©2003 Li Cunxin; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd by arrangement with Penguin Group (Australia)
"[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)
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
I really loved this book. The story engaged and fascinated me from the beginning, starting with Li Cunxin's early life as a poorest-of-the-poor peasant and the sixth of seven sons. He tells the story of his early life with his parents and brothers with such love and sentimentality. He is plucked from his family at 11-years-old to participate in Madam Mao's Beijing Dance Academy. Especially knowing this is a true story, the events that lead to his being one of the best ballet dancers in the world is fascinating. The story is written with love (oh his love for his mother is so moving!) and some humor too. I chuckled at many parts. And some parts I wanted to cry!
Add to this the wonderful narrator who reads with such enthusiasm and he never bores you!
Physician in Healthcare IT. Commuter. Listen to a lot of books. Recently introduced to Audible. I am hooked.
What an amazing adventure! Cunxin let's us experience life through his eyes from his beginnings through to the present. The volume of love he and his friends & family gave freely to one another could fill the ocean. It was such pleasure to read this beautifully written piece.
The author reminded us how much we, Americans, take our freedom and living standards for granted. Imagine all you can eat are dry yams and that your future is to sweat or freeze in the fields. Imagine the government won't listen to you and keep you poor. You have no rights and no voice. Worst of all, Mao's government would lie to you thinking you are rich and the Western lifestyle is evil. The author was a symbol of China's transition to Western influence. As his living standards improved so did his family's. He may have been away, but not his spirit. Who could blame him for not going back to China's haunting memories of poverty. What he achieved the average American ballet student can only dream of, like being a principal dancer, meeting celebrities and Vice President Bush. This biography was so inspiring, sacrifice, perseverance, focus, risk and redemption. I could not stop listening.
Extraordinary life of a man whose commitment to his talent rose far above enormous hardships that plagued his early life. His story is understated given that his accomplishments as a world class ballet dancer are so exceptional. The reader doesn't have to know anything about ballet to enjoy this book. Well narrated.
and a penny for your thoughts
What a lovely story, inspirational and enlightening. Paul English (narrator) is wonderful. He really brings the story to life. I was not familiar with Li Cunxin before this but it is a wonderful tale of hope and inspiration that is so human and relatable. Don't miss it.
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