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Mao's Last Dancer | [Li Cunxin]

Mao's Last Dancer

This is the true story of how one moment in time, by the thinnest thread of a chance, changed the course of a small boy's life in ways that are beyond description. One day he would dance with some of the greatest ballet companies of the world. One day he would be a friend to a president and first lady, movie stars, and the most influential people in America. One day he would become a star: Mao's last dancer, and the darling of the West.
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Publisher's Summary

This is the true story of how one moment in time, by the thinnest thread of a chance, changed the course of a small boy's life in ways that are beyond description. One day he would dance with some of the greatest ballet companies of the world. One day he would be a friend to a president and first lady, movie stars, and the most influential people in America. One day he would become a star: Mao's last dancer, and the darling of the West. Here is Li Cunxin's own story, a beautiful, rich account of an inspirational life, told with honesty, dignity, and pride.

©2003 Li Cunxin; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd by arrangement with Penguin Group (Australia)

What the Critics Say

"[A] heartening rags-to-riches story." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Paul English] exercises such an intense and masterful concentration on the text that the listener's interest never flags....He imbues the narrative with ingenuousness and enthusiasm, which endearingly befit the image Li is attempting to present of himself. The result is an audiobook that is superior to its source." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (302 )
5 star
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4.6 (97 )
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4.5 (100 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rio Delta Wild Harlingen, TX 03-25-07
    Rio Delta Wild Harlingen, TX 03-25-07 Member Since 2004

    I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a window into Mao's China"

    Thank you, Li, for setting down your story for us. With doors and windows to China closed to the west for so long, many of us have wished to understand about the changes which took place for people in China. I appreciate your honesty, and how your story is presented. This will become a classic story, suitable for all ages. Your children, family, and each of those who assisted throughout your life can be proud of this wonderful recounting. I, too, would enjoy the tale narrated by an oriental reader, hopefully, someday soon that will also be available.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Canberra, Australia 05-30-12
    Rebecca Canberra, Australia 05-30-12
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    "Interesting but a bit slow at times"
    Any additional comments?

    I was interests in the story but it did move slowly at times. The author seemed to spend a long time describing elements which weren't really all that crucial to the story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April Chelsea, AL, United States 02-07-12
    April Chelsea, AL, United States 02-07-12 Member Since 2010

    I'm a twenty-something lit nerd who enjoys Romance, Fantasy and YA Fiction. I like strong female heroes and entertaining readers.

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    "A wonderful bio of an amazing dancer"

    Mao's Last Dancer is an audiobook that I've come back to over and over again. Listening to Cunxin's story of hard work and dedication leading to a life of freedom and fame is absorbing and uplifting. This is the tale of a man who has had to overcome many obstacles. He makes me grateful for my life. I'll never look at a yam the same way again.

    Anyone who enjoys interesting biographies will enjoy this book. His descriptions help the listener to feel the breaks and pains of learning to dance and the heartbreak he endures brought tears to my eyes. Please, give this one a try for those days when you think your life is too hard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Levi Olympia, WA, United States 01-04-12
    Levi Olympia, WA, United States 01-04-12

    levipaul

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    "Not for me"

    I'm sure the book is good, but I think it was a bit too slow for me. The entire Cultural Revolution can be an interesting topic, but just like how one can love or hate a particular high school class because of the teacher, one can like or dislike an audiobook from the reader. I'm not insulting him as an individual at all. The British accent while reading this didn't work for me in the first place and his pronunciation of the Mandarin words was off - a lot.

    I'm sure the story is great, but it was moving just too slowly for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G Villere New Orleans, LA, United States 09-02-11
    G Villere New Orleans, LA, United States 09-02-11 Member Since 2004
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    "Life under Mao"

    This autobiography about Li Cunxin's life is much more than a story about an incredible ballet dancer. Life as a peasant under Mao and the propaganda about the Eastern world is simply unbelievable. You don't have to know anything about ballet or to even be interested in ballet to enjoy this beautiful story. It was simple yet powerful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ellen 02-10-11
    ellen 02-10-11
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    "mao's last dancer"

    wonderful book, narrator was great; looking forward to reading more about cultural revolution and getting the dvd of this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaui 10-23-10
    Kaui 10-23-10 Member Since 2009

    I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful book"

    After reading immediately prior to this book the autobiography of the Dalai Lama, this book had an added element of historical importance. I truly enjoyed the story of Li Cunxin and would love to meet him in person. What an amazing life!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Berwick, Australia 10-09-10
    Steven Berwick, Australia 10-09-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Enthralling story well told"

    Mao's Last Dancer is an enthralling story, well written and supberly narrated. Li Cunxin's biography humanises life behind Mao's iron curtain, and is a great story of personal courage. Reads more like a novel than a dry biography, and the narrator brings the personalities to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rosie Australia 02-19-10
    rosie Australia 02-19-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Loved it."

    An intoxicating story that you will not be willing to stop listening to. Brilliant story telling about a life torn by the love of a country and a love of dancing. The narration is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amaraa Lehi, UT, USA 12-03-09
    Amaraa Lehi, UT, USA 12-03-09
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    "Absolutely Charming!"

    "Mao's Last Dancer" is wonderful! It captures the reader's interest from the first moments. The narrator (Paul English) is wonderful! I highly recommend this book for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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