on 1 August 2003
I found this book enjoyable to read because the stories are short and punchy. I was slightly disappointed because I wanted to know more about the characters historically, and having enjoyed other Eva Wong publications would have liked to have read the author's comments after each tale.
This book does exactly what it says on the tin. There are only seven pages of introduction and then it's straight in. I found the translation easy to read and the book left me feeling happy.
I would recommed this book for fun or younger readers - It reads like Grimm Tales. For a more meaningful appreciation of the Taoist immortals I would turn to another book.
The stories in this book are from Eva Wong's childhood - stories told about Chinese heroes and Taoist Immortals.
Stories are divided into five sections; The Eight Taoist Immortals, Sages, Magicians, Diviners and Alchemists.
In Taoist tradition, the stories of immortals are meant to teach as well as to entertain. Even the immortals themselves learned lessons in these tales.
Taoist immortals are as diverse as any group of people. Some were healers, some were teachers, some were social activists and politicians. Some cultivated the Tao by living in seclusion, others lived in society but shunned the values of the establishment.
Despite their diveristy, the immortals had several things in common: they were interested in the Tao at an early age, they shunned fame and fortune, and they lived simple and unencumbered lives.