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The Story of the Stone: A Master Li Novel Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1989

27 customer reviews

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From Library Journal

Set in a mythical, medieval China where folklore and history are indistinguishable, a dead monk, an ancientand now missingmanuscript, and a ghostly murderer entice the venerable Master Li and his faithful companion Number Ten Ox into the Valley of Sorrows for a deadlyand uproariousconfrontation with the long-dead Laughing Prince. This sequel to Bridge of Birds (Del Rey, 1985) reaffirms Hughart's gift for comic fantasy as well as his talent for ingenious storytelling. JC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Spectra (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553282786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553282788
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on January 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is Hughart's second book, and the second Master Li and Number Ten Ox adventure. And while this book doesn't have quite the sheer delight of the first, "Bridge of Birds," it is still a wonderful adventure set in the same mythical China. And this novel confirms what you suspected after "Bridge of Birds" - Hughart is no fluke.
Chinese peasant Number Ten Ox, Master Li's client in the first book, is his assistant now, and troubled because it appears ancient Master Li may drop dead before another worthwhile mystery comes along. Ox need not have worried. The Abbot of the monastery in the Valley of Sorrows arrives with a tale of murder, terror and the return of the Laughing Prince, the lunatic despot who ruled the Valley of Sorrows 750 years earlier. How can Master Li resist the temptation? How can we resist?
Once again Master Li and Number Ten Ox must solve a mystery, and once again the mystery is fringed with the supernatural, homicide and genuine, laugh out loud developments. Along the way they meet some truly memorable characters, including Grief of Dawn, a young lady with a deeply mysterious past, and Moon Boy, a sound master and an entirely marvellous creation.
Perhaps the best invention is the characters' mind trip through the Chinese Hell, which makes the efforts of Orpheus and Dante look pretty pitiful in comparison. The ending is less of a stunner than "Bridge of Birds," but this story is a little more mature and tightly crafted than "Bridge."
The only fair criticism of "Stone" is that Hughart only wrote one more book, "Eight Skilled Gentlemen." There have to be Master Li stories not yet told; I wish Mr. Hughart would write them.
A wonderful story, amusing and moving, that exposes the reader to parts of Chinese mythology in the nicest possible way. Exceptionally well written. Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
i read this book many, many years ago when i was a kid--found it at the public library and have read it twice since then. this book is a true adventure and the author does a wonderful job of painting both character and setting. i just found out he's written other novels and can't wait to pick them up. it's been about 10 years since the first time i read this work, and i still find it as enchanting as i first did.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I am Barry Hughart's number one fan.
With that said, I recommend this book without reservation. In fact, any book involving Hughart's alter-ego, Master Li, and Hughart's young hero, Number Ten Ox, would be high on my "must read" list.
I just re-read this tale of a mad prince and his array of fascinating characters and was just as enchanted and entertained as I was the first time I read it in ten years ago.
If you're looking for a wonder-filled story with character that will stay with you long after you turn the final page, read this book!
You can also do yourself a huge favor by purchasing "Bridge of Birds" and "Eight Skilled Gentlemen," the only other Master Li/Number Ten Ox adventures. "Bridge of Birds" was Hughart's first effort and the book introduces the reader to Master Li...the most interesting character is all of fiction.....
After all, how can you NOT love someone who introduces himself by saying:
"My surname isLi and my personal name is Kao, and there is a slight flaw in my character"?
The people at amazon.com are masters at locating the "difficult to find" books on their site. Order this book....and then, read and enjoy!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Baer VINE VOICE on January 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I discovered this book as part of one of those book club deals several years ago -- you know the kind that send you books and charge you if you don't return them by a certain date. In this case, it was a blessing. I enjoyed the characters, the locations, the colors and the twists that unfolded in the story. If you can find it, it's definitely a must-read.
Since then, I've collected the only other books that I know this author has produced: "Bridge of Birds" and "Eight Skilled Gentlemen". They are as enjoyable as this one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shivari on May 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Laughing Prince - long dead - has returned to life. As he was homicidally mad, this is not regarded as a good thing. So Master Li and Number Ten Ox have once again to lurch around ancient China to solve the mystery. Expect wit, wisdom, intrigue, general mayhem, a cast of crazy characters - and an absolutely brilliant read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brkat on November 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Author Barry Hughart has done it again. Like his first book "Bridge of Birds" he brilliantly delivers another knockout adventure of Li Kao and Number Ten Ox. This time a mysterious murder and theft in a monastery sets this duo off in pursuit of a mysterious stone. But unlike their first adventure this quest takes them on a wholly different type of journey that, well, almost defies description. And why spoil the wonderful reading of this enchanting tale anyway? Read for yourself this truly imaginative and charming book. In addition to Li Kao and Number Ten Ox you'll meet Grief of Dawn, Moon Boy, the Laughing Prince, et al - uniquely eclectic characters that you will totally enjoy and long remember.

It's a pity that more readers haven't discovered Barry Hughart's wonderful works. But so be it. Just don't be one of those who has missed them.
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