©1966 James Clavell; (P)2000 Books on Tape
"Grand entertainment." (The New York Times)
I am working my way through James Clavell's books and this is a fine example of his work.
It's an exciting tale of the founding of Hong Kong and the First Opium War and Clavell shows his usual skill of describing a clash of two cultures and the intrigue and conflict that comes with it.
I would also like to say that this is one of the best examples of an audio book I have heard to date. The narrator does an excellent job and really brings the characters and story to life.
With its multitude of accents and extensive use of Pigeon English, it must be one of the more challenging books to narrate, but this is a triumph.
Hated to see it end. Outstanding tale of the English in China when they ruled the sea as told by a master story teller. Listen to it, you won't be disappointed.
For me, the book started a bit slowly but it captivated me fully and I was sorry when it ended. The narrator is one of the best I have heard, capturing the accents and personalities of the many characters. We recently relocated to Hong Kong which is the reason I purchased the book, but for someone who usually listens to the “thriller” genre, it has enticed me to listen to Clavell’s other books. It clearly yearns for a sequel, but I do not believe there is one, so I will move onto northeastern Asia and purchase “Shogun”!
This was a wonderful listen.This book ranks among the most enjoyable of the many to which I have listened. I read Tai Pan as a teenager and I believe I enjoyed it more listening than reading. Mr. Lee's rendition of this book is exclusively responsible for this sentiment.
Almost from the beginning, I knew I would wish that it would not end. The character development is exceptional. There was not a single moment of boredome. The ending left me wishing that Mr. Clavell had extended this book another 20 hours.
John Lee is an exceptional reader. His accents are outstanding with the exception of the Southern Belle effort and I forgive him for this. When I finish listening to the rest of the books he has read for Mr. Clavell I will search for other works of his.
It is unfortunate that Books On Tape has required audible to charge so many credits for Mr. Clavell's books. My local library has Noble House and I will obtain it from my library on tape rather than pay this exorbitant rate of 3 credits.
I read this 25 years ago, and loved it. And I love it today. A great novel of epic proportions with wonderful characters. But a love story all the way. The narration is great.
Absolutely amazing book. John Lee brought the characters to life and made this audio version even better than the book I read so many years ago. Every bit as good as The Pillars Of The Earth and World Without End. I'm hooked on John Lee.
In the middle of the 19th century, Hong Kong is founded. In order to destroy his rival, the largest traders, Dirk Struan uses his influence over the local authorities to gain every advantage he needs using even his family to gain victory. But when he is broke and with the back to the wall, he makes a deal, with concequences that will follow his decendents for over a hundred years.
This prequel to Noble House, gives you a picture of the politics of the 19th century, and it show how hatred can consume men, so they will use even their family to get their victory.
This is the second James Clavell book I've read, the first being the excellent Shogun.
You'll really love the references to all the places in Hong Kong if you've lived there. But even if you have no idea about HK, Clavell creates wonderful characters who each stand on their own.
The narration is excellent, especially since the narrator manages to use the dialects and mannerisms of the various classes/ethnicities with so much feeling.
Fabulous! I read the book many years ago and was nervous that the reading would bring alive a book that I had enjoyed so much. The reading was a 'PERFORMANCE' and was masterly. Congratulations JOHN LEE !! I will look for more audio books that you have narrated. A full-flavoured family saga ... the best purchase I have made so far from Audible. I wholeheartedly recommend this 'ripping yarn'. I couldn't put it down.
I adore Clavell's books, his Asian epic. His characters are always real and believable; even if you don't like one, you're still interested in him.
The reading was masterful; he captured the Tai-Pan's Scots burr perfectly. The Chinese-accented voices he also did very well, though I rather wish MayMay's voice had been a little lighter and sweeter.
I will listen to this brilliant piece again and again.
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