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A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition (Legends of the Condor Heroes Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Anna Holmwood is a producer and translator from Chinese and Swedish into English. She is co-founder of the Emerging Translators' Network in the UK. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for LEGENDS OF THE CONDOR HEROES:
"A delightful entertainment." - Kirkus on A Bond Undone
"Jin Yong’s work is undoubtedly worth reading." - Publisher's Weekly
"Fans of sword-and-sorcery fantasy and historical fiction alike will enjoy this hard-hitting yarn." - Kirkus
"Filled to the brim with characters and action, this translation will allow English-speaking readers to finally enjoy a classic of the wuxia fantasy genre, and hopefully whet their appetites for more." - Booklist
"Pick [A Hero Born] up as soon as you can and check out its majesty for yourself." - SyFy Wire, 10 SFF Books You Shouldn't Miss This September
"Full of noble heroes and pitched battles, Cha's stories were epic, featuring not just fantastical kung fu swordsmen who can fly and walk on water, but also complex characters and plots woven into dramatic historical events." – CNN
"Widely known by his pen name, Jin Yong, his work, in the Chinese-speaking world, has a cultural currency roughly equal to that of 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Wars' combined." - The New Yorker
"[A Hero Born is] actually one of the most famous works by author Louis Cha (commonly known as Jin Yong), a Hong Kong writer beloved across the Chinese-speaking world." – NPR
"...his works were loved by generations - both in China and worldwide." - BBC
“If you haven’t read Jin Yong’s work, you haven’t yet fully experienced the fantasy genre. Bursting with magic, heroism, history, drama, and epic martial arts battles, this is the wuxia genre at its very finest.” ―Fonda Lee, World Fantasy Award-winning author of the Green Bone Saga
“The Hong Kong writer, Louis Cha, writing under the pen name Jin Yong from the mid-1950s through the rise of a movie star named Bruce Lee, created what have become the world’s greatest and most beloved martial arts novels. When he passed in 2018, he left behind epic stories of betrayal and honor, intrigue and amour, slashing blades and flashing fists, and a dazzling parade of indelible characters that hundreds of millions of readers have come to love. The arrival of the U.S. edition of The Legends of the Condor Heroes is a major event. Welcome to the world of Jin Yong. Once you’ve entered, you may never want to leave.” ― Jeff Chang, American Book Award Winner and author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
"A Chinese Lord of the Rings." - Irish Times
“The world’s biggest kung fu fantasy writer.” – The Guardian
“In Anna Holmwood’s spirited translation, this action-packed and ideas-laden saga is as revealing of modern as of ancient China.” – economist.com
“…the novel makes use of hundreds of characters to create an epic world of martial arts and entangled human stories, not just about familial bonds and romance, but also brotherhood and patriotism.” – Global Times
“A Hero Born reads like…an early legend, such as the Death of King Arthur.” - GeekDad
“A Hero Born is a stirring epic, full of gravity-defying kung fu, treachery, loyalty and love.” – The Times
“The plot includes betrayal and allegiance in different martial arts schools, and the rise and fall of dynasties.” – Telegraph UK
“…[Jin Yong’s novels have] become a touchstone for generations of readers, and an influence on authors such as Ken Liu.” – The Verge
“The world imagined by Chinese writer Jin Yong is one which celebrates loyalty, courage, and the triumph of the individual over a corrupt and authoritarian state – carried out by no less than heroes who fly through trees and deliver deadly blows to their enemies with a single finger.” – Quartzy.com
“You’ll be rooting for the heroes to the end.” – SFX Magazine, 4 starred review
“Cha…created an imaginary world in his 15 novels – one featuring martial arts, poetry and plots with deep roots in Chinese history, culture and beliefs.” – South China Morning Post
“Prepare to be swept along as our champion gallops towards his nemesis and destiny.” – Daily Mail
"Jin Yong's stories have been passed down in the East from generation to generation and thus nurture people of all ages." - Yan Lianke, Man International Booker-shortlisted author
- ASIN : B07P2NX2LV
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; Illustrated edition (September 17, 2019)
- Publication date : September 17, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 18140 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 433 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1250220629
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #243,763 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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Disregarding Chairman Mao's Little Red Book that every Chinese had to own several copies for obvious reasons and thus was published a trillion times in China, it is no doubt that Jin Yong's fifteen martial arts novels are the number one selling books for the last half century in China. It is a rarity to find a Chinese who has never read Jin Yong or watched a movie/TV series adapted from his books. I personally grew up with it, and Jin Yong's martial arts literature has become a common part of the Chinese consciousness and psyche.
