Farewell My Concubine

Farewell My Concubine Beginning amid the decadent glamour of China in the s and ending in the s in Hong Kong this brilliant novel which formed the basis for the award winning movie is the passionate story of an

  • Title: Farewell My Concubine
  • Author: Lilian Lee Bihua Li Pi-Hua Li
  • ISBN: 9780060976446
  • Page: 196
  • Format: Paperback
  • Beginning amid the decadent glamour of China in the 1930s and ending in the 1980s in Hong Kong, this brilliant novel, which formed the basis for the award winning movie, is the passionate story of an opera student who falls in love with his best friend, and the beautiful woman who comes between them.

    One thought on “Farewell My Concubine”

    1. Dù là bản phim hay bản truyện thì cơ bản 'Bá vương biệt Cơ' cũng là một câu chuyện buồn.Cả truyện lẫn phim mình đều chỉ đọc/xem đúng một lần. Đều là bằng tiếng Anh. Truyện có bản txt tiếng Trung nhưng bản tiếng Trung bị cắt xén rất nhiều, không chỉ những chi tiết nhạy cảm mà cả nhiều chi tiết nhỏ đem lại cái hay cho truyện nữa. Không rõ vì sao.Trước hết mình phải cảnh báo là 'B [...]

    2. A sweeping saga, Farewell my Concubine runs the gamut of China’s modern history, from 1924 to the 1980′s, and takes the revered Peking Opera as its centre stage. Xiao Douzi and Xiao Shitou become friends under the harsh training regime of the opera (a mix of martial arts, deprivation and singing) and continue friends through the good and the very bad times of over 50 years of the country’s turbulent historyI’m going to say right out that if you have seen the film and are thinking about r [...]

    3. The movie adaptation of Lilian Lee’s Farwell to my Concubine is widely renowned and celebrated, but the novel perhaps not as much, and that’s a shame. As with all original sources, this is more flushed out, subtler, and more enjoyable in many ways than the movie. While I loved the movie, especially the dynamic between Gong Li’s Juxian and Leslie Cheung’s Dieyi, the movie took certain liberties that I didn’t care for, but didn’t know initially because I watched the movie prior to read [...]

    4. After listening to the reviews of some online reviewers and some personal acquaintances, I was left with the impression that this book would be dull and I would not be able to get through it- "severely lacking the engaging qualities that the movie possesses" said my long time friend. However, I was itching to read it because it was so out of the norm of the books that I usually read. So I picked up a copy before my 7 hour flight overseas and spent the trip slowly reading every line and breathing [...]

    5. Eis um dos raros livros adaptados ao cinema, de que gostei mais do filme do livro.Esta novela de Lilian Lee, cujo verdadeiro nome é Li Pak-Wah, que vive em Hong Kong, foi adaptada em 1993 ao cinema por Kaige Chan, um filme notável.A narrativa fala-nos da difícil vida na China no século XX, principalmente até aos anos 80, com o final da dinastia Qing, a revolução nacionalista, a ocupação japonesa, a guerra civil entre nacionalistas e comunistas, a libertação, a Grande Revolução Cultu [...]

    6. Having taken lots of courses on 'gender' in my Latin American lit classes, this was a really interesting take on the roles of all-male theater. Lots of neat symbolism and a nice blend of eastern and western writing aesthetics (although other translations might be different). I also like any book that can teach me a little history through the story rather than vice versa. I'll probably check out the movie and maybe some of the author's other books. Seems like a good way to learn more about China [...]

    7. Esta versão portuguesa não cativa, aborrece, limitando-se (com algumas excepções) a descrever o filme. O romance merecia uma melhor tradução, pois a história é muito boa, muito interessante, abordando dois actores da Ópera de Pequim, desde a sua infância à velhice, no século passado, e, ao mesmo tempo, as transformações sociais e políticas da China.

    8. This is a poignant, short novella that lasts just over 3 hours in the unabridged version I listened to.The bare bones of the story form a very potent plot but the narrative is somewhat dry. Since it spans over 50 years and the lives of the main characters are set against the turbulent political changes in China during those years, from the Japanese invasion, through the rise of Mao Zedong to the end of British colonial rule in Hong Kong, it is hard for the author to squeeze in the telling person [...]

