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Publisher's Summary

In a Japan still rigid with tradition, an apprehensive 15-year-old tea-house girl prepares to welcome her first client. In his gleaming white uniform, Lieutenant Pinkerton walks up the hill to a house in Nagasaki to find the female he has purchased for a few weeks. When he sails away, she waits, aching for his return. It is one of the world’s great love stories. And, as the curtain falls on Madame Butterfly, Cho-Cho hands over her son to his American father, before killing herself... In a daring imaginative leap, Lee Langley takes this searing moment as a springboard, sending Puccini’s characters spinning into a future undreamed of in the original.

©2010 Lee Langley (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    102
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    42
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    8

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    92
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    65
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    38
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    12
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    6

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    68
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    34
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    13
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    9
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unhappy

I listened to about 75% of this book and then I just stopped. There was no happy in the book, and I didn't care what happened next. The reader was pleasant and did a great job. I don't think it is a bad book, but I found it all depressing with a hopeless feeling. Just not for me.

50 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

You'll Need to Hug Mom when you finish this book!

Beautiful,bittersweet story, of family, loss, and love. Not drama drama drama, just heroic and heartbreaking. The piece gives you a snapshot of WWII, Japan's culture clash with American GI's, and the strength of women. I'd recommend this to anyone, the writing and reader are both very well done. I am amazed I got it for $5, it goes into my favorites pile.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Shirlene
  • East Grand Forks, MN, United States
  • 12-09-12

First Time All 5 Stars!

What made the experience of listening to Butterfly's Shadow the most enjoyable?

This is a beautiful, sad, and very plausible story. The author brings us back and forth from Japan to the USA smoothly, and shows us the complex relationships that are formed with WW11 in the background.

What other book might you compare Butterfly's Shadow to and why?

I also enjoyed Shanghai Girls and The Last Train from Hiroshima. It reminds me some of Snow Falling on Cedars.

Which scene was your favorite?

The son's return trip to Japan

Any additional comments?

Maybe this would make a good movie!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 01-26-13

Not Bad but Not Great

I have enjoyed this genre and culture before but this book did not reach the level of those previously read. Certainly it is not reasonable to compare it to something like Memoir of a Geisha as it doesn't come close. But it isn't a bad choice.

The characters are developed, but they are not complete in their development. In fact, I think that is where the problem originates. We hear a lot about Cho-Cho, Pinkerton, and Nancy. But none of that was enough. It was not until the end of the story that Joey is featured. And at that point, it really is too late. Each of thse characters could have been the primary focus of the book and it would have been fine. Tryng to make them all the focus dilutes their value.

The narration was adequate. Her Japanese voices were acceptable, but her narration of Pinkerton was awful. It just did not ring true to his character.

And that was another main glitch: what was his charater about? Was he as Shapeless felt: a crass self-centered man? Worthy of either Nancy or Cho Cho's love? Did Nancy even truly love him? There were many fragments not answered by the tale, left hanging.

Overall, it wasn't a bad listen but it certainly could have been a lot better.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

very good story, but it is dragged out too long.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes<br/>If the author had written with about 4 or 5 chapters less, then it would have been much more enjoyable.

Have you listened to any of Laurel Lefkow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

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

Too long for one sitting

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I loved this story!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely tell othes to read this wonderful story.very real and heartbreaking.

What did you like best about this story?

I love when fiction is close to reality, and when it shows me a glimpse of other cultures and this did both of those things.

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

Its not suspenseful, yet you are sad when it is over

Any additional comments?

This has been my favorite novel from audible do far, not one I will soon forget<br/>

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mary
  • Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
  • 08-06-12

Beautifully crafted

Where does Butterfly's Shadow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Fifth

What was one of the most memorable moments of Butterfly's Shadow?

Dignity of the heroine (I don't want to spoil the story for others)

What does Laurel Lefkow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Excellent characterization

Who was the most memorable character of Butterfly's Shadow and why?

Chocho

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • anne
  • Lakes Entrance Victoria Australia
  • 07-31-12

An easy listen..

An easy listen with minor historical input woven into the storyline.

Touching and endearing characters which you feel you know personally by the end of the book.

I would definitely have a look at other books by this author

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs
  • RUGBY, United Kingdom
  • 10-31-11

Nice story, easy read

One of those books that you don't want to end and you feel like you've got to know the characters

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • DK
  • 11-07-13

Easy Listen But Very Somber-Not Light/Happy Story

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It feels unfinished. We learned a lot about the characters but their individual stories didn't really mesh together for me. <br/><br/>In a Japan still rigid with tradition, an apprehensive 15-year-old tea-house girl prepares to welcome her first client. In his gleaming white uniform, Lieutenant Pinkerton walks up the hill to a house in Nagasaki to find the female he has purchased for a few weeks. When he sails away, she waits, aching for his return. It is one of the world’s great love stories. And, as the curtain falls on Madame Butterfly, Cho-Cho hands over her son to his American father, before killing herself... In a daring imaginative leap, Lee Langley takes this searing moment as a springboard, sending Puccini’s characters spinning into a future undreamed of in the original.

If you’ve listened to books by Lee Langley before, how does this one compare?

No, but her performance was good.

Was Butterfly's Shadow worth the listening time?

Yes & no - I listened to it twice but do not think I'll listen again.

Any additional comments?

I bought this on sale and am happy with the purchase. I do not feel it is a good buy at full price or using a credit.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful