Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly Hauntingly Excellent, 14 May 2013
This review is from: The Story of the Stone: a Chinese Novel: Vol 1, The Golden Days (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Years ago, I found this book as a yellowing paperback in my local library. It had been on the shelves for years and never borrowed. I borrowed the first volume out of casual interest at the start of a long summer vac from university and lay in the garden reading it. I was completely hooked. Yes, it started off a bit hard to read - strange names were at first unmemorable and it was hard to recall who everyone was (but I was used to that from reading Russian novels), people had odd behaviours and did bizarre things in weird unfamiliar homes, the plot described difficult to imagine situations, invoked unfamiliar Buddhist mysticism, and it was all very disorientating. I felt I was in C18th China - plucked up and flung down in another world. Despite the initial strangeness (or because of it) I found the story a real page turner and I raced through volume one and went back for more. The more I read, the more enchanted I felt. I was fascinated. I came to the end and I was stunned. I did not want it to end. In fact, I had to start reading it again from the start. It is one of those books which you can't put down and even when the writing stops, the story (and its characters) lives on.

Looking back years later, I wonder what influence this book had on my life. For one thing, I am now a Buddhist and for another, I have read a great deal of Chinese literature and poetry and histories. Never mind, I like coming back to this version of this novel. It is a wonderful genuine classic of world literature which should be read by anyone who calls himself/herself 'cultured' at least once. And this is a very good translation - witty, urbane, entertaining. The translator is quite as wonderful as the original author.

Warmly recommended!

Peevish after note: I would like this as an eBook - five fat volumes is a lot to lug around and when it is going to be read and re-read so much that it would destroy a paper book, I feel it would clearly be more convenient to own as a digital book. Can anyone explain why volumes two, four and five are available as kindle editions but volumes one and three are not? Whose bright idea was that?!? I feel quite vexed. I stamp my pixie foot. I crinkle my delicate moth's wing brow. My dinky white jade hair ornaments tremble. I take my delicate porcelain tea bowl and I fling it on the floor. It smashes. I pout. I don't care! I am in a temper and I don't care who knows it. I fling myself weeping onto my fragrant bed. Something tells me a man of my age should pull himself together but no, I will give myself over to the emotion of the moment. So there!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details