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Publisher's Summary

The "Chinaman" understood death.

Jungle-skilled, silent, and lethal, he had killed for the Viet Cong and then for the Americans. He had watched helpless as his two eldest daughters were raped and killed by Thai pirates. Now, all that was behind him. Quiet, hard-working, and unassuming, he was building up his South London take-away business - until the day his wife and youngest daughter were murdered by an IRA bomb. Then he began to ask the authorities who were the men responsible, what was being done - and was turned away, fobbed off, treated as a nuisance. That was when the Chinaman, denied justice, decided on revenge...and went back to war.

©1992 Stephen Leather (P)2007 Isis Publishing Ltd.

Critic Reviews

" The Chinaman is a gem of a thriller, perfectly constructed and full of the unexpected." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    64
  • 4 Stars
    41
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    14
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    3
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    3

Performance

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    24
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • North Hollywood, CA, USA
  • 08-11-07

Great plot idea, but...

Turning loose a trained Vietnamese assassin among a bunch of IRA bombers is an idea loaded with possibilities. It's a great little book, but the author falls into the trap of Orientalism in his characterization of the Viet Cong hero: he makes him into a single-minded cutthroat with the tracking skills of Natty Bumppo. He could have been a Joyce fan, or a horse racing bettor, or a baseball or lacrosse fan. But no. He does know how to make nitroglycerin out of antifreeze and fertilizer and set it off with a flash bulb. Not too deep. The Irish terrorists get full three dimensional portraits, on the other hand, including cottages, favorite drinks, Land Rovers and girl friends. Still, the plot moves right along and it's a fun read, with plenty of surprises -- all of them for the deliciously astonished white folks, and many of them fatal.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Decent thriller

For a novel called the Chinaman, the book doesn't really focus on the Nguyen character enough. Instead it dragged a little too much with the IRA members relationships and inner conflicts. The Nguyen character could have had more depth and development.

The performance was good. His nailed his British Isles accents but his vietnamese accent at times sounded like a generic Asian accent and other times sounded Japanese. He also should learn how to pronounce the name Nguyen (sounds more like ngwen) and other vietnamese words such as "Hue" (pronounced hoo-ay not Hyoo).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Me
  • Virginia
  • 06-08-18

<br />Great book

I bought this book after watching the movie. Of course, this is much better. The only thing I didn't like was the main character's accent.

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

fantastic

This audiobook had me tuned in nonstop. I wish there was more! A great story with characters that jump off the tracks.

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

Strong narration and a solid story.

I read this after watching the movie and personally liked the more grim tone of this book.

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

Great book!!

This was a great story. Lots of real world references that add a level of credibility to the tale. “AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

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

Great book and reader

However, his performance of Nguyen was very distracting and sounded similar to how someone would make fun of a Asian accent. Im sure not intentional, but it made it difficult to take the character seriously. His performance of the other characters was very well done; each character was distinct and he held their respective accents well.

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

really liked this one

this was certainly worth my time and money. Will look to see what else the author has to offer

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What a surprise

Great characters, excellent plot line, great character development, moves quickly with no boring stretches. I felt like I was able to understand the motivations of each of the pricipals. The author is a very good writer and the narration is first rate. I am very glad I listened to this book, would encorage you to check this one out.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting and interesting.

I really enjoyed this book by Mr. Leather. He wove the stories of the different characters together so that one remained sympathetic and horrified at the same time. Mr. Boulter is an outstanding narrator and his voice adaptations made each character vividly stand out. I will look for both author and narrator for future listening entertainment.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Glynn
  • 01-02-10

New to Stephen Leather

Well I first read the Solitary Man and now went back to this one and found it more gripping. I gave The Solitary Man 5 out of 5 before reading this one and actually found it better. wish audible would allow me to go back to rate this one as 5 and the previous as 4 but actually both deserve 5s! Heartbreaking in parts but stirring in others this book reinforces my thoughts to go through all the stephen leather books on audible.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • stew marsden
  • 07-25-07

At last Stephen Leather on audio!

I have read nearly every Stephen Leather book as they have been published and have constantly scoured the net for them on audio.
The Chinaman is in my opinion one of his best and the audio version certainly doesn't disappoint with Russell Boulters narration being a very pleasent surprise. He does it at just the right pace and carries off all the various accents extremely well.
Although a relatively easy listen this story contains enough twists and detail in the characters to keep the interest going.
I look forward to more of his books on audio soon.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Rogers
  • 11-16-11

Very pleasant surprise

I admit to not having heard of this author before, however the Chinaman came up on a recommended list. As I'd accrued a number of credits I thought "I'll give it a whirl" - and wow - am I glad I did. The story had me gripped from beginning to end and the narration was amongst the best I've heard. Am not going to search for some more by Stephen Leather - though you've set a high standard to follow!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Abiline
  • 09-27-10

Highly enjoyable

A fast-paced, well plotted crime thriller. I have enjoyed many of Stephen Leather's books in print, and this was one of the first Audible downloads I bought. It was well worth it, holding my attention throughout and leaving me wanting more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Street
  • 03-08-18

One to buy!

Would you listen to The Chinaman again? Why?

Probably not, once the story unfolds there's no point but that said it applies to most books for me.

What did you like best about this story?

Steady build up with a few twists

What does Russell Boulter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Atmosphere - good characterisations and an easy/smooth voice to listen to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Without giving the story away, the main characters reaction to the initial incident

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 03-04-18

Story telling at It best, a classic from Steven Leather

Pure drama, this fast moving book will keep you at the edge of you chairs.

Love it, an oldie but a classic!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • robert graham
  • 01-14-18

enjoyable listen

really enjoyed the story after watching the movie version. in fact I'm surprised how close the movie stayed with the story. It was very well read and the reader kept you involved. I will be looking at other books by the author. My only disappointment was the ending with regards to the title character

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Woodster
  • 12-12-17

Good listen 👍🏼

A good story with a few twists, the narration on the whole is ok but the narrator sometimes sounds like he was speed reading, otherwise a great book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pleased customer
  • 09-15-17

Good original story

Well narrated by an ex "The Bill" actor. Good voices and good story. Extremely recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs J Clarke
  • 09-07-17

Revisited

I read this book many many years ago, in fact the first Stephen Leather I ever read, and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. The narration by Russell Boulter is definitely one of, if not THE best narrations I have heard. I might even buy a book just because he us narrating. All round excellent.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful