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Tan Twan Eng

Teoksen The Garden of Evening Mists tekijä

3 teosta 3,141 jäsentä 226 arvostelua 9 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Sisältää nimet: Twan Eng Tan, Tan Twan Eng

Image credit: Guardian

Tekijän teokset

The Garden of Evening Mists (2012) 1,632 kappaletta
The Gift of Rain (2007) 1,148 kappaletta
The House of Doors (2023) 361 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




ALERT! Fans of Tan Twan Eng, All Writers Considered (helmikuu 2023)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, Booker Prize (syyskuu 2015)
The Gift of Rain- Group Read, 75 Books Challenge for 2015 (maaliskuu 2015)


It was such a pleasure reading every single chapter of this novel. I was fully transported back to the 20's... the swinging time when Penang was in its prime with many "angmohs" calling it their home.

There are many stories about Penang in the market, but this one was exceptional in my opinion. I liked how the story was told and the many characters that brought the story to life. Lesley and Robert, Willie and Gerald, even Sun Yat Sen made a cameo appearance. When Lesley decided to bare her soul to Willie, it was truly bizarre yet melancholy, a ''expect the unexpected'' moment for me.

Mr. Tan truly knows his ways with words. Every prose so meticulously penned and yet the story flourished easily. I liked the extra touch where some Bahasa Melayu was added. It definitely localized the story more, giving it more depth and realistic. It was definitely an easy read even with the many incidents that transpired with the many characters involved.

I am so happy to have finished this novel, one that I was looking forward to as I have enjoyed the previous 2, The Garden of Evening Mist and The Gift of Rain, a lot!!! I just hope that I don't have to wait another 8 years for the 4th one to be out LOL! If you like historical romance in Asian setting, do pick this one up. In case if you are not aware, there are some LGBT elements to the story so be forewarned ya...
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Sholee | 31 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 10, 2024 |
[b:The House of Doors|65215270|The House of Doors|Tan Twan Eng|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1698331937l/65215270._SY75_.jpg|98727713] touched all my buttons in a good way: beautiful writing, literary references which had me looking up bios and movies and stories of [a:W. Somerset Maugham|4176632|W. Somerset Maugham|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1414096390p2/4176632.jpg] who is fictionalized in this novel. There was romance, murder, and an exotic locale. [a:Tan Twan Eng|13847588|Tan Twan Eng|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1500524463p2/13847588.jpg] keeps us moving along at a fine pace using the alternate chapter structure of Maugham, then Lesley, the storyteller. Does anyone read Maugham now? Other than his colonial racism, he's a master of description, place and people. I read [b:The Letter and Other Stories|887839|The Letter and Other Stories|W. Somerset Maugham|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1179194622l/887839._SX50_.jpg|873023] and want to see the Bette Davis movie.… (lisätietoja)
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featherbooks | 31 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 7, 2024 |
[b:The Garden of Evening Mists|12031532|The Garden of Evening Mists |Tan Twan Eng|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333033941s/12031532.jpg|16997854] is a complicated story as it wends its way back and forth through Yun Ling Teoh's life and fluctuating memories, from old age to youth to adulthood, and the torture suffered at the hands of her Japanese captors in wartime Malaya. Eng writes beautifully of the jungle settings in the book and of the garden she yearns to build in memory of her lost sister with the aid of a Japanese gardener. It is possible to visualize the views from the garden and its plantings as well as the neighboring tea plantation, even to taste the tea and smell the air Eng describes yet the pacing set me adrift in spite of the evocative prose. Smatterings of Malayan history are deposited throughout the story and call for further exploration to clarify some confusion from the flashback technique. The plot and its violent swings through the terrors of occupation and later communist guerrilla insurgency sent me elsewhere for reading relief but the final pages of the book brought peace to both the Yun Ling and this reader. While none of the characters are explored adequately and relationships are puzzling (why the bad relationship with her parents, what is her resistance to Frederick, and why the oddly constrained but lifelong passion for Aritomo), her archery symbolizes Yun Ling’s reborn strength and grace as she approaches the challenges of aging and illness.… (lisätietoja)
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featherbooks | 109 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 7, 2024 |
Historical fiction is not my favorite genre though there are a number of works of historical fiction I have loved. The thing, I think, that separates most historical fiction from what I consider the good stuff is that the good stuff subverts the conventions of the genre in which it falls. IMO, most historical fiction is manipulative drivel that ignores everything important about significant historical events and reduces them down to things that broke up lovers or put stress on families Those books want to make readers cry (for some reason) rather than taking the opportunity to guide the reader in learning about events and movements that shape lives and define who we are and how we interact with the world. The attachment to these tropes explains why so much historical fiction is based in Nazi-occupied Europe -- it is the paint-by-numbers of novel writing. There is no need for nuanced characters, just a bank of readers who have been raised with clear direction on what is good and what is evil -- add a subverted relationship and mix and voila, you have a book. The House of Doors does not fall into that trap. The characters are rich and the focus is on the complexities of the relationships and situations portrayed, with no simple good vs evil presentation. Gay men marry women and break their hearts and women retaliate for the hurt they feel in the only ways available to these women 100 years ago (spend his money or cuckold him.) And even in the fighting back or clamoring to latch on to that real love or pleasure or feeling of safety that is denied one, everyone is hurt and pleasures are fleeting. The book delves deep into the ways colonialism turned nations into leisure communities for Europeans where they take the good and valuable things they "discover" and control the people they have colonized. (Colonialism is definitely evil, except that things did not go well for countries, like China, which mostly though not entirely fought effectively against colonization.) Eng shows us that marriage itself is both a trap and a haven (and it its way, a colonization of women), self-rule a sometimes deadly blessing. No easy answers. This is one of best depictions of the ways in which colonization causes harm and keeps on harming I have read. It does not fall into the historical fiction trap of creating the sainted and the evil, the cowboys and Indians sort of lens applied to imperialism outside the US (which is no more interesting to me when the Indians are the one-dimensional heroes than when the cowboys are.)

In addition to subverting the tropes of historical fiction, this book transcends another thing that holds most historical fiction back -- it is beautifully written. It is written very much in the style of Somerset Maugham, who is a character in the book, but it also feels very separate from his work. The book is smartly (not reactively) anti-colonial, subtly feminist, and truly humanist, as was true of Maugham's work. I really enjoyed it. I did feel there were a couple of storylines that spun off and then came back after I had sort of forgotten them and had lost some interest in them, and I had a hard time connecting some narratives to one another. Highly recommended.
… (lisätietoja)
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Narshkite | 31 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 1, 2024 |



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