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The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber, Vol. 1: The Golden Days Paperback – March 30, 1974
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"The Golden Days" begins in amusing, but sympathetic fashion: the goddess Nü-wa is repairing the sky with 36,501 stones. When she finishes, one remains, which is cast off. Having been touched by a goddess, this stone has magical properties, able to move, change size, and even talk. One day, a Buddhist monk and a Taoist come upon the stone, and promise to let the stone have an adventure - to become human. As the stone waits by a pond, it falls desperately in love with a Crimson Pearl Flower, which is also selected for incarnation by the Fairy Disenchantment.Read more ›
The story itself is a fascinating picture of life in 18th century China, and portrays the development of a young boy who has otherworldly origins. The western reader needs to view dispassionately the Buddhist theme which pervades the novel, but when read with an open mind, the philosophy underlying the novel is both charming and practical (in its own way).
I found the book addictive, though it has to be said that others of my acquaintance found it too difficult to cope with, and abandoned the story before the end of the first volume. If you persevere, it forms a wonderful introduction to classical Chinese literature, and those similarly addicted will find it leads into many other books of Chinese prose and poetry.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rank and privilege in 18th century China. The family compound. Relation between relatives and the pecking order. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I put it down after about 40 pages, just better things to do with my time. BoringPublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
It's a real page-turner. As far as I can see, it's an episodic narrative without an overall structure, but that didn't prevent me from thoroughly enjoying it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. Paley
Lots and lots of pages and every one of them worth it! I first read a more abbreviated translation of this story for an anthropology class back in the early 70s.Published 5 months ago by Liz
I loved this classic novel. There are extravagant descriptions of the unbelievably lavish life-styles of those favored by the emperor, and some very surprising episodes which... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dolores Soldo
* A Non-Chinese reader should beware of the fact that no matter how good 'Dream of Red Chamber' is translated into English, the gap between English & Chinese original is still... Read morePublished 18 months ago by V.Valerious
This review applies to the first three volumes of this story. This is a typical Chinese fable involving hundreds of characters. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Donald Buckley