Binu and The Great Wall

by Su Tong | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 1841959154 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingAzukiwing of Miami, Florida USA on 7/12/2010
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Monday, July 12, 2010
In Peach village, crying is forbidden. But as a child, Binu never learnt to hide her tears. Shunned by the villagers, she faced a bleak future, until she met Qiliang, an orphan who offered her his hand in marriage. One day Qiliang disappears. Binu learns that he has been transported hundreds of miles and forced to labour on a project of terrifying ambition and scale — the building of the Great Wall.

Binu is determined find her husband and brings him a winter jacket, so she sets out on an extraordinary journey towards Great Swallow mountain, with only a blind frog for company. What follows is an unforgettable story of passion, hardship and magical adventure.

The author Su Tong is best known in the West for his work Raise The Red Lantern, which was made into a movie directed by Zhang Yimou and starred by Gong Li.

I picked up this book for its beautiful cover, and for the words "Great Wall" in the title. When I got home, I realized that it's a retelling of an ancient Chinese folklore about Meng Jiangnu.

In the original story that has been passed on for over two millennia, when Meng Jiangnu arrvies at the Great Wall, she is told that he has died, and as there are too many deaths to dig graves for, the bodies are dumped inside the wall. Meng cries for ten days, and the Great Wall collapses to reveal the bones of her husband.

I haven't read the book but apparently Su Tong's version departs from the traditional tale. I just want to note the original version here for the record.

There's not much info on Amazon but here're some reviews I've found online:
http://www.themyths.co.uk/?p=16
http://individualtake.blogspot.com/2008/03/binu-and-great-wall-review.html

Journal Entry 2 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I realize that this book is part of The Myths series, and somehow several books I read lately belong to the series, even though I wasn't consciously looking for it.

I don't quite know how to rate this. A very bizarre tale indeed. It feels very foreign to me, and not because of the culture - I am Chinese myself - but the way people acts and thinks. I don't know if Su Tong weaves some little known legends or facts together, or if he is very creative, every turn is filled with weird twist of plot and bizarre characters. Terry Brooks said in his book that you can set a story, like a sci fi, in an alien world, but the characters have to be familiar enough for a reader to resonate. I think that resonation is lacking, making it difficult for me to like the book.

THis now goes to HoserLauren for the Asian Book Swap on BookObsessed. Hope you like it.

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Monday, March 7, 2011
Thanks Azuki, I received this while I was away on vacation! Looks like an interesting read.

Released 1 mo ago (8/14/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library - Blue Forest Hill in Burlington, Ontario Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I've been doing some bookshelf cleaning and I've had this book for too long, time to share! I'll be giving these to someone to help populate a little free library in Mississauga. To the finder of this book: I hope you enjoy reading this book. Please keep it or set it free when you're done. If the book is of no interest to you, please release it into the wild for someone else to find and enjoy. I hope you will make a journal entry so its journey can be tracked and to let me know the book has been found. You can remain anonymous if you wish, but if you join BookCrossing, you are in for a great experience.

Journal Entry 5 by LFLHunter at Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, August 14, 2022
I found this book in a front yard library in Burlington, Ontario. I look forward to reading it. UPDATE: I enjoyed the book over all. If I was more familiar with the original myth, I might have a different perspective, or enjoyed the book more. I would at some point like to read about the building of The Great Wall of China. This book is a traveling story, based on a mythology that I was not familiar with.

Journal Entry 6 by LFLHunter at Little Free Library - Marley Cres. in Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Released 3 wks ago (9/6/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library - Marley Cres. in Burlington, Ontario Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left in a front yard library in hopes the person who finds the book makes a journal entry. Tell us where you found or left the book, or tell us what you thought of the book. Help make the world a place of travelling books. You can join Bookcrossing or remain anonymous.

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