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The Deer and the Cauldron: The Second Book Hardcover – July 27, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Louis Cha is probably the most widely read author in modern China. His martial arts novels, originally serialized for newspapers, have been adapted for TV, film, cartoons, video games, and even restaurant menus, and they have been translated in numerous languages.

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Product Details

  • Series: Deer & the Cauldron (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 596 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (July 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195903250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195903256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.5 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By David Chute on October 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Fans of the new Ang Lee film, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," will welcome this swashbuckling adventure story of 17th century Manchu-dominated China. THE DEER AND THE CAULDRON (aka "Royal Tramp") is by repute the very best of the thirteen "wu xia" (or "martial chivalry") novels written by Louis Cha, "the Alexandre Dumas of Asia." Published originally as a newspaper serial in Hong Kong, under the Chinese pseudonym Jin Yong, this beautifully constructed novel may be a better book than any by Dumas, who certainly never created a central character as seductively self-absorbed as Cha's Wei Xiaobao - who becomes "Trinket" in translator John Minford's version. Trinket is an incorrigible teenage rogue from the "pleasure quarter" of Yangzhou who by guile and good fortune becomes simultaneously a confidant of the boy emperor Kang Xi and a leader of the loyalist martial arts outlaws of the Heaven and Earth Society. John Minford's graceful translation gives the most popular Chinese novelist on earth a shot at a legion of new fans. (An earlier Louis Cha novel, "Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge," is available for download in its entirety, in English, from "[...]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes! This is pretty much the same review as the one for the first book, but it's not a book series. So there!
This is the last of Cha's masterful storytelling efforts and it is by far his most original. The siver-tongued and foulmouthed anti-hero (Trinket Wei) will definitely fill your hours with amazement, laughter, gasps of "WHAT!" and "HOW'D HE DO THAT!?!". For me these comments and expressions were spoken out loud (and very loud somthings), which is something I almost never do. The other characters in this book are very loveable, mostly heroic, and uncommonly very vulnerable. At first glance, the men and women of River and Lake seem to exude the aura of stereotypical "heroes" (and villains) that as children listening to storytellers we have come to believe to have lived in that era. But their personalities and character faults envelope them with a third dimensional layer that definitely makes them leap of the page. Only the first two (of three) books are currently available and you'll definitely want to pickup the second before finishing the first. I think I read about 600 pages the first night.
So... Tired of the "poo" that's been floating around in you're Fantasy or Adventure sections of the bookstore? This is one of the books that you'll want to snatch up! Now! Currently, I'm pulling my fingernails out with my teeth waiting for Oxford to put out the THIRD part of this book. I'm also anxiously awaiting Cha's "The Book and The Sword" which was translated by Graham Ernshaw (GREAT translation BTW). This one is mentioned in the intro of TD&TC, so I'm hoping that it comes out soon!
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Format: Hardcover
In this Second Book of *The Deer and the Cauldron*, Trinket the teenage trickster gets to travel a lot more than in the First Book, which was mostly set in the Forbidden City. Still searching for the eight copies of the *Sutra in Forty-Two Sections*, about which much more is now revealed, he visits the northern Wutai Mountains, where evil Tibetan lamas try to kidnap the lost father of the young Manchu Emperor; confronts the perils of Snake Island, where he is initiated into the Sect of the Mystic Dragon; stays at the Shaolin Monastery, from whose assortment of rather ridiculous monks he does not seek to learn much kung fu; and is finally sent to the south-western Yunnan province, where a conspiracy is afoot to overthrow the Qing dynasty.
The first one hundred pages of this Second Book are perhaps the most addictive of the two volumes and the action remains fast-paced throughout. However, Trinket's assumption of more and more false identities and his rapid promotion in the various milieux he infiltrates tend to become a little formulaic. The general tone is one of derision, and the only truly noble figure in the whole series is the White Nun, who might have been interpreted, in another era, by a Xu Feng or a Cheng Pei Pei. As for Trinket's increasingly sophisticated Machiavellianism, it is often disturbing, as he murders enemy after enemy in the most dastardly ways (usually by poison or back stabs), disposing of the bodies with his "decomposing powder". Even his sex life, and particularly his sado-masochistic relationship with the berserk Princess Ning, is repulsive.
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