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The Adventures of Mao on the Long March (New Directions Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Frederic Tuten
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $11.95
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Book Description

A revolutionary comic masterpiece, an icon of literature as American pop art, and a book unlike any other, The Adventures of Mao on the Long March breaks all frames.

Frederic Tuten's subversive, witty, and triumphant 1971 novel is caught somewhere between the clear-eyed rhapsodies of James Fenimore Cooper and Mao Tse Tung's own Address to the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature. Tuten peppers his deadpan textbook narrative of Mao's long march with loving parodies of Hemingway, Kerouac, Dos Passos, and Malamud. As John Updike comments, the book includes: "twenty-seven pages of straight history of the Long March" and "thirty-six and a half pages of quotations in quotation marks, from unidentified sources (such as, diligent research discovers, Hawthorne's Marble Faun, Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean ) and twenty-six pages of what might be considered normal novelistic substanceimaginary encounters and conversation. For example: Chairman Mao is in his tent, after the strain of the Tatu campaign. He hears the rumble of a tank: 'A tank, covered with peonies and laurels, advances towards him. Mao thinks the tank will crush him, but it clanks to a halt. The turret rises, hesitantly. Greta Garbo, dressed in red sealskin boots, red railway-man's cap, and red satin coveralls, emerges. She speaks: "Mao, I have been bad in Moscow and wicked in Paris, I have been loved in every capital, but I have never met a MAN whom I could love. That Man is you, Mao, Mao mine." Mao considers this dialectically. The woman is clearly mad. Yet she is beautiful and the tank seems to work.' "

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Although LJ's reviewer found the book "too cerebral to be effective," he nonetheless praised Tuten for being able to "reduce Mao to human dimensions, to present his loves, his doubts, and his fears." In addition, the author "writes well and is knowledgeable" (LJ 12/1/71).
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.


A violently hilarious book….soda pop, a cold towel, a shady spot under a tree for culture-clogged foot soldiers. -- Susan Sontag

Almost too good to be true. -- The New York Times

Delightful and original—funny and bitter and serious. -- Iris Murdoch

Weird and comic stuff. -- The Beat Scene

Product Details

  • File Size: 282 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (April 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,190,448 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I read this book in the seventies. Its depiction of Mao was accurate and fascinating as to Mao's almost hallucinatory erudition. Of course it left out his brutal, autocratic side; it Caesarized him. I do not regard this as a flaw. Tuten was not trying to sell Mao or Maoism, but to open a magic door into his complex, vivid world. The interview portion was excellent; it fooled the Partisan review, which was quite miffed when it could not publish it as a true interview. It is a history of a facet of Mao's imagination: he had an amazing capacity to realize what he could imagine. Tuten makes this clear in Western terms, doing us all a service. His writing is imaginative and vital, and when you read the book you cannot imagine being elsewhere.
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22 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a play, not a history. August 27, 1998
By A Customer
This is not about CHina, any more than Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" is about Virginia Woolf. For info on Mao and the Long March, see Edgar Snow's "Red Star Over China" or Harrison Salisbury's "The Long March."
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