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Blue Poppies by [Falla, Jonathan]
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Blue Poppies Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 242 pages

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Review

One of the main aspects of Blue Poppies is Falla's refusal to bow to Hollywood-sponsored cliches. Far from being the baby-eating Commies of popular imagination, the Chinese here are shown as tough but not unnecessarily cruel, preferring to win over the conquered with an open hand rather than a clenched fist - Falla is a fine and unflowery writer who delivers a punchy plot free of misty-eyed sentiment, yet [Blue Poppies] is crowned by one of the year's saddest endings. Sunday Herald Most authors appear to live on a very small planet; Jo Falla's world is a phenomenally big place. His vivid and authoritative fiction offers us the chance to experience - from the inside - life beyond Western frontiers, beyond Western preconceptions. In his company, we cease to be newspaper-skimmers or camera-toting tourists, and go straight to the heart of cultures that are exhilaratingly, sometimes frighteningly different from our own. Michel Faber, author of Under the Skin Jonathan Falla's debut novel confounds the stereotype of the first novel. It is assured, confident, without a trace of self-indulgence. It knows where it's going from the start, and that's nowhere near home - David Robinson, Scotsman A delightful debut novel - in what is at times a very dark and harrowing tale, Falla manages to enchant with his characters and to allow you to associate with their peculiarities. Jonathan Falla makes this a bewitching read which stirs up a multitude of emotions from love and longing to anger and disgust. You can't help but support this fine novel's characters in their long journey to freedom. The List This is a beautifully written story: sad, gently humorous and exciting and one can feel the affection of the author for the people and landscape - brilliant, I read it in one sitting and give it a five/five star rating! Sue Corbett, Wiltshire, newBOOKS.mag A dashed good thriller - beautifully written and good history too. Jack McLean, Herald This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The author's superb descriptive power drew me into the book so that it seemed as if I were actually present and could experience the sights, sounds and smells of the village and also the terrain and the bitter cold. Not only that; it's a brilliantly told tale, both tense and poignant, incorporating all the virtues of good old-fashioned story-telling (a lost art?). Mr M Simmons, Herts I cared very much about what happened Jamie and Puton. l found myself caught up in their lives and gentle love. A beautiful book, that left me satisfied yet wanting more. Reader Review, Amazon.co.uk

From the Inside Flap

Jonathan Falla weaves a powerful tale of love and war, exile and homecoming...and of one man's desire to lose himself in a foreign land, only to find himself caught in a time of chaos and change.
Blue Poppies
The year is 1950 and, as the world recovers from the ravages of World War II, the Chinese army is perched on the border of a fragile land awaiting its destiny. Jamie Wilson, a young Scottish wireless operator and veteran of the war, has just arrived in the remote Tibetan village of Jyeko. He has come on business--to establish a radio outpost--but his journey will resonate much more deeply.
Like those who have traveled to this place before him, Jamie, the Ying-gi-li, is mesmerized by the majestic mountain ranges and enigmatic people, but he will also find an uncommon refuge in its unyielding beauty and in the arms of the willful Puton, a young widow cast out by the people of Jyeko. Inexorably drawn together by a shared loneliness, Jamie and Puton discover a rare passion and the promise of reconnection and belonging--until the voice of Radio Peking crackles over the airwaves, announcing the imminent advance of the Chinese army. Amid the ensuing violence and tumult, Jamie and Puton must embrace their fate and that of the remarkable land that has brought them together. What lies before them and the people of Jyeko is a harrowing journey across a breathtaking landscape...and an extraordinary tale of pride and loyalty, survival and awakening.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1792 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385336802
  • Publisher: Neil Wilson Publishing (14 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006YZWA80
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #477,696 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I lived with the Tibetan villagers, breathing the crystalline air of the Himalayas. The descriptions are vivid and I cared very much what happened Jamie and Puton. I gained some insight into the extraordinarily different way in which the Tibetan monks view the world, became fearful of the Chinese communist army, but most of all found myself caught up in their lives and gentle love. A beautiful book, like an exquisite sorbet,that left me satisfied yet wanting more.
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Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely fantastic read! It has a gripping tale with tremendous emotional twists, great imagery of the Tibetan Himalayas, an awesome period of Tibet/China history. A fascinating insight into the perspectives of the People's Liberation Army on the ground that you can judge for yourself.
It has super power. Anyone could read this adventure tale with a great line in loving relationships and a spiritual dimension.
I will be amazed if someone doesn't turn this into a subtle yet intelligent movie very soon.
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Format: Paperback
Several books (fact and fiction) have come onto the market in the last few years, claiming to 'de-mystify' Tibet and look past the romantic shangri-la image we have (of Tibet) in the West. This is another one.
The region of Tibet being dealt with in this book was Kham, where many people were brigands. Falla (the author) presented the people realistically, in that he didn't pull any punches in describing the level of morality, negative superstition and sanitation! This made a positive change from just focussing on the monastic traditions and higher class people of Lhasa etc. Falla's characters make several disturbing allegations regarding widespread sexual abuse and paedophilia within the Buddhist monastic community in Tibet in the 1950s - the book did not deal with this as an issue directly, but it was mentioned time and time again for some reason.
Falla should be given some praise for wanting to present the reader with a 'balanced' view of 1950s Tibet from a historical/cultural point of view. However, I felt the text was a bit too pro-China at times.
Overall, 'Blue Poppies' was a pleasant read, although it moved quite quickly and I felt it didn't allow the characters to develop in much depth beyond their first impression. There were the occasional romantic moments in the book, but they were nothing special and certainly not the breathtaking epic pieces that the blurb on the back of the book implied.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x900bcec4) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Bardo Monitor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is highly rated but not so great. As soon as I saw that
it was about an radio operator in Tibet at the time of the
Chinese invasion, I knew where he got the story.
I have an old paperback called "Captured in Tibet" by Robert
Ford. He was an Englishman who ran a radio set on the
Tibetan frontier, and against his better judgement was
convinced to stay longer than he wanted and the Chinese
grabbed him on the way in. They kept him locked up for 5
years and did a hideous brainwashing number on him (You
don't hear that term much any more).
Anyway, Ford is given no mention at all in a preface or
anything which is poor form in my estimation, even though the story is only loosely based on the real thing.
I did a web search on the author and Ford and came up with
an interview in which he says:
"1991 I was approached by a producer who wanted a feature
film about Tibet. It was for me to find the story, and I
came upon a memoir by Robert Ford who had been a radio
operator in Tibet."
(...)
He should have given some kind of acknowledgement. Ford's experience was so exceptional that he deserves recognition.
The author says he also borrowed from other sources to add a romance into the mix.
The book displays a superficial relationship to the Buddhist continuum.
By the way, when I was reading "Captured In Tibet" I asked my lama friend
at the time whether he had known Ford, because it took place
in the his home province, Kham. He said, "Oh Yes. We know
him. We call him Fodo"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2dd114) out of 5 stars Great Story 3 May 2003
By Paul Steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is great. It gives a great story about a Tibetan village named Jyeko, and the trials that come to pass with the Communist invasion of Tibet in the 1950's. It also follows the lives of Scottish radio operator Jamie Wilson and a Tibetan outcast named Puton. It tells of love and trials. Of anger turning into unification in the face of neccesity. It is simply a great book.
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