Little Hut of Leaping Fishes Hardcover – 4 Jul 2008
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'...confines of the family mansion, the rivalries, adulteries, and jealousies, are all vividly evoked in fresh and exuberant prose.'
-- New Books
'Tei keeps the reader entertained with her graceful observations and steady handling of a significant slice of Chinese history.' -- Sunday Herald
'Tei unfolds the story like a bolt of silk.'
-- The Scotsman
'The book has a tempo of its own... Sit down with a large cup of coffee and enjoy. Recommended.' -- Historical Novels Review
'The strength of the book, is its portrayal of individuals struggling as the world around them changes.' -- Financial Times
'[a] lengthy but accessible historical saga...For such a populous story the style is deceptively light, the touch sensuous.' -- Guardian
Mingzhi is born to be a mandarin: as the formidable Master Chai's first grandson, his life is mapped from the moment of his birth. But times are changing in China, and as Mingzhi grows, he begins to question his privileged heritage and the secrets and shadows that lurk in the corners of the Chai mansion; eager to flee from the corruption, treachery and rivalries of his family -- Master Chai, who farms opium poppies and beats out orders with his dragon stick; the jealousy of his second mother and half brother; and his opium-addict father -- Mingzhi soon realises his only path to freedom is through learning. But as the foreign devils begin to encroach on China, Mingzhi is torn between two cultures; he must make his choice between the past and the future. A sweeping story of rebellion and discovery, Little Hut of Leaping Fishes traces one man's journey to find a life of his own in the slipstream of historic change.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The story takes place in late C19th imperial China. Two half-brothers are born into a wealthy family of landowners whose dictatorial figurehead, Grandfather Chai, turns the crop over to opium harvesting. Not only does this boost profits but it also lubricates the wheels of influence. The older grandson and principal character, Mingzhi, is a good man who rises to the office of Mandarin through intensive study. Once there he spurns the customary bribery and corruption in an effort to govern even-handedly. Meanwhile his younger brother, Mingyuan, takes a rather more pragmatic view on life. There are enough twists, turns, interesting characters and situations to hold the reader's attention throughout.
Apparently this is Chiew-Siah Tei's first novel although she has written scripts for play and film. Let's hope there will be more.
with a lovely poetic writing style.
I could talk about this book for hours but I dont want to give away any of the plot! There were so many things I liked about it: the story, the style of the writing, the onomatopoeia, the wonderful imagery... I can't wait to read the sequel!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
don't buy this book - YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE IT. PAID FOR BUT NEVER, EVER DELIVERED.Published 9 months ago by elya pusey
Absolutely beautiful intricate descriptive writing that takes you away miles across the seas to another time and place.
Very good read.
I loved this book. I enjoyed reading about a different culture. I thought the book was well written and would definitely recommend it.Published on 11 Feb. 2014 by betty
the story is entertaining enough. The way that this book is written in little paragraphs means that it can be easy to read but for me it felt a bit stilted.Published on 28 Nov. 2013 by Lesley Cherriman
An engrossing tale of a man growing up in China at the turn of the 19-20th centuries; an fascinating picture into another world and culture, so different, so removed from ours,... Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2011 by S. WOODRUFF