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The Chinese bandit Hardcover – 1975


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394485610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394485614
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,787,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
This book makes me really want to travel.
Ian Finlayson
I read this book for the first time in the late 1970's and I've read it 3 or 4 times since then.
vinegarhill3
Very well done backdrop of life in criminal circles in China.
Daniel M. Katzman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By vinegarhill3 on October 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book for the first time in the late 1970's and I've read it 3 or 4 times since then. For plain, old fashioned adventure, this is one of my favorite books.

Let me say first of all that if I could have one job for the rest of my life, I'd want to be a guard/scout on a caravan, traveling the Silk Route from the Med to Peking. Yeah, I know, it doesn't exist any more, but that's the job I want. Marco Polo's travels, Marshall's Caravan to Xanadu, Michener's Caravans (I especially enjoy his Harvey Holt character in The Drifters) are all great adventure stories, and I've read them all. Any of the Errol Flynn's swashbucklers, Tyrone Powers in The Black Rose, Gunga Din or any old B&W movie on late night TV and I've packed my gear and I'm ready to go. I'm familiar with all of them.

Throughout my life I've encountered a lot of Jake Dodds; men and women who do their jobs extremely well when it matters most, but become bored and trouble-prone when they are required to sit around and mark time. These people are worth keeping, but they need purpose in their lives.

Jake's travels through China and over the roof of the world rank with any of the above titles, but where the classic adventurer as realized today is an archetypal cliche and quickly approaching comedy, e.g., Indiana Jones, Becker goes one step further and allows Jake to examine the consequences of his actions. Jake moves beyond being a one dimensional character and realizes what he gains and loses through his journey. Eventually he becomes a fully-fleshed protagonist. He accepts what he is and what's he has done. It just doesn't necessarily mean he's going to change.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elliot on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A thrilling yet thoughtful adventure, set in the chaotic China of 1947. An American marine, fleeing military justice, hooks up with a gang of Chinese bandits and learns some universal truths while dodging bullets of many armies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. E. Geiger on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the best adventure book I have ever read. It's the kind that sinks its claws into your mind and won't let go until you're done. I have read it many times and enjoy it each time I read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Timothy G. Delaney on July 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'll help look for the keg of nails. Anything to travel the Silk Route. Or to have an adventure as exciting and fulfilling as Jake Dodd's. I've known and loved this book for many years and just rediscovered it recently. Becker's characters, plot, and prose far transcend the journeyman genre writing you would expect in a story like this. This ranks with George MacDonald Fraser's books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By vinegarhill3 on March 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
FIVE STAR BOOK----------FIVE STAR BOOK----------FIVE STAR BOOK

I RATED THIS BOOK AS FIVE STARS. FOR SOME REASON THE RATING CONTINUES TO DEFAULT TO ONE STAR.

I read this book for the first time in the late 1970's and I've read it 3 or 4 times since then. For plain, old fashioned adventure, this is one of my favorite books.

Let me say first of all that if I could have one job for the rest of my life, I'd want to be a guard/scout on a caravan, traveling the Silk Route from the Med to Peking. Yeah, I know, it doesn't exist any more, but that's the job I want. Marco Polo's travels, Marshall's Caravan to Xanadu, Michener's Caravans (I especially enjoy his Harvey Holt character in The Drifters) are all great adventure stories, and I've read them all. Any of the Errol Flynn's swashbucklers, Tyrone Powers in The Black Rose, Gunga Din or any old B&W movie on late night TV and I've packed my gear and I'm ready to go. I'm familiar with all of them.

Throughout my life I've encountered a lot of Jake Dodds; men and women who do their jobs extremely well when it matters most, but become bored and trouble-prone when they are required to sit around and mark time. These people are worth keeping, but they need purpose in their lives.

Jake's travels through China and over the roof of the world rank with any of the above titles, but where the classic adventurer as realized today is an archetypal cliche and quickly approaching comedy, e.g., Indiana Jones, Becker goes one step further and allows Jake to examine the consequences of his actions. Jake moves beyond being a one dimensional character and realizes what he gains and loses through his journey. Eventually he becomes a fully-fleshed protagonist. He accepts what he is and what's he has done.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julian Y. Barrolaza on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exciting book by a gifted writer.Brings to mind actual experiences. Recommended reading for all old China hands! Difficulty putting the book down! Barrola Specialties!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jitensha on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every few years, I reread this classic and beautifully written adventure novel of a fugitive U.S. marine losing himself in China at the close of World War II. From its opening paragraph, the book draws you into a still-traditional China, and doesn't let go: "That summer they hanged a fat man at the Western Gate as a warning and example to all. In those days the penalty for most crimes was death. They swung him from a fresh gallows on the city wall, where twelve horsemen in silks could ride abreast, and once had. For sure he deserved it. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin." My old paperback version of the book finally disintegrated so I bought this used hardcover. The book arrived promptly and was in good condition, as described.
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