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A Single Swallow (English Edition) eBook Kindle
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Descrição do produto
Sobre o Autor
Zhang Ling is the award-winning author of nine novels and numerous collections of novellas and short stories. Born in China, she moved to Canada in 1986. In the mid-1990s, she began to write and publish fiction in Chinese while working as a clinical audiologist. Since then she has won the Chinese Media Literature Award for Author of the Year, the Grand Prize of Overseas Chinese Literary Award, and Taiwan's Open Book Award. Among Zhang Ling's work are Gold Mountain Blues and Aftershock, adapted into China's first IMAX movie with unprecedented box-office success.--Este texto se refere à edição paperback.
Detalhes do produto
- ASIN : B07VDFNJLZ
- Editora : Amazon Crossing (1 outubro 2020)
- Idioma : Inglês
- Tamanho do arquivo : 4024 KB
- Leitura de texto : Habilitado
- Leitor de tela : Compatível
- Configuração de fonte : Habilitado
- X-Ray : Habilitado
- Dicas de vocabulário : Habilitado
- Número de páginas : 299 páginas
- Ranking dos mais vendidos: Nº 11,071 em Loja Kindle (Conheça o Top 100 na categoria Loja Kindle)
- Avaliações dos clientes:
Avaliação de clientes
Principais avaliações de outros países
Worth noting is that the author is a woman, so we are in fact reading a woman’s voice as she depicts through the eyes of men the woman who is so central to this story.
The three men in question are William E. Macmillan (an American medical doctor), Ian Ferguson (a gunner’s mate Naval Group China), and Liu Zhaohu (a Chinese officer in training). They are in China when the Japanese emperor makes his war-ending announcement and their post-mortem rendezvous thus take place in China. (This all makes sense since the author is originally from China.)
I find this book to be extremely well written. I often wonder if people who stumble upon literary fiction and give it negative reviews are just unfamiliar with what really good writing looks like. This book is well written, clever, and original - not an easy feat.
UPDATE: For those of you interested in following this bickerfest between two of Amazon’s Top 20 reviewers, here is my snappy comeback to the other reviewer’s “update”. My review was not an ad hominem attack. I referenced the 1-star review in my first paragraph. Nothing wrong with that. I generally read other reviews before posting my own and often respond, as it were, to other reviewers’ experiences; I pay particular attention to the negative reviews and share whether I had a similar experience with the product. As to my final paragraph, nothing is amiss there, either. Not every product is suitable for every person. For example, I take issue with middle-aged men writing negative reviews of children’s movies which my daughter enjoyed and for which they were clearly not the target audience. Literary fiction is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s just fine. Mysteries and thrillers are not mine.
What I find particularly disturbing about this 1-star review is that the reviewer posted reviews of 6 of the First Reads books before 1pm on First Reads Day and gave two of them 1 star. I do not think you have to read every word of a book to form an opinion of it (although that helps), but unless a book is truly dreadful (which this one is not) a reviewer really has no business giving a 1-star review to an unread book. Add to that the little factoid that First Reads is a known path to accumulating helpful votes, and you can get a good sense of what is going on here. One final tidbit: Setting up a review to become the Top Critical Review is sure to lead to even more helpful votes over time. Getting that review posted first is a golden opportunity, and one which the other reviewer clearly recognizes.
As for the posting of credentials, putting aside for the moment that anyone can claim anything on the internet, I’ll gladly stack up my three graduate degrees and decades of writing, proofreading, and editing experience against any reviewer’s. (But really, why?) And I would do so without arrogantly adding that a book labeled literary fiction isn’t because somehow in a post-factual world, opinion counts for more than reality.
The reality is a poorly/ clumsily told story. It might be down to poor translation, I'm sure English was not the original language. Perhaps the story teller is trying to convey the ignorance and limited ability of one of the characters but I've previously read translated stories that were far more eloquent, consequently, more entertaining.
There was a time when I would read a difficult book to the bitter end, the "I've started so I'll finish" attitude that got me through "The Road to Wiggan Pier" and "the rise and fall..of the Roman Empire....". But not anymore, I'm too old to waste my time trying to justify the effort . I now read purely for pleasure and the first 5 chapters of this book was not a pleasure so why continue !!
The lens of three different men coming with their own expectations, relationships and different backgrounds tells a moving story of humans and others striving through adversity. Master stroke of imagination to make them ghosts convening on the location of the intersection of their lives enables the story to jump backwards and forwards in time effortlessly so the reader is drawn in and wants to learn more. It is a timeless story of the human spirit (no pun intended with all the ghosts around).
The chapter that I enjoyed most was the dialogue between two dogs about themselves and the humans and their doings.
I will remember this story for a long time and do not hesitate in recommending it to a wide, open-minded readership.
The three main strands of the story are narrated by a Chinese soldier, an American pastor and an American military instructor. These characters, whilst sharing a celebratory drink on VJ day promise to return, as ghosts, to the village which pulled them together, on the anniversary of that day after their deaths. Eventually, they hope, they will meet up and reminisce. On the face of it, that’s a very clever device to enable the telling of a story from three individual points of view. But, for me, it failed.
The pastor, who is also a doctor, dies soon after the end of the war, before he can even make it back to the States. The Chinese soldier dies a few decades on. The military instructor dies at the age of 92, by which time the other two ghosts have grown impatient and angry that they have had to wait so long.
The strands of the story bear authenticity and match other accounts that I have read from the same region and period. They reveal great details and feelings which tug at my heartstrings. The binding force is Swallow, a local girl with whom each of the three main characters form differing relationships. Not only do they perceive her differently, but they each have different names for her. She is key to the development of the story from the beginning right through to the very end.
A three-star rating means that I liked the book and that I would recommend it.
So, why didn’t I rate it higher?
Ask yourselves this question. If old friends and comrades met up, even as ghosts, after many years of separation, would they sit and narrate their part of the story for hours on end without interruption? Of course not. They’d have animated conversations with many interruptions for questions and disagreements. I’ve attended many reunions and they are always filled with multiple chatter as we merrily and sometimes forlornly reminisce. Each of these characters is permitted to speak for tens of pages of the book at a time. It is impossible. That disappoints me.
Then there is an element of ridiculous. Two dogs, who played a central role in the lives of all four main characters, including the Swallow, get together for a reminisce of their own. That would be OK as it stands and would be rather entertaining. However, not only are these two dogs trilingual, speaking Mandarin, English and Dog, they are very intellectual in their language and descriptions and they are wonderful philosophers, probably more so than their human masters. They are also mind-readers. They relate the thoughts of the humans and one of them can even read a thermometer and understand the magnitude and meaning of the patient’s temperature.
Although these aspects distracted me from the amazing stories, I would still highly recommend the book to you.
Read it. I look forward to hearing your own opinions.
The translator deserves praise in particular for her ability to seamlessly take a story written in one language and translate so the reader does not even realise it was not originally written in another language. Well done.