    9. i have to say, when seeing the movie first then reading the book, it always fell beyond expectation. thought having it the other way around, mostly it pissed me off because i always felt that the movie is lack of details than with the book. so, i really enjoy reading the book after. i tried to remember the detail of the film, but it shortly failed me with the sad, short tone of the entire novel. i felt sad finishing the book. tragic is more fitting i believe. it's like seeing another version of [...]

    10. (view spoiler)[The story follows Xiao Douzi, sold by his prostitute mother to the director of a perfomance training school, and Xiao Shitou, an orphan who soon befriends him. As they grow they keep performing together which strengthens their bond. Their abilities are eventually recognized thanks to the opera Farewell My Concubine, where Shitou is a defeated general and Douzi his concubine. Meanwhile, the japanese invade and civil wars break out. China is going through a political turmoil, but Sh [...]

    11. It's not often a book falls short of fulfilling the promise of a movie. Where the film "Farewell My Concubine" was lush, rich, nuanced, brightly colored, emotional, layered, and beautiful, the book was flat, affectless, emotionally distant, uninspiring. It could be that the richness of the story was lost in the translation from the Chinese, or that the subtleties of an oppressed Chinese life in the 40s, 50s and 60s are just too subtle for me to grasp. But it felt like not enough time was given t [...]

    12. As with many translated novels, some of the subliminal beauty of descriptions gets lost when translators may tend to focus on literal meanings rather than implied impressions. It was a quick read with most of my joy found in the writer's passion towards the same point as the book's main protagonist, Dieyi. This story shines at the start where an animated childhood and the love of opera are colorfully painted. I would love to have experienced China during this time of unrestrained artistic freedo [...]

    13. Me encantó, me parece una novela hermosa llena de nostalgia. Nostalgia por el pasado, por los amores perdidos y por los amores que no se conquistaron. En todas las novelas de relacionadas con la época de la revolución cultural China, no deja de impactarme la tremenda violencia que sacudió a este país, como el régimen logró convertir a las personas en enemigas unas de las otras, siempre temerosos de que cualquier cosa que pudieran hacer o decir se volviera en su contra.

    14. I read this after seeing the movie. It was OK, kind of hard to read at times. I did learn a bit about the Cultural Revolution, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

    15. Farewell My Concubine, based on the novel by Pik Wah LeeA different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:- youtube/playlist?list and realini/Farewell My Concubine is a mesmerizing movie.You can find it on the New York Times ‘Best 1,000 Movies ever made list: - listchallenges/new-yorIt won the most important award in cinema-in my view:- The Palme d’OrAnd some cherries on top:- The Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Foreign Film and other coveted prizesFarewell My Con [...]

    16. A beautifully narrated tale of unrequited love and repetitive loss that left both a sad and joyful taste in my mouth. From the characters, who are retold in an almost poetic fashion, to the incredible world of Peking opera that Lee envelopes and showcases to her audience, it was a uniquely magical tale. Though I wish there had been a little more in depth into the characters, there was no doubt in my mind that the horrors and the accomplishments of the cast was felt. In a way, Lee captures the su [...]

    17. Okay, so the writing was great, but the storywhile the story is undeniably a good one, I didn't particularly love it. It's queer literature, for one, and some of the scenes can get explicit, so there's that. It's also rather depressing. But as a topic for my research paper, this was a great source, soI'm torn. Overall, writing = good, storyline = questionable.

    18. I liked the second half of this book much better. That is where I gained an increased understanding of what it was like to live in China during the Cultural Revolution, as seen through the eyes of two opera singers. It was sad to see how much their lives were affected by the Revolution.

    19. Nella Cina del 1929, Xiao Douzi ha solo nove anni quando la madre, prostituta per disperazione, lo cede al maestro Guan con un contratto di apprendista per dieci anni. Sono anni in cui Douzi imparerà a fare l’attore, in particolare diventerà una dan (teatrocinese/storia/sto) e stringerà un forte legame di amicizia con Xiao Shitou, quasi suo coetaneo e che rappresenterà per Douzi una figura a cui aggrapparsi in un’infanzia difficile. Questo legame per Douzi diventerà un po’ morboso neg [...]

