We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Wild Swans Audiobook

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

Few books have had such an impact as Wild Swans: a popular best seller which has sold more than 13 million copies and a critically acclaimed history of China; a tragic tale of nightmarish cruelty and an uplifting story of bravery and survival.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Publisher's Summary

Few books have had such an impact as Wild Swans: a popular best seller that has sold more than 13 million copies, a critically acclaimed history of China, a tragic tale of nightmarish cruelty, and an uplifting story of bravery and survival. Through the story of three generations of women in her own family - the grandmother given to the warlord as a concubine, the Communist mother, and the daughter herself - Jung Chang reveals the epic history of China's 20th century. Breathtaking in its scope, unforgettable in its descriptions, this masterpiece is extraordinary in every way.

©2011 Jung Chang (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"An inspiring tale of women who survived every kind of hardship, deprivation and political upheaval with their humanity intact." (Hillary Clinton, in O, The Oprah Magazine)

"Wild Swans is riveting. It's blindingly good: a mad adventure story, a fairy tale of courage, and a tale of atrocities. You can't, as they say, put it down. (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (533 )
5 star
 (284)
4 star
 (147)
3 star
 (65)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.4 (470 )
5 star
 (287)
4 star
 (111)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (14)
Story
4.3 (468 )
5 star
 (268)
4 star
 (125)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    L. Maranto 10-08-15
    L. Maranto 10-08-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great!"

    I really don't understand how anyone could be bored by this! What a riveting story! And the narrator was just right. She did not try to express the emotion commensurate with the outrages. To do so would have been inadequate and not in keeping with the tone of the writing. I have for most of my life detested studying history, but as I grow older, books like this one have opened my eyes to the fact that history is really the story of human lives, not memorization of the names and dates of battles! I will be reading her book on Mao.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 09-27-15
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 09-27-15 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    59
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No thnaks"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    a historian, maybe


    Would you be willing to try another one of Joy Osmanski’s performances?

    probably not, the flat somewhat nasal narration was more than i could take for hours. I gave up after 1 hour


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    maybe a good story but the format of a "tale told" was unappealing to me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl 09-24-15
    Darryl 09-24-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read. A very personal insight to China"

    Listened to while spending a couple of weeks in China. It gave a glimpse of the past and contrasted greatly with the vibrant feeling of China now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Woodridge, IL, USA 08-25-15
    Chris Woodridge, IL, USA 08-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Learn Chinese History that we don't learn in school"

    I read this book back in the 1990s in a book club and loved it, so I was happy to see it in Audible. I thought the narrator was very stilted and must have been chosen just because she can pronounce Chinese names. I must not have finished it in the 90s because the last half gets boring and I didn't remember it at all. Or was it the narration? I cannot recommend this version although the content is amazing. My schooling certainly never got up to Mao and the cultural Revolution. I may have to try her book in Mao that is more recent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Rosen Maryland, USA 07-14-15
    A. Rosen Maryland, USA 07-14-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Family History Reads Like a Novel"

    Wild Swans is one of the most gripping books I've bought from Audible. This is the story not just of the author, but of her mother and grandmother, too. Her grandmother's early life is like something out of an Amy Tan novel--her father sold her as a concubine to a middle-aged general. After his death (and a thwarted attempt to take her daughter away from her), she married a kindly physician whose family from his first marriage poisoned their life so much that they eventually moved to another city.

    The author's mother, as tough and strong-minded as her own mother and daughter, joined the Communists in the hope that they would lead China to a better future, only to be badly disillusioned. The account of her ordeals, and that of her husband and children, exerts an almost hypnotic force on the listener; what they endured was terrible, but Chang writes with compassion for everyone involved and a thoughtful perspective that comes from several decades' remove. The ending is happy: Chang becomes a professor of English and linguistics and moves to Britain, where she still lives. Her mother and siblings are also thriving.

    Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in China, likes the books of Amy Tan and Lisa See, or just enjoys a fascinating true story that reads like a novel. The narrator is always clear and easy to understand, and seems to pronounce Chinese correctly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Martin Spokane Valley, WA, US 06-10-15
    Sandy Martin Spokane Valley, WA, US 06-10-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"

    I knew few details about China and Mao until this book. Wonderfully written and narrated, the story concentrates on the people and how Mao's policies affected them. Class and rank were everything; individuality was basically outlawed. I especially liked the fact that she wrote about three generations. Excellent book!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    armani gillum 02-26-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "boring"

    This book was unbelievably boring though it was a great look into communist china. Overall it is well written but unless you like biographies this is not the book for you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Duarte, CA, United States 09-12-14
    Bob Duarte, CA, United States 09-12-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping story - I couldn't put it down"

    Amazing account of life under Mao. I have many Chinese friends, both in the U.S. and in China. This gave me an understanding of what some of them (the older ones) went through during the Mao years.

    This is an important work to help Westerners understand recent history, and to help understand that China today is far different and much more free than it was then.

    The story is fascinating; Jung Chang is a master at telling it; the reader was superb at helping me feel what the author and her family were going through. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Wikstrom Hayesville NC 07-16-14
    Judith Wikstrom Hayesville NC 07-16-14 Member Since 2007

    rosebud

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "China in the 20th Century"
    If you could sum up Wild Swans in three words, what would they be?

    exactingly painful deception


    What did you like best about this story?

    how truth was a fairytale


    Which character – as performed by Joy Osmanski – was your favorite?

    the communist mother


    Any additional comments?

    excellent, chilling description of the red guard

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian 02-23-14
    brian 02-23-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    167
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    172
    171
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Three Generations."
    Would you listen to Wild Swans again? Why?

    I would in case I may have missed some information.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The information on China before Mao's time.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I'm not certain.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.