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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning author of Waiting: a spare, haunting tale of espionage and conflicted loyalties that spans half a century in the entwined histories of two countries - China and the United States - and two families as it explores the complicated terrain of love and honor.

When Lilian Shang, born and raised in America, discovers her father’s diary after the death of her parents, she is shocked by the secrets it contains. She knew that her father, Gary, convicted decades ago of being a mole in the CIA, was the most important Chinese spy ever caught. But his diary - an astonishing chronicle of his journey from 1949 Shanghai to Okinawa to Langley, Virginia - reveals the pain and longing that his double life entailed. The trail leads Lilian to China, to her father’s long-abandoned other family, whose existence she and her Irish American mother never suspected. As Lilian begins to fathom her father’s dilemma - torn between loyalty to his motherland and the love he came to feel for his adopted country - she sees how his sense of duty distorted his life. But as she starts to understand that Gary, too, had been betrayed, she finds that it is up to her to prevent his tragedy from damaging yet another generation of her family.

©2014 Pantheon Books (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The very first Ha Jin book that I COULD put down.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Although I am a huge fan of Ha Jin who has read every book and short story by him, I found the characters and dialog two-dimensional and unbelievable. As someone who has traveled and worked in China I always found Jin's books to be absolutely representative of the environment and people. In this latest book, the characters and dialog are so flat that I found myself not caring what was going to happen next.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Angela Lin?

I have enjoyed other books narrated by Angela Lin (Nanjing Requiem) and thoroughly enjoyed the performance and book.

Was A Map of Betrayal worth the listening time?

Yes, I'm glad I listened to it, but hope the next Ha Jin book recaptures the character and story driven realism I have come to expect from his work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • Middleton, WI, United States
  • 04-26-15

Sino-American spy novel

Would you listen to A Map of Betrayal again? Why?

No. I got it the first time and I'm happy with that

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gary. He is emblematic of the immigrant caught between 2 worlds

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

No.

Any additional comments?

This is a nice introduction to Sino-American relations during the cold war told in a fictional format. The characters are interesting, and the events that Gary, the protagonist, deals with cover the gamut of Chinese-American cold war history However.I was, not moved or emotionally invested in any of these characters, as much as I enjoyed the story.
The narrator does a good job in switching between Chinese and North American voices.Overall, I enjoyed it but I doubt that I will read/listen to it again.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't Bother. The voice actor is awful.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

By Starting all over again, new voice actor, new director, producer--the whole shebang.

To be fair--I have no idea whether the story was worse than the narration--I didn't finish it.

What could Ha Jin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Maybe the voice actor ruined it for me, I don't know-- it was very hard to tell. I stopped listening after three chapters.

How could the performance have been better?

Hiring someone else.

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

none that I can think of.