engage me at all and I have found only one comment in the...
Published on 7 Feb 2008 by Sparky


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving and witty, 9 Jun 2000
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
I read this book about 3 years ago, and the memories have stayed with me ever since. It moves from past to present day, and keeps you coming back for more. I enjoyed the bits on Chinese culture which has always intrigued me, and the way Amy Tan brings out the inividual personalities of her characters.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hundred Secret Senses - by Amy Tan, 6 Nov 2002
By 
Hayley James (Pinner) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
To anyone interested in reading this book, or in fact any other work by Amy Tan - I implore you to make this particular title a must have on your bookshelf at home!
It really is a fantastic story, very heartfelt - and Tan has a unique style of writing which draws you effortlessley into the characters lives at all times. If you choose to go ahead and read the book, you will get to know the characters so well throughout the story that, - once you have finished you will probably be left wondering about them still.
Up until eighteen months ago, I had never heard of Amy Tan, and just happened to pick up a book at work that had been forgotten by someone who had left the company. I started to read it on all breaks, and was engrossed so quickly that I even began to focus more on the story than on my work!
There is so much detail in the book that you can tell straight away how much effort Tan has put into creating it. Never before have I read a book where the authors passion shines through in their work to such a fabulous degree.
Although this is a review, I have made a decision not give away any of the storylines themselves, as it really is too good to be spoiled by an amateur book review. All I will say though is that it is set both in modern day America, and also China - and this gives so many great cultural insights to the reader. I honestly learned quite a lot from this book, as well as just plain well enjoying it!
To sum the book up in three words: - Unique, refreshing and intriguing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Past Lives and Dead Chickens - I'd like more, 13 April 2005
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
The Hundred Secret Senses was my first Amy Tan book, and it's left me wanting more.
Her characters Olivia and Kwan quickly develop into the kind most soap writers would envy; the ones that leave you eager to know what they'll get up to next. While this is happening a magical tale effortlessly unfolds. It's a tale which smoothly links modern American ideals and lifestyles with more old-fashioned ideas, all the time hinting at tenious links with exotic and turbulent Chinese legends.
The story abruptly turns itself around, speeding up the pace when the main characters move to China. From then on the links with the past become increasingly powerful with the lives of present day characters forced to parallel some of those in the past.
Electric shock therapy, reincarnation, marriage breakdown and slaughtering chickens are just some of the topics covered on the way to Amy Tan's breathless yet satisfying conclusion.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Amy Tan cracker!, 11 Aug 2000
By 
pouxc@warwick.ac.uk (Warwick University, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
I've now read all three books by Amy Tan, and this one is just as good as the others. She is a wonderful storyteller, who brings alive the relationship between the Chinese and their overseas relatives. This book shifts from past to present, from America to China, from love to hate. Brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read, 11 Sep 2006
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
This is Amy Tan's best book in my opinion. You feel the emotion throughout. I liked that in the end, Kwan is found to be so wise. I need a 'Kwan' in my life I think!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing mix of realism and fantasy, 12 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
I knew this book would be funny and warm and also that Amy Tan's speciality is quirky characters and their relationships. What I hadn't predicted was the strong thread of a sort of magical realism. You hover between assuming the plot hinges on the perspectives on life of a loveable insane person and wondering if the story is a fairy tale. Even at the end you won't be sure what really happened. Tan is very deft at making you suspend disbelief. If you don't like that sort of plot mix you won't like this book. I do and I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars!, 26 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
I brought this about 15 years ago and despite being a real fiction nerd and an avid fan of Amy Tan's other books I never got around to reading this until recently. I was initially put off by the theme of going into Kwan's past lives and reading the story about Nunumu and Miss Banner which became evident at the start of the book. However, making an effort to put aside my reservations this time around, I began to really enjoy the story, and surprisingly the story did turn out to be integral to the book, and there was a fantastic twist at the end which really brought the two parts together. The book was funny in many parts and sad towards the end, and overall the book was written beautifully, and seemingly effortlessly (like Tan's other novels). The main character of Olivia remind's me of the main characters of Tan's other novels which makes me wonder how much she bases her characters on herself and people in her life. Regardless, her characterization is faultless with a great sense of realism. This book also has that thing that all good novels have, of leaving something behind or staying with you for a while. For me it got me really believing in reincarnation and past spirits, more so than I already felt before reading. Also, the sense conveyed in the book that death is not the end felt pleasantly reassuring, fiction or otherwise. I would have given this five stars but I preferred The Kitchen God's Wife and The Bonesetter's Daughter, however I enjoyed this more than The Joy Luck Club. I would readily recommend this book to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hundred Secret Senses, 17 Oct 2007
By 
LindyLouMac (Wales and Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
Another brilliant novel from Amy Tan. I loved the characters of Olivia and Kwan and was eager to learn more about them as I read. I have to mention though that although I like the concept of Yin- the afterlife/reincarnation I found the interludes through the story with General Cope and Miss Banner difficult,even though I appreciated they were an important part of the whole in regard to the difference in American and Chinese cultures. I recommend this highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't stop reading it., 29 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
How can you justify such a brilliant book? From the first paragraph I was hooked. The way haunting characters and stories from traditional China found their way into the hard hitting modern world is what I admire most, and, of course, the addictive way in which Kwan related whole past lives and dreams. Funny in some parts, but something in the way it was written was tragical and touching, too. Many tears had fallen on the pages before I was finished, and that wasn't long.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story, 7 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hundred Secret Senses (Paperback)
Amy Tan is certainly a wonderful storyteller and the character of Kwan is the best in the book. Unlike the Chinese-American storyteller she is full of hope and love and belief in the connections between past lives and this one. Although there is perhaps a little too much anti-Americanism in this story, she paints a wonderful tale of Kwan's colourful previous life and shows how things are connected. Perhaps the book could jump around a little less. Obviously there are many flashbacks as the tale unfolds but the story seems to jump forwards and backwards randomly within this lifetime as well. My other criticism is that the storyteller is far too cynical, knowing how she entered her relationship yet expecting it to be far more than is realistic. The best thing about Amy Tan's book though is her wonderful ability to bring out the Asian mind. From intricate family stories to accepting things you don't understand without having to actually believe them yourself. Family relationships, the complex emotions in discovering you have a sibling you never knew about and loving and hating her at the same time. Wonderful.
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The Hundred Secret Senses
The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan (Paperback - 5 July 2004)
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