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China: An Epic Novel de Edward Rutherfurd
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China: An Epic Novel (edição: 2021)

de Edward Rutherfurd (Autor)

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1189183,847 (3.94)1
Chronicles the drama and the rise and fall of family fortunes in China from 1839 at the beginning of the First Opium War, through Mao's Cultural Revolution to today. By the author of Paris.
Membro:pluckedhighbrow
Título:China: An Epic Novel
Autores:Edward Rutherfurd (Autor)
Informação:Hodder & Stoughton (2021), 784 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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China de Edward Rutherfurd

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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Pleasantly disconcerted to discover the book introduces first-person narrative to tell part of the tale on page 340 - I always prefer first person stories for their immediacy. Overall, as usual, I admire Rutherfurd's blend of the personal with the historical. He's obviously done a lot of research and it shows. One is always in danger of being overloaded by characters in a mammoth book like this one, but Rutherfurd manages to make his characters unique/memorable and foregoes a dramatis personae. This is one of his books that does not try to cover as long of a time period and I think benefits from that restraint. The scenes involving the eunuchs are particularly satisfying with the insight they lend to the intrigue in the Forbidden City. The blow by blow descriptions of castration and foot binding were a bit gruesome, but the book provides some insight into China - and insight into the Chinese psyche as a whole. This is a satisfying and comprehensive dive into a crucial 70 years in Chinese history. ( )
  dbsovereign | Sep 13, 2021 |
I’ve read every book written by Edward Rutherfurd, and have found them all to be very readable and educational. He writes very much in the same style and genre as James Michener, though perhaps just a slight cut below Michener’s best work.

This book differs slightly from that of both Michener and Rutherfurd’s previous works, in that it covers a relatively short time frame of 60 years. It commences with the years immediately preceding the Opium War of the 1840s, focusing on Macau, Canton and the founding of Hong Kong, then progresses through the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions into the early years of the 20th century.

As in his previous works, Rutherfurd tells the story of China during the period by looking at the lives of several of the actors, including a British trader, a Chinese peasant woman, a Chinese pirate, a sub-prefect and an imperial court eunuch. The author alternates story arcs well through the period in question.

While the time frame in this case is compressed when compared to his previous work, earlier years of Chinese history are touched upon within many of the story arcs. If you’ve read Rutherfurd before, you know what to expect and wont be disappointed. If you’ve read and enjoyed Michener, you’ll find Rutherfurd a worthy successor. ( )
  santhony | Aug 23, 2021 |
fiction - multi-generational saga set in China (non-Chinese author, but heavily researched)

I only got to page 8 before I decided that reading this book would require me to take notes in order to keep all the characters/storylines straight. Maybe I'll return to it another time...
  reader1009 | Aug 9, 2021 |
The kingdom of China is closed to outsiders, the Emperor rules a huge land mass and does not need to trade with barbarians. The British are desperate to get hold of China tea but cannot afford the price in silver so they smuggle opium into the country which leads to conflict. The Manchu dynasty is under threat from both the barbarians and also a sect from the south who threaten the rulers. This is a time when fortunes can be made or lost.
Normally Rutherfurd writes novels that are vast in terms of time scale but here the time is shortened, around 50 years in the 19th Century, but where the changes are massive. As ever he weaves the stories of a group of families together and because the timeframe allows it the characters are fully developed. There is the English merchant and his missionary cousin, the eunuch, the general and the peasant. This period of Chinese history is fleshed out in an incredibly readable way and the sheer length of the novel does not seem much of an issue as the stories are so fascinating. Another triumph for a favourite author ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jul 24, 2021 |
This is the latest of Rutherfurd's huge works covering generations in the lives of inhabitants of a country or place. His Russka and Sarum are among my very favourite works of historical fiction over the last 30 years or so. Unlike these novels, though, China does not cover centuries or even millennia, but a period of around 60-70 years in 19th century Chinese history from the Opium Wars of the 1840s to the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 and its immediate aftermath. I would have preferred a greater period of coverage, though this focus does enable a detailed exploration of a crucial period of Chinese history when Britain and other western countries were more or less forcing the reluctant Celestial Kingdom to open up for trade and commercial exploitation. There are recurrent characters such as John Trader on the British side, but I found those on the Chinese side such as Mei Ling and the eunuch Lacquer Nail much more interesting and, looming over all in the latter stages, the powerful figure of Dowager Empress Cixi, one of the most powerful females in world history. I found the clash of civilisations dimension really interesting, especially as, like most even well-read westerners, I know relatively little about Chinese history compared to European or American history. So a good read, as ever with this author, though I still would have preferred a wider spread of historical coverage. ( )
  john257hopper | Jul 23, 2021 |
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Chronicles the drama and the rise and fall of family fortunes in China from 1839 at the beginning of the First Opium War, through Mao's Cultural Revolution to today. By the author of Paris.

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