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The Flowers of War (Movie Tie-in Edition) Paperback – January 31, 2012
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“I have long been a fan of Geling Yan’s fiction for its power to disturb us out of our ordinary worlds…The Flowers of War is [a] riveting tale that touches us at the center of our being.” —Amy Tan, New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club
“I will never forget some of the characters in this short novel for their amazing acceptance of their destiny and their dignity throughout. That [Yan] was able to convey this with so much authority, yet so simply, is testament to [her] splendid talent.” –The Arts Fuse
“Yan’s book is oddly moving, with a chilling ending that celebrates the triumph of human goodness.” –Belletrista
“The prose…is clear and straightforward. The people are vividly drawn, believable, and capable of surprising the reader. As the characters’ situation grows more perilous, we come to truly care about their individual fates. The climax of the story provides an enormous emotional jolt. What happens is heartbreaking yet in a sense inspiring, making this a truly unforgettable novel.” –Historical Novel Society
About the Author
GELING YAN is an award-winning Chinese novelist and screenwriter. Born in Shanghai, she published her first novel in 1985. Since then she has written numerous short stories, essays, scripts and novels including, in English, The Uninvited and The Lost Daughter of Happiness. Several of Geling Yan's works have been adapted for the screen, the latest being The Flowers of War which has been filmed by acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou and stars Christian Bale. Geling Yan divides her time between Berlin and China.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
For those whose history is a little rusty, the Nanking (Nanjing) Massacre took place in December 1937. Estimates vary depending on the source, but the International Military Tribunal of the Far East claim more than 200,000 civilians and military personnel lost their lives to the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. It is in my opinion, one of the darkest and oft overlooked chapters of WWII.
I would have been attracted to this piece even if I'd never seen the film. I'd never come across a fictional version of the event and couldn't help being intrigued by the idea once I had. I wanted to see how a writer would treat the event, how they would go about constructing a story from the ashes and sorrow it left in its wake.
In this regard, Yan has real a gift. Her work gives faces to the victims of Nanking and voice to their silent tongues. Through the fiction experiences of Shujuan, Yumo, Hongling, Cardamom, Wang Pusheng, Major Dai, Father Englemann and Fabio, Yan tells the human side of war, weighing emotion and sentiment against the stark reality of history.
The Flowers of War is a plainly written piece, but no less moving for its simplicity. In point of fact I found the modest language and style of the piece one of its more attractive qualities not to mention highly appropriate to the rather bleak subject matter.
Finally, I would note that for all the similarity this is not the same story director Yimou Zang tells on film. Be prepared for that and try to judge each format in its own right.
It was good to read on the beach. Short read, but quality of content was not lost.
If you don't like to read about war. you will not like this book.