    20. “. . . life is just a play. Or an opera,” Lilian Lee writes in her 1992 novel of hopeless love set against the backdrop China’s 20th century struggles. “It would be easier for all of us if we could watch only the highlights. . . but the players have no choice. Once the curtain goes up they have to perform the play from beginning to end. They have nowhere to hide.”The two young boys who will become known as Cheng Dieyi and Duan Xiaolou meet for the first time in 1929 (the 18th year afte [...]

    21. "Give her a ying-and-yang haircut". Dieyi is ying, Xialou is yang, Juxian is the woman caught between them. 20th Century Chinese history is, as Lee points-out, the story of several hundred millions of people dragged from the middle ages to the 21st Century in the space of eighty years purely on the basis of the motives of powerful individuals in a society where the citizen must fight for the right to individuality - and even this slim hope was denied under the Maoist regime and the Gang of Four. [...]

    22. This book would be a perfect supplement for anybody studying 20th century China. History is told through the lives of two Peking opera stars, starting with the two characters meeting at an intense Peking opera training school as young children. All the boys at this school are basically orphans - their families died or could not support them. As the two boys grow up, they must endure the Japanese occupation, civil war, the establishment of The People's Republic of China, Chairman Mao's Campaign t [...]

    23. Ho letto questo libro grazie ad un corso di teatri orientali in cui ho affrontato lo studio dell'Opera di Pechino (forma di teatro tradizionale cinese praticato dai protagonisti maschili del libro). La lettura è stata una sorta di preparazione al film che vedrò a breve. Purtroppo il mio interesse per la lettura s'è limitato all'intento documentaristico -per le rappresentazioni teatrali, descritte minuziosamente- e storico, dato che la narrazione si colloca lungo tutto il XX secolo della Cina, [...]

    24. It was a good book. I remember having read it when I was around 10 years old, but at the time I couldn't grasp all of what was really happening, all of the emotions, all the violence. In the end, I was sad to see that Cheng Dieyi couldn't fullfil his love, even though Duan Xiaolao was always protecting him. Can't really say I favor Dieyi over Juxian as well, I think they both struggled and tried their hardest to make Xiaolao love either one of them. I was really shocked though, to witness, in th [...]

    25. Estou dividida para dar pontuação a este livro. Entrei sem conhecer nada do livro e nada da autora. Fui assim à aventura, coisa que até gosto nas leituras! Mas não sei. Adorei a parte inicial até metade, depois achei chato e gostei mais ou menos do final! Não é um livro muito fácil, nem muito leve. Faz-nos entender as grandes diferenças que existem entre Ocidente e Oriente. Mas não é mau! A história é forte mas não é de fácil trago! As personagens são tipicamente orientais e al [...]

    26. You'll have a better understanding of how performers of the Beijing Opera were developed years ago after reading this book. Boys were selected from the dregs of society, treated brutally in the early years, and then chosen to play the parts of women or warriors as they continued to progress while supporting the troupe in performances on the streets. The main character played women's roles, and it had a greataffect on his life. He had strong feelings for a fellow performer who was always cast as [...]

    27. Okay, I have to say this is one of the few books that has ever made me cry. It is a beautiful moving story about the life deep inside the world of Peking opera during the twentieth century. The story centers on a love triangle involving two opera singers and a former prostitute, providing an emotionally charged view of major historical events in China during the century of the oppressive communist rule of Chairman Mao. Lee explores themes of survival, sex, and love and uses the transformation an [...]

    28. This piece reads like a ready-made screenplay. Unfortunately the author doesn't go past the surface with the characters so the book feels like it is lacking in depth. But, what is interesting is the survey of the Chinese political weather that takes us from the fall of the Qing Dynasty to the Red Revolution. It is worth a read to experience the mystery behind the culture and the political upheavals of the 60's and on. The author references traditional Chinese operas which are worth researching, [...]

    29. Again, one tragic story of love triangle between two men and a woman who comes later to the scene. From childhood to adolescence, living in an old-fashion theatre group to be a legend in stage-arts performance, the hardship and suffering seems never ends. The relationship between the two men becomes the core of the story which establish a complete view of Chinese condition during Japan invasion. (i watched the movie version too :) it's an excellent movie)

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