Regular price: $19.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Martha Macnamara knows that her daughter, Elizabeth, is in trouble; she just doesn't know what kind. Mysterious phone calls from San Francisco at odd hours of the night are the only contact she has had with Elizabeth for years. Now, Elizabeth has sent her a plane ticket and reserved a room for her at San Francisco's most luxurious hotel. Yet she has not tried to contact Martha since she arrived, leaving her lonely, confused, and a little bit worried. Into the story steps Mayland Long, a distinguished-looking and wealthy Chinese man who lives at the hotel and is drawn to Martha's good nature and ability to pinpoint the truth of a matter.

Mayland and Martha become close in a short period of time and he promises to help her find Elizabeth, making small inroads in the mystery before Martha herself disappears. Now Mayland is struck by the realization, too late, that he is in love with Martha, and now he fears for her life. Determined to find her, he sets his prodigious philosopher's mind to work on the problem, embarking on a potentially dangerous adventure.

©1983 R. A. MacAvoy (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A small masterpiece, setting a fantasy story against a contemporary background." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    41
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellenaeddy
  • Chesterton, IN, United States
  • 08-08-15

My favorite dragon book

This was an eighties book and I read and loved it at the time. It still holds up well, and I love that the romance is between people well past their middle ages. The computer bits are past dated but not central to the story. It's gentle lovely swashbuckler romance with a Chinese dragon. What's better than that?
It's aged a bit somehow which is why I took a star off. But it still was delightful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Will
  • Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 11-22-14

Not recommended...

The writing is cheesy, but there is something charming about this story. The mystery involves old-timey computers; it's amusingly antique, but never much of a puzzle. The black dragon himself is a great invention, and his zen master/love interest (who has a surprising cousinship with Mrs Pollifax and other middle-aged ladies of American popular novels) has good bones. But the narrator is so bad that this is a hard listen. If nostalgic, maybe better to find the ebook or an old paperback copy and just read it for yourself.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Lovely Tale, but....

This is an excellent story that would probably be better in print than on this recording. A good storyteller can make a difference; but this reader can ONLY read, not tell a story; and her voice is too vapid for the writing.
In spite of that, the story is charming enough to bear another reading--possibly on paper the next time. A Chinese imperial dragon who becomes human in his search for the meaning of life !
(I would like to hear the sequel, but same reader, so....)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Underrated, but classic

Where does Tea with the Black Dragon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As a story, Tea with the Black Dragon is superlative. It's a bit dated now, as a techology-driven story set in 1983, but MacAvoy gets the tech right.

As an audiobook, it's... average. Occasionally, it is obvious that the narrator is not aware of cultural nuances and verbal tics involved in other languages to get some of the vocals right. (Mayland Long is supposed to have an old-style Oxford accent, but the narrator uses a modern, well-educated North London). Since language also drives the story, it might have been better to get a performer who understood and could simulate nuances of accent better. Though in the face of that, Hayes does read aloud quite well, and has a pleasant voice to listen to.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Well, I originally read the book in the late eighties, but yes, the twists of the plot lead to unexpected places!

Did Megan Hayes do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, the differences in character were quite clear. She avoided simulating the basso profundo so many young female narrators use when reading the male dialog, only deepening subtly, but with clear differentiation between characters.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Car chase can wait until after tea

This story starts with what too many stories lack - a decent, pleasant human interaction such as a shared table. There is time enough for the car chase scene after we've built a relationship. I enjoyed the quaint old tech too - not a distraction at all. Just the right size story, a good blend of elements.

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

Not worth it

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

The narrator confused me. Many times, I could not tell what character voice she was speaking in. This coupled with a poorly written story made it a frustrating listen.

Has Tea with the Black Dragon turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

What didn’t you like about Megan Hayes’s performance?

She needs to develop her "voices" better and understand the characters' emotions so that she can better convey them in her tone.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration

Any additional comments?

I would not continue with the series. This book was not what I expected and probably not for me...

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

Superb Story and Performance

I was delighted by tantalizing mystery of the characters. I don't want to write more because I can't wait to hear the following book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It may be old, but some young ones could learn if they look past that

Written in the toddler stage of the computer, this is a classic tale of a fantastic kind. Mailand Long is a mysterious character who may be a dragon, or may be a madman. But he finds truth and beauty in the shape of a woman whose daughter is a computer engineer in the silicon valley. The story is multilayered and deep. The reader is not bad, not good....perhaps not the best choice. However, she does not really destroy the story. There is a sequel. And there is a bio of the author on Wikipedia.