The Condor Heroes are the first installment of the fifteen stories penned by Jin Yong, and is probably the most widely circulated among the fifteen. That's why I call it the foundational piece of the modern martial arts literature. Without it, there would be no Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, no Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, or no Kung Fu Panda. Without it, several generations of Chinese would suffer a huge deficit of literary imagination.
Jin Yong, like J R Tolkien or J K Rowling, are grand masters of building otherworldly worlds filled with mesmerizing plots and characters. I still remember the days when I begged my classmates in elementary school to borrow and have the Condor Heroes just for one night, and I burned the midnight oil literally because there was no electricity in the early 1980s. Those nights were the happiest reading days of my life. When I started working and received my first paycheck, one of the things in my priority list was to buy and own Jin Yong's full-set books.
I took one star off because of the translation. I have great sympathy for the translator because many concepts in Jin Yong's world is so Chinese. For instance, "nine yin skeleton claw" just does not sound terrorizing as the Chinese original. Still the translator did a admirable and quality job.
1) They translated certain names and not others. I would've preferred all names left in their original form and a footnote if necessary to explain anything relevant like the Huang Rong (Aka Lotus Huang) thing. Some names like Hector Sha make no sense. Why westernize the name? I'd like to talk to e translator about this.
2) I get that trilogies are popular, but was it necessary to split this book in three? If so, why end it in that specific point in the middle of everything that's going on?
That said I repeat, loved the book. I only hope they don't take a year between each or I'll be old when the whole twelve books are over.
I *love* this ridiculous, wild ride of a series. Epic battles. Mystical and creatively weird powers developed by supreme dedication to the art. Questionable decisions. Manipulation and escape and triumph through cleverness. Complicated relationships. It made me so happy to find this published translation because - this is the kind of thing I like.
Relevant note: For context, I am so much this kind of person I flew to China and lived there for a year to train in Kung Fu. You'll have to decide if this is anything like you. ;-)
The names are, for some reason, occasionally "westernized" as someone else mentioned. Worse, the Chinese names that remain don't have tone markings so I can't even pronounce them. I hope this is fixed in the next volume.
Top reviews from other countries
A more subjective complaint I have is that the translator also fails to provide proper introduction to the novel's historical and geographical context. This book's introduction is only three pages long. There is no help for the reader who wants to go beyond the translation to know more about Jin Yong or the novel itself. It is very easy for someone not already familiar with the novel to get lost, and the later volumes, when they are released, will only get trickier.
The translator's prose reads fairly fluidly and engagingly, which is why I give it another star. But I as a Chinese speaker (who is familiar with the original novel) feel that it has too many flaws of style and accuracy to recommend. To be honest, it feels like a surface-deep translation, which might be fine for other authors but not Jin Yong. So I would instead recommend that enthusiasts stick to the online fan translation for now, which is a little less readable but more accurate.
Cumulatively it builds into a bizarre kind of poetry, which I adored. However it ends with a cliffhanger and the next translation isn't out until 2019...
A brilliant book for a British Born Chinese. I can speak Chinese and watched many Chinese martial arts TV shows buy can't read enough Chinese to read a story so this is amazing
I like the literal translations of the names as I have a a better understanding of what it is in Chinese
This is the first volume in the Chinese classic ‘The Legends of the Condor Heroes’. It was translated by Anna Holmwood.
While I enjoy experiencing world literature and was excited to read this historical fantasy, I soon found myself struggling. I read 75% before throwing in the towel as I found that I wasn’t enjoying it at all.
I found the matter-of-fact style of writing just didn’t engage my interest in the story or characters and the endless fights just began to meld into one another. So many decapitations!
I am sure this novel and the series will appeal to some readers, just not me.
If you read the Deer and the Caudron series translated by John Minford - the Legends of the Condor Heroes is an absolute