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Days of Bitter Strength (Chung Kuo) Paperback – July 7, 1997

3.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
Book 7 of 8 in the Chung Kuo Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The magnificent epic of the future continues .  .  .

"May well be one of the masterpieces of the decade."
--The Washington Post Book World

"A remarkable literary achievement."
--The Chattanooga Times

"An instant classic.  .  .  Equal parts Blade Runner and Shogun."
--Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale)


From the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

The final book in David Wingrove's critically acclaimed science fiction masterpiece is set among the red-roofed houses of "China on the Rhine," where former freedom-fighter Emily Ascher now serves as mother to the orphan boys of a war-devastated land. But unto the people of Chung Kuo, two children will be born, a baby girl smothered and thrown away, but not yet dead, and a baby boy delivered into a hostile land, yet determined to fight for his life. They are part of a new generation who will see more death than any who have gone before.

Although peace seems to reign, the puppet master of an army of giant androids plans one final absolute destruction. And although the great T'ang, the dictators of Earth, are gone, mega corporation GenSyn remainsas does its pleasure drug which will turn Chung Kuo into a funeral pyre. Now the only escape lies in sending survivors toward new stars, or joining Emily Ascher in a battle for liberty and a new Earth.

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Product Details

  • Series: Chung Kuo (Book 7)
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (July 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440507944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440507949
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wingrove brings us one step closer to the final chapter of Chung Kuo with Book 7. The pace quickens dramatically with this volume, and the true nature of the opposing forces in the universe becomes clearer. I was impressed by the significant development we see in central characters, and the final collapse of the civilization we met in Book 1. At the center of it all, Kim Ward and Ben Shepard continue to be fascinating and clearly opposing characters. Their development over the past six books -- never having met -- and the positions they represent come to an interesting point in this novel.
Days of Bitter Strength delivers the promise of this series at its best.

I have also just finished Book 8 in the series (in an imported hardcover edition) and believe fans will not be disappointed with the climax of this brilliant series.
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By A Customer on November 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
I liked the way this book was done. Once again the Chung Kuo series manages to capture my attention. However, i feel that David Wingrove lost something in writting this, and the end of the last book. Some aspect of realism or such was lost.
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Format: Paperback
I found the hexalogy from 'Middle Kingdom' to 'White Moon, Red Dragon' very well constructed and full of solid, believable plot. Occasional tangents from the apparent storyline were seen, but I was always pleased when they returned to the straight and narrow. Indeed it did give me 'a sense of destiny being fulfilled' (Tom Hutchinson). I especially enjoyed the continuity from the first book to the sixth of the Shepherd family, the raising of Stefan Lehmann, and the sudden return(s) of DeVore. Even little, almost cliched details delighted me ("flames, dancing in a glass" are the first words of Book 1, the last of Book 3, and recur throughout).
All this was spoiled by Days of Bitter Strength. It seemed to me that all of David Wingrove's previous careful planning had not prepared him for this, and this novel makes many, many assumptions which we are not told about before. Basically put, the change from 6 to 7 is too great! Various characters die in the background (Nan Ho), many more are almost unrecognizable from 6 (Pei Kung), and most irritatingly of all, the 'China of the Rhine' seems little different from the 'City of Levels' before. Whilst I accept that there is very good ground for making a point of humanity's evil core, I still felt extremely misled by the end of 6: the arch-villian DeVore was defeated by a technology present from Book 1 (very good), the anti-hero Lehmann was thwarted in his misguided crusade (tragic, lots of pathos and a catharsis), and the Emperor swore in his darkest hour to give up his power and rule justly (also very good--except that it's a barefaced lie).
Perhaps I am being impatient in passing judgment before reading 8 as there are many unresolved story leads, but I cannot help feeling that this seventh book is the average child in what is otherwise a family of geniuses.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As you may know, this is the last of the series and it's amazing, satisfying, and continues to be so well written. David Wingrove is a master at showing the depths of his characters and has a clear understanding of the most noble and the most base human motivations. All good things come to an end and I'm satisfied. What a masterpiece!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Wingrove brings us one step closer to the final chapter of Chung Kuo with Book 7. The pace quickens dramatically with this volume, and the true nature of the opposing forces in the universe becomes clearer. I was impressed by the significant development we see in central characters, and the final collapse of the civilization we met in Book 1. At the center of it all, Kim Ward and Ben Shepard continue to be fascinating and clearly opposing characters. Their development over the past six books -- never having met -- and the positions they represent come to an interesting point in this novel. Days of Bitter Strength delivers the promise of this series at its best. I have also just finished Book 8 in the series (in an imported hardcover edition) and believe fans will not be disappointed with the climax of this brilliant series.
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Format: Paperback
David writes another fabulous tale, but seems to have quickened the pace to bring the second-age of Chung Kuo to the forefront. The Tang's great cities have crumbled, Ben Shepherd's China on the Rhine experiment is doomed, DeVore returns again with yet another way of destroying the world. Kim makes rockets out of planets. I almost want to say "STOP! TOO MUCH!" This book could have been two. Contrary to popular belief(and as is written at the end of 'Days'), David's 8th book 'The Marriage of the Living Dark' is available in Great Britain.
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By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved the whole series and unfortunatly David Wingrove can't write them as quickly as I can read them. I read the whole series and got to the last book. No. 7 and just couldn't beleive the ending. I was told that was the absolute ending and couldn't believe it. I will be getting the next book as soon as it hits the shelf.
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By A Customer on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Don't bother with this book or its sequels. David Wingrove started out great with this series, but he got lost somewhere. By the end of this opus the author blatantly uses a "deus ex machina" . I felt betrayed because of all the time I spent reading the last 3 books.
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