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Penguin Classics #5 Story Of The Stone The Dreamer Wakes Paperback – Jul 1 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; 5th Revised edition edition (July 1 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014044372X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140443721
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
We told in our previous volume how Xi-feng, finding Grandmother Jia and Aunt Xue somewhat cast down by the mention of Dai-yu's death, had endeavoured to raise their spirits with a humorous anecdote. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Elkins on Jan. 18 2001
Format: Paperback
I read the other reviews on this page, and I thought I should add something: this novel is unbelievably beautifully written, and the english translation is absolutely superb.
You cannot find any better example of novel-writing skill in any language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Houghton on Sept. 20 2000
Format: Paperback
I've read all parts of The Story of the Stone. It starts and ends in a mystical fashion; coming full circle in a traditional ying/yang way. Wonderful five volume story about two wealthy families closely connected to the throne. Although there's not much known about the true author, I suspect that it was written by a maid. There is incredible detail from the perspective of the servents working for their sometimes nutty employers. The family actually built a garden at one point in honor of a visit from a daughter who had been chosen to be a royal concubine. If you want to immerse yourself in the ups and downs, daily life, (warts and all) of 1750's Chinese culture don't miss The Story of the Stone et al.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was written one year before the French Revolution, in 1788, in Beijing, China by a riches-to -rags nobleman called Cao Xue Quin. It is viewed by many as the greatest classical Chinese romantic novel ever written.
I read the original Chinese version of this book when I was in high school, many years ago. At that time, my impression was that it was a Chinese Romeo and Juliet type tragic love story, in which the main characters Bao-yu and his cousin Dai-yu (Black Jade) suffered the fate of unfulfilled love, and no ever after. There was more to it than that, but I could not figure out what.
Recently, I re-read the book (the current trans- lated version). This time it sounded like the Adven- tures of Tom Jones, in which the teen-aged playboy Bao-yu was dallying in the ranks of the female members of his household (his cousins and maids), longing after many but only truly loving Dai-yu.
It was also a bit similar to Upstairs Downstairs -- a big noble clan with all its ladies, young misses and maids, and their lives of adventures and tears. But something was still missing. There was a theme, a message, which draws me and others to this great work of literature.
I finally figured it out: Almost all the WOMEN in this book were described as elegant, sophisticated, intelligent, graceful, excellent decision makers, and above all, beautiful. Most MEN, however, were described as fools, red-necks, unfaithful, heart-breakers, nogooders, users of prostitutes and abusers of power!
What I am looking at is a book (or one-MAN crusade) of Early Feminism. It is all the more remarkable because in feudal China, women did not have equal status. "marrying for love" seldom existed. It was more like "married by parental arrangement".
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Format: Paperback
The book gives us a complete picture of the feudal societ of China.It exposes the rot of the late Qing Dynasty of China.What makes people moved most is the tragic love story between Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu.Its exquisite style of writing and variegated description do great credit to its success.Some forfather has said that it was an encyclopaedia of the feudal society of China,and I do agree with it.I think that the most valuable point of this book,is that it denounces the cruel percecution which has been done to women by the feudalism--the feudal system,and it embodies the author's thoughts that women should be respecte and be equal to men.In that society,these are rare and valuable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
One of the greatest novels ever written Jan. 18 2001
By James Elkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read the other reviews on this page, and I thought I should add something: this novel is unbelievably beautifully written, and the English translation is absolutely superb.

You cannot find any better example of novel-writing skill in any language.
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Truly Revolutionary Classical Chinese Romantic Work March 17 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was written one year before the French Revolution, in 1788, in Beijing, China by a riches-to -rags nobleman called Cao Xue Quin. It is viewed by many as the greatest classical Chinese romantic novel ever written.
I read the original Chinese version of this book when I was in high school, many years ago. At that time, my impression was that it was a Chinese Romeo and Juliet type tragic love story, in which the main characters Bao-yu and his cousin Dai-yu (Black Jade) suffered the fate of unfulfilled love, and no ever after. There was more to it than that, but I could not figure out what.
Recently, I re-read the book (the current trans- lated version). This time it sounded like the Adven- tures of Tom Jones, in which the teen-aged playboy Bao-yu was dallying in the ranks of the female members of his household (his cousins and maids), longing after many but only truly loving Dai-yu.
It was also a bit similar to Upstairs Downstairs -- a big noble clan with all its ladies, young misses and maids, and their lives of adventures and tears. But something was still missing. There was a theme, a message, which draws me and others to this great work of literature.
I finally figured it out: Almost all the WOMEN in this book were described as elegant, sophisticated, intelligent, graceful, excellent decision makers, and above all, beautiful. Most MEN, however, were described as fools, red-necks, unfaithful, heart-breakers, nogooders, users of prostitutes and abusers of power!
What I am looking at is a book (or one-MAN crusade) of Early Feminism. It is all the more remarkable because in feudal China, women did not have equal status. "marrying for love" seldom existed. It was more like "married by parental arrangement". Poor girls were sold as maids into rich households, or worse, they were sold as second wives or concubines.
The confirmation of my theory came from the author Cao himself. In his introductory book review, he said, "Thus begins this book ... I have hidden the real events and substituted them with fiction ... There were real persons in the inner-chambers, and their stories must be told ..." (Modern translation: I have real women in my household).
This message would make this a truly revolutionary work, not only in feudal China, but even to-day.
Should have first read the book review by the author.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I think I can't use only "good" to describe such a good book Dec 4 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book gives us a complete picture of the feudal societ of China.It exposes the rot of the late Qing Dynasty of China.What makes people moved most is the tragic love story between Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu.Its exquisite style of writing and variegated description do great credit to its success.Some forfather has said that it was an encyclopaedia of the feudal society of China,and I do agree with it.I think that the most valuable point of this book,is that it denounces the cruel percecution which has been done to women by the feudalism--the feudal system,and it embodies the author's thoughts that women should be respecte and be equal to men.In that society,these are rare and valuable.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fitting Conclusion Sept. 19 2008
By Lothe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After close to 2,000 pages, "The Story of the Stone" reaches its end with this volume. This book represents the second set of 20 chapters out of the 40 reputedly edited and redacted by Gao E, and arguments about the chapters' validity (both as a work in themselves and as part of Cao Xueqin's novel) are a sort of scholarly pastime.

The most salient comment on the problem may be the one offered by John Minford when he writes that regardless of academic debates, these chapters are what we have, and they "have been accepted as *the* ending for centuries." Minford's translation continues to be a worthy successor to David Hawkes' version of the first 80 chapters, and I found this last volume to be more satisfying than I had often heard.

At this point, recommendations are all but moot; no one should be starting the story here, and if you've come this far there's no good reason not to read the last 400 pages.

~
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Really good but where are Volumes 2-4? Nov. 20 2007
By D. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, a part of my self-directed curriculum to understand China (all of which, by the way, has been incredible). Not only are the characterizations excellent and the period wonderfully evoked (at least to my knowledge), but there's all sorts of great maid sex and other bawdy hilarious stuff. The only question I have now is why does it seem like Volumes 2-4 are not available... although vol. 5 is? Maybe I'm overlooking something obvious, as persons with Chinese maid sex on the brain are wont to do.

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