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Bridge of Birds is a lyrical fantasy novel. Set in "an Ancient China that never was", it stands with The Princess Bride and The Last Unicorn as a fairy tale for all ages, by turns incredibly funny and deeply touching. It won the World Fantasy Award in 1985, and Hughart produced two sequels: The Story of the Stone, and Eight Skilled Gentlemen. All present the adventures of Master Kao Li, a scholar with "a slight flaw in [his] character", and Lu Yu, usually called Number Ten Ox, his sidekick and the story's narrator. Number Ten Ox is strong, trusting, and pure of heart; Master Li once sold an emperor shares in a mustard mine, because "I was trying to win a bet concerning the intelligence of emperors."
Number Ten Ox comes from a village in which the children have been struck by a mysterious illness. He recruits Master Li to find the cure and comes along to provide muscle. They seek a mysterious Great Root of Power, which may be a form of ginseng. Of course, nothing turns out to be as simple as it seems; great wrongs must be avenged and lovers separated must be reunited, from the most humble to the highest. And even in the midst of cosmic glory, Pawnbroker Fang and Ma the Grub are picking the pockets of their own lynch mob, who are frozen in awe and wonder. --Nona Vero
What a fun surprise!
Has me laughing out loud, something I wasn't expecting.
Much like Connie Willis' "To Say Nothing of the Dog" (but also so very much not alike!) it has everything: humour, suspense, charm, mystery, fantasy ... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ashley Lambert-Maberly
The mix of ancient Chinese culture and ways of thinking come through in a fascinating way. So very enjoyable a read. I couldn't put it down.Published on Oct. 21 2013 by Cameron Taylor
I go all over the Internet looking at reviews of this book. (Yeah, I do happen to have way too much time on my hands. Read morePublished on June 21 2004 by Jim-bob Furlbottom
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart is a modestly entertaining novel, by turns amusing and dull as a textbook. Read morePublished on June 17 2004 by Patrick Burnett
Admittedly, I picked this book up because I liked the cover. I had never heard of it, or Barry Hughart before, but I proceeded to read it within a couple months and I was very... Read morePublished on May 15 2004 by Kaila
One of my friends raved about BRIDGE OF BIRDS. She kept telling me I had to read it, but I kept putting it off as fantasy is not really my cup of tea. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2004 by Totally Anonymous
I have read this book this winter break. I tried to read it a year ago and it seemed kind of childish and boring, however, as I started reading more I realized how mistaken I was... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by Mr.Chunky Monkey