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Romance of the Three Kingdoms Volume 2: Tuttle Classics of Asian literature [Paperback]

Lo Kuan-Chung , Robert E. Hegel , C. H. Brewitt-Taylor
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Book Description

April 15 2002 0804834687 978-0804834681 New edition
In 220 EC, the 400-year-old rule of the mighty Han dynasty came to an end and three kingdoms contested for control of China. Liu Pei, legitimate heir to the Han throne, elects to fight for his birthright and enlists the aid of his sworn brothers, the impulsive giant Chang Fei and the invincible knight Kuan Yu. The brave band faces a formidable array of enemies, foremost among them the treacherous and bloodthirsty Ts'ao Ts'ao. The bold struggle of the three heroes seems doomed until the reclusive wizard Chuko Liang offers his counsel, and the tide begins to turn.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is China's oldest novel and the first of a great tradition of historical fiction. Believed to have been compiled by the play-wright Lo Kuan-chung in the late fourteenth century, it is indebted to the great San-kuo chi (Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms) completed by the historian Ch'en Shou just before his death in 297 CE. The novel first appeared in print in 1522. This edition, translated in the mid-1920s by C. H. Brewitt-Taylor, is based on a shortened and simplified version which appeared in the 1670s. An Introduction to this reprint by Robert E. Hegel, Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature at Washington University, provides an insightful commentary on the historical background to the novel,its literary origins and its main characters.

This epic saga of brotherhood and rivalry, of loyalty and treachery, of victory and death, and the deeds of its heroes and villains during one of the most tumultuous periods in Chinese history, forms part of the indelible core of classical Chinese culture and continues to fascinate modern-day readers.

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Romance of the Three Kingdoms Volume 2: Tuttle Classics of Asian literature + Romance of the Three Kingdoms Volume 1: Tuttle Classics of Asian Literature + The Art of War
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"One of the greatest and best-loved works of popular literature."—Dictionary of Oriental Literatures

About the Author

Lo Kuan-Chung (c.1330-c.1400) was a novelist and dramatist who played an important role in the development of Chinese popular fiction. He is generally credited as the main author of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and was also involved in the editing of Water Margin, two of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature.

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First Sentence
In spite of the persuasion of P'ang T'ung and Fa Cheng, Lui Pei steadily refused to sanction the assassination of his host, even if thereby he was to gain possession of the land of Shu. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sept. 26 2002
By A Customer
I reviewed the other volume in this unabridged re-publishing of the two volumes, and I highly recommend them. They are certainly must-reads for all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post Red Cliff Three Kingdoms Epic June 21 2012
By susumu-5 - Published on
The second volume of one of the most popular Chinese literature works set in Ancient China during late second to late third century China narrates on what happened to the 3k world years after the Battle of Chibi(Red Cliff) in 208 A.D. In this latter volume, Liu Bei, Sun Quan, and Cao Pi(son of Cao Cao) name themselves as Emperors and China had been divided with Wei(Zao Pi), Shu(Liu Bei), and Wu(Sun Quan). When you read this volume you will find that lots of heroes of previous volume depart the earth such as Guan Yu, Liu Bei, Cao Cao, Zhang Fei. Particularly that of Guan Yu is tragic. On Chapter 106 even Zhuge Liang must face his own death. And that was not the end of the story. Although not as exciting as the days these heroes lived the story goes on until the Shu and Wu are conquered by Jin Dynasty led by Simas.

Note: Tuttle edition uses Wade system which spells differently from current Pin Yin system. Free softwares are available to exchange Pin Yin and Wade but it may take some time to get used to the spelling differences.

Verdict: Zhuge Liang and Simas take greater role in this latter half of the epic.
Rating: 90 out of 100
Recommended for: Chinese literature fans, fans of historical novels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful work of literature Jan. 29 2013
By Tom - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This, along with the first volume, combine to make one of the most engaging epic stories in human history. It can be dense at times and readers may find themselves reading only one chapter at a time, most of them being only ten pages, but each chapter is a rich story in itself. Characters appear and die rapidly so readers my find themselves, at first, going back to previous chapters to become reacquainted with some to try to understand their significance. This quality can slow the reading process. However, this book will provide you with years of good reading material and introduce you to great heroes and impressive strategies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading to help Westerners Understand Chinese Culture Dec 21 2012
By Gary Mugg - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's a really long read, and there are many, many characters, each of whom may have several different names, and none of the names are easy for Westerners to remember; nevertheless, some very important mythological and historical characters permeate the majority of the book, for example Kwan Kung. You see a statue of Kwan Kung in a lot of Chinese businesses. He is a red-faced king who carries a long staff with a blade attached that is useful for chopping enemy heads off. His character is prominent, and his legend is understood by the majority of Han Chinese.

The story centers around the fall of the Han Dynasty, which is considered a "Golden Age" of Chinese History. I recommend reading this, just to gain an understanding of the attitudes and point of view of most Chinese. On the whole, most Chinese are very proud of their history, and most claim that the history is 5,000 years. Just keep reading, even if you're confused by the names and the discontinuities; by the time you're at the end, it should begin to sink in.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation and an Immersive Treat March 13 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The way to read Romance of the Three Kingdoms is to enter their medieval world and live each moment, the way you experience life. You submerge yourself in these books, and become so immersed in the finely embroidered story that you don't care whether it ever ends. Addictive - I picked it up every chance I got, and even found myself dreaming about the story. Don't try to read these books in a week or two and then move on to something else! You'll shortchange the story and yourself.

Like many Westerners, I suppose, I had some trouble tracking all the names - there are many characters, and some characters have several unique names depending upon what's going on or who is addressing them. But as the story progresses and your familiarity grows, this becomes less of a problem. When I started I kept lists of characters and even made notes amplifying the character's identity and relationships; but this quickly became cumbersome, and in the end I found I didn't need it. You become familiar with the main characters and easily follow their vicissitudes as the story moves along. The story becomes the main thing, and it is great!

I was introduced to Romance of the Three Kingdoms by a Taiwanese friend, and I'll be forever grateful to him. Wonderful saga - put it on your list of must-reads!
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance with history Aug. 4 2014
By Stormwolf - Published on
I've a great interest in both Chinese and Japanese history. I have many books on both
subject and I greatly enjoyed this Chinese classic and recommend it highly.
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