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The Broken Seals: Part One of The Marshes of Mount Liang Paperback – June 22, 1994


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Paperback, June 22, 1994
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Product Details

  • Series: Marshes of Mount Liang (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The Chinese University Press (June 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9622016022
  • ISBN-13: 978-9622016026
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,644,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Dent-Young has taught in Burma, Sri Lanka, Spain, and Thailand, and at present is lecturer in English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Alex Dent-Young works as a translator with Baker and Mckenzie in Hong Kong

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Paul Mason on March 8, 2003
Another reviewer complained that this is based on the 'least popular' version of the story. They're right in only the loosest sense. Fashions change: that 'least popular' version was the dominant version of the story for most of its history! Moreover, the full (four book) version of the Shapiro text also draws on that version.
But the sure clue is that Pearl Buck's piece of orientalist flim-flam, which distorts the story and squeezes it into an unnatural idiom, gets rated higher (and the J H Jackson translation, which while poor, is nevertheless preferable to Buck's, is unmentioned). The Dent-Young's version is immeasurably better written, and it is clear that they have been at pains to try to capture the immediacy and wit of the original: no easy task. I think in the first book they succeed admirably. While later books have some problems (the names are always a sticking point) the first book has a verve that draws you in. They have also smoothed out some peculiarities present in previous translations so that there are no 'blips' where you can't work out why something happened or where something came from.
American readers with an intolerance for anything but US culture may have a problem with the British idiom occasionally employed in a desire to capture the naturalness of the original, but in that case why would such readers want to read a Chinese book?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sean Francisco Smith on January 7, 2003
It's too bad that this translation doesn't get more attention. The father and son team brings this classic to light in a fun and engaging manner. Even better, unlike many translations, they manage to keep the poetry at the same level of aptitude as the prose.
The original itself is a classic of Chinese Literature, although not as powerful and comprehesensive as Dreams of Red Mansions. Still it's a fun read.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marshall A. Childs on December 15, 2000
This is a classical piece of Chinese literature that has the impact of a Holy Grail / King Arthur. This is perhaps the most read piece of Chinese literature in history. The characters and the stories reveal the Chinese intellect and culture. This is a "cannot miss" reading for anyone who loves folklore and enjoys a subtle humor. Divided into stories, each carries the moral meanings of the day, all virtues are explored, and stories all interrelate. Heroes always win, but only of the morals are upheld! A fantastic beginning and a character of the Novel style hundreds of years before writing conventions.
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5 of 17 people found the following review helpful By yige on February 14, 2003
The translators used the least popular copy for their translation(There are several different versions of this book, this being the least popular because of the poor quality of the last 50 chapters). Not only is the version a poor one, but the translations are poor as well. Compared with Sydney Shapiro's translation(The Outlaws of the Marsh), you will find that this is more like the work of a student. To rate the three different translations, I give Sydney's 100, 50 for Pearl Bucke's and 15 for this one.
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