8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A charming book,
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This review is from: The Story of the Stone: a Chinese Novel: Vol 1, The Golden Days (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I thought I'd sample some Oriental literature and decided to dive into this epic family saga. Having read this first volume and the second volume, I am very happy with my purchase.
It is tough to familiarise yourself with all the different characters in the book, but very soon you realise that the abundance of people within this one family household is one of the delights of the story. There's always something going on, be it the concerns of the aged Grandmother Jia, the loveable oddities of Bao Yu, or the frettings of the vast array of maids.
Don't expect anything dramatic to happen every twenty pages otherwise you'll be disappointed. This novel moves very slowly. But it is meant to be realistic and this again is part of the charm. Through reading its pages you learn a lot about Chinese culture of that time and this is exciting in its own way.
I read the first volume and fell in love with the characters so much that I could not conceive of not carrying on with the remaining four volumes. I think that is a testament to how good the book is and, indeed, the translation.