Tai-Pan: The Second Novel of the Asian Saga

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Tai-Pan: The Second Novel of the Asian Saga

Tai-Pan: The Second Novel of the Asian Saga

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This is a great book for people who love history and novels about adventures and love, not a good book if you don’t like older language styles and adventures. Una volta ripresomi dalla sorpresa mi sono però potuto immergere nelle atmosfere della Cina (e della nascente colonia britannica di Hong Kong) del 1800.

We get a little bit of history about the Manchu invasion and the Qing dynasty but other than it’s pretty much epic (melo)drama about the British, Scots, Welsh, Americans etc. I mean megabooks in the sense that this is a pretty long one at around 7-800 pages but it’s also unashamedly full of pure entertainment. He starts out as a bratty, arrogant, idealistic kid and while he definitely loses most of his brattyness he never really becomes half the man his father is. I think there is some confusion from my side on whether the whole saga is a super culturally insensitive western appropriation glorifying the poppy trade and if so, how do I admit that I really liked the story.It conjures up some excellent historical imagery and introduces many of the most important historical developments of the era. To top it off, most Chinese speak pidgin English, a simplified form of the language, which is at times hard to comprehend at all. To a 1960's reader this wouldn't have been unacceptable, but in 2012 I have to agree that it might be difficult to swallow. trying to get what they want out of China (this is usually purely financial gain but, as we come to discover, not always. He has made his own joss by being smarter, more ruthless, accumulating more wealth, and being stronger than his opponents.

Before joining Goodreads, I had already read ‘Shogun’, so you, my friendly reader, do not have the luxury of a review of that as comparison, but I believe that what I say about ‘Tai-Pan’, set in Hong Kong, can easily be said of it’s predecessor. The Tai-Pan was going around being the best at everything, having all the money and power and going home to the most beautiful woman in Asia every night.In what is literally the last page, however, one of Struan's oldest friends says a few words to Culum, which make him decide that he is his father's son and is going to lead the Noble House as a man.

I did, and I’m glad because if there’s anything that can distract from this year, it’s a doorstopper-sized tome about Bastards Being Bastards played out against the backdrop of 1840s China (including the nascent outpost of Hong Kong) and the oceans of the world. The man could tell a tale, and one with enough recognizable features enmeshed within the exotic and the historic to propel his literary vessel across roiling, tempestuous seas. So, with ‘Shogun‘, instead of William Adams, we have John Blackthorne and in place of Tokugawa we have Toranaga. All these aspects of Clavell come out strongly in his novels and will either drive you crazy or have you nodding in agreement. Of course Clavell doesn’t hesitate to push the idea that Europeans of this time were fucking disgusting hygiene-wise compared to most Asian cultures, so you get to learn that for like the 200th time with him.While I found Clavell's use of language in Shogun fascinating, here it felt nothing but off-putting to me. The true love between the two, despite the different world views and cultural differences and despite the fact that Maymay would never be accepted in European society is quite beautiful.

The insistence of the Chinese in receiving only silver bullion for tea actually destabilizes the British economy as silver becomes scarce and afternoon tea became jeopardized.It is about the foundation of Hong Kate no and a nice journey through the social life and customs of China at that time (19th century). If you enjoy historical fictions and morally ambiguous characters acting during a pivotal moment in history you could do much worse than Tai-Pan. There are better options, half a dozen at least of the women/girls he knows who would help to open more doors for him, but there is just one damn problem. Shogun was fantastic, mysterious, complex, cruel, violent, erotic, dressed with elaborate manners and rituals, alien thought patterns, ironclad honor, smelly Europeans, the whole works - but it didn't have the Struans versus the Brocks, which crackling, bloody, rollicking, cutthroat competitive maneuverings grabbed me by the collar and yanked me into this Southwest Pacific tale, hanging me on the yardarm so that I could marvel at the entirety of the colorful, frantic pageant unfolding before my young and excited eyes. Another point in the novel that brings this home and actually puts ‘Shogun’ ahead of ’Tai-Pan’ is the fact that scenes in ’Tai-Pan’ are almost entirely set up in the British settlements around Hong Kong.

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