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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and beautifully written
The true story of a small boy plucked from his family in a remote Chinese village to become a ballet star. You feel everything with this humble, sincere man, including - most exhilaratingly - the sensation of dancing. An inspiring story and beautifully written: a very deserving bestseller. I defy anyone to give this book less than 5 stars! So why is the DVD of the film...
Published on 11 Aug 2011 by Cherry Radford

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted more about the dancing!!
This was an excellent read for the first half. Then,the style of writing changed so much i thought perhaps someone had finished the book for him-it was poor. Interesting about life in China as a child but not enough bout the dancing and was quite boring once the story moved out of china.
Published 20 months ago by aallen


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and beautifully written, 11 Aug 2011
By 
Cherry Radford (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Paperback)
The true story of a small boy plucked from his family in a remote Chinese village to become a ballet star. You feel everything with this humble, sincere man, including - most exhilaratingly - the sensation of dancing. An inspiring story and beautifully written: a very deserving bestseller. I defy anyone to give this book less than 5 stars! So why is the DVD of the film still not available in European format?!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Mao's Last Dancer" Inspiration for the heart., 4 Jan 2004
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Hardcover)
Being the first biography I have ever read...I was unsure on how I would adapt to the texture of the piece. Raised on Edith Blyton and later fed tales of love and war by ultimate classics like Ludlum and Grisham, "Mao's last dancer" did something that previously I have never really found in books. Sure it would be great to be a walking talking James Bond, or to fulfil my destiny to rid middle earth of 'the ring to rule them all' but in my head they are just dreams. Li Cunxins dreams seemed so impossible, and yet against all odds he became a successor. Living now in a world many light years away from the then China, its almost incomprehensible to me, but yet his story has enlightened the way I see things, and the way I will continue to see things.
From the Chinese prophecies to the details of Cunxin's 'dia' and 'niang', every aspect seem to carry about a balance that draws you in deeper to his life. By the third chapter I was completely hooked and continued reading on and on into the night, until before I knew it, I had finished the book in only one day.
I felt like I was there with him on the entire journey, page to page; and as in any book, this is an important factor. I would like to thank Li Cunxin and those who made it possible for me to feel part of such a wonderfully colourful, yet sometimes dark, life embrace.
I would recommend this book to people of all ages, as I am but 16 and found it inspiring to the heart. 5 out of 5 Stars.
By Bianca Newman
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest rendition of a remarkable journey, 31 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Hardcover)
I hardly ever read books, so for me the propsect of sitting down to read a biography of a ballet dancer was daunting. I have to say though, Li's story is amazing, not so much for the journey from physical and poilitical hardship to all the west has to offer, but more for the resolve a small boy had to muster in order to find his way out of the well.
I liked the manner in which the story is told, open, honest and without pretention. It held me from cover to cover. A great read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into Mao's China, 18 Nov 2008
By 
Kim (Leicester) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Paperback)
I loved this book. It provides a fascinating insight into the lives of rural peasants in Mao's communist China - the propoganda, the unbelievable poverty, lack of opportunity and the brutality of the communist regime. Li's story of being taken out of the impoverised but loving environment of his family when he was chosen to train at the Beijing Dance Academy, evokes in detail his terrible homesickness,the tortuous training regimes he endured, and the dedication and support of new friend and teachers. The second part of the story, of his adult life in America, is skipped over with less detail and feels a bit crammed in. However the reunion with his family after many years without contact is very moving and overall it is a great story, well told and very readable. You don't need to know anything about dance to enjoy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars But beware! See review, 18 Dec 2008
By 
Mrs. J. Blanchard (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the Young Readers' version of the adult book of the same name. There is no indication on the Amazon blurb or on the front cover image that this is the case. I have given it a 5-star rating, as I'm sure it will be a total inspiration to young people and will be as beautifully and gently written as the adult version.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply inspiring, 12 April 2011
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Paperback)
I bought this book as a part of my 'books-I-have-to-read-because-I've-heard-I-just-have-to' project. So with little knowledge about the story, I started reading the book sunday afternoon and finished it monday evening, which makes this one of my fastest read books. This is partly because of the natural writing and partly because the story itself is extremely captivating. I turned the pages to fast that smoke almost emerged :) The narrating voice of Li Cunxin is extremely honest and sincere and from the first page my empathy for him was enormous. I laughed when he laughed, tasted the dumplings when he did, felt tense and desperate when he did and burst into tears with him as well. I liked how the narrating voice also developed in terms of observations and perspective on life as the story progresses and Cunxin grows older. The fables and small anecdotes Cunxin reflects on gives the story a touch of a modern fairytale and I was amazed to read how they became a source of inspiration to him as well. I really loved all the elements of the book - the ballet, the cultural aspect, the political aspect and how they were woven into a deeply inspiring tale about determination and realising dreams. I would reccommend this book to all book lovers - this is definitely one of my favorite books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mao's Last Dancer, 6 May 2012
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Paperback)
I don't normally write book reviews on Amazon but this book was so inspiring that I thought I'd write one.

The book is a heart breaking autobiography - it starts with the author's poor upbringing on a farm during China's cultural revolution, moves onto separation from his family when he is sent to the Beijing Dance Academy at the age of eleven and ends with his ballet achievements as an adult in the US. The author has really captured the essence of Chinese life during the cultural revolution and also accurately highlights the contrast between life in China with life in the West. The book really makes one think about how far China has come economically in the last forty years and also how much further it has yet to go, especially in other areas (e.g. freedom of speech).

The story was very touching and I had tears in my eyes several times. The author's determination to make a better life for himself and his family through becoming one of the best ballet dancers in the world was truly inspirational - it just goes to show that a person can achieve anything through sheer hard work and determination!! It's an excellent book - both thought provoking and touching. I would highly recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awe-inspiring, 27 Feb 2011
By 
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Paperback)
Very occasionally a book comes along that can really teach you something important. Mao's Last Dancer is one of those books. The example set by Li and his family of how people can live in abject poverty and yet retain their pride is a gift for us all. I can't imagine Li ever losing his honesty, humility and gratitude for what life has given him. A wonderful, wonderful book and so beautifully written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 11 April 2010
This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Paperback)
I was lent this book by a friend and really loved it from start to finish. It gives one an idea of what life was like in China at that particular time and was a gripping read from start to finish. It's inspired me to find out more about China.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book, 23 May 2009
By 
S. Barrett "Susiq" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Mao's Last Dancer (Paperback)
My daughter (9)and I both read the adult and child version of this book and really enjoyed the story and one mans amazing journey, physically and emotionally, the cultural references were extremely interesting and reminders of the age of the Iron curtain oppression that seems of a different era, but nonetheless very important to revisit.
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Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
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