- Paperback: 2339 pages
- Publisher: Foreign Languages Press; Volume 1, 2, 3 & 4 edition (2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 7119005901
- ISBN-13: 978-7119005904
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 3.2 x 4.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 222 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Three Kingdoms (Chinese Classics, 4 Volumes) Paperback – Box set, 2008
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"A martial epic with an astonishing fidelity to history, which has been translated now into lively English by Moss Roberts. . . . The subject matter of Three Kingdoms has long held an extraordinary grip on the Chinese imagination. . . . The great achievement of the author . . . was to match historiography with fiction and gain a synergistic effect from the combination of elite and popular tradition." -- Patrick Hanan, New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The book itself is a classic, and this is a good translation, although I want the one that starts: "They say the momentum of history was ever thus: the empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide." That is surely one of the greatest openings in all of literature; this one isn't quite at that level. I think that version might be adapted from Moss Roberts (the same translator as this book), or it may be his earlier, abridged version.
This is one of the four classical chinese novels, and if you are looking to connect with the Middle Kingdom and its past, this is a great (though rather heavy) place to start.
Better value and translation than the other books that are listed, and you're getting the whole set of books instead of just one or two. I hate that I sound like I'm trying to sell the book, but really this is the best version you can buy unless you learn Chinese and translate it yourself.
This is an awesome epic novel, sweeping the history of Chinese history. All of the characters that are in the Dynasty Series game are here for our further knowledge. Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Lu Bu, Cao Cao, Cao Song, Dio Chan, Sun Ce, Sun Quan, Sun Shiang San..... the list goes on and on.
This story written over a thousand years ago, accurately portrays the lives and feelings of these "heroes". The author is a little swayed by the Shu family, and he seems to favor them, portraying Guan Yu, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei as the most loyal and honorable sworn brothers, with Cao Cao a sort of evil madman. But that is okay, since I never liked Cao Cao in the game anyway.
All in all, this is a long and worthwhile read. I would recommend the unabridged version as it is more complete and thorough. You will not be disapointed to see these wonderful characters come to life.
The characters in the book are more alive in the reader's imagination than in the book itself because there isn't much character developement. The book doesn't flow or read smoothly instead it feels almost mechanical. But the events and the actions take a life of it's own in the reader's imagination. I don't know the Chinese language but maybe there were some essence that was lost in the translation.
The events and the strategy that were used in that era of history were brilliant. Even though this happened hundreds of years ago, I have to remind myself these people were not simple, ignorant farmers. Instead they were manipulative, calculating and deceptive as much as, if not more than the politicians that we have now.
Of all the events in the book, what I still remember is how people are killed so easily and at a whim of those in authority. No wonder so many people were in fear of their lives and what they said and did because they were at the mercy of the authority. Another thing I marvelled at was the scale of the wars and battles they had where hundreds of thousands of people would fight and die just because their king wanted ot attack their neighbor.
All said, I would reccommend this book for those who have some interest in China or that era of Chinese history. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because of the lack of the character developement which would have made this historical novel much more enjoyable and readable.