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The Dreamer Wakes (The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber #5)

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  280 ratings  ·  23 reviews
"The Story of the Stone" (c. 1760), also known as "The Dream of the Red Chamber", is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The fifth part of Cao Xueqin's magnificent saga, "The Dreamer Awakes", was carefully edited and completed by Gao E some decades later. It continues the story of the changing fortunes of the Jia dynasty, focussing on Bao-yu, now married to B ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 2nd 1986 by Penguin Group (first published 1760)
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The end.
"When grief for fiction's idle words
More real than human life appears,
Reflect that life's itself a dream
And do not mock the reader's tears."

It finally ends, after countless parties, tragedies, poetry recitals, family events and 2,500 pages. By the end of it all I had grown to like (and dislike) many of the characters in this sweeping story. I did not like Baoyu at first; the spoiled, lazy boy that he was, but he grew on me with each passing chapter. The kindness he showed to all people regardles
The last of five volumes that comprise "The Story of the Stone". Because no single volume really stands alone in this massive story my review will stand for all five.

I rated the first volume, "The Golden Days" with only 3 stars because it starts so slowly and requires practically the entire book just to learn the names of the principal characters and to understand their relationship to one another. I tempered that rating at the time, however, with the belief that once the story developed it woul
In the first chapter of this volume, Chapter 99, I already felt a panic attack coming on. Jia Zheng, not the most socially adept, misreads the situation in the provinces and allows his porter Li Ten to commence greasing the wheels (or extorting proceeds for himself) with the locals. Then news that Xue Pan has been found guilty after all, and that the Jias were known to have tried to affect the outcome of the case. Bao-yu is still idiotic. Xi-Feng can so obtuse regarding Bao-yu’s heart; first she ...more
The best part is when there is wild weeping and banishing of crooked males.
Meghan Krogh
Dec 08, 2014 Meghan Krogh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Meghan by: Chinese Classics Book Club
AW SHIT I FINISHED. Quite an ending, actually.
Ein großartiger Abschluss

Auch wenn der Übersetzer Minford einen gewissen undefinierbaren Mangel an den 40 Gao-Kapiteln ausmachen möchte, kann ich das in keiner Weise nachvollziehen, im Gegenteil: Mir gefällt dieser letzte Band des Romans mit den letzten 20 Kapiteln am besten. Er ist konziser, weniger langatmig und abwechslungsreicher als die 100 Vorgängerkapitel.

Die Katastrophenflut, die die Jia-Familie heimsucht, ist noch nicht zu ende; auch in diesem Band sind Todesnachrichten, Krankheiten und
The following review is my review for all five volumes as a whole.

I'm going to put forth an argument that books can be compared to relationships. There are books that are guilty pleasures with no literary value beyond straightforward entertainment, such as potboiler mysteries or the much maligned Harlequin style romance. These are your one-night stands of the book world.

Then there are brief forays readers take out of curiosity or biblio-style peer pressure, such as best-seller lists or perceiv
Connie Kronlokken
It is a bit sad to end this amazing saga. Grandmother Jia and Wang Xi-feng both die and shortly following this, Bao-yu passes the state examinations at a very high level. As a result the Emperor returns to the Jia family its confiscated goods and hereditary titles. He has also given the family an heir through his marriage to Bao-chai. He never returns from the examination, instead going off into the distance with a Taoist monk and a Buddhist monk. He has become a monk himself, showing himself to ...more
Czarny Pies
Oct 08, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the book of Job
Recommended to Czarny by: Those who established the Chinese Canon of Four Classic Novels
Shelves: asian-literature
The Story of the Stone is one of the "Four Classic Chinese Novels." The value to the Western reader is that it provides great insight into the daily lives and culture of the Chinese Nobility in the 18th Century. Religion, which had been present but not prominent in the first four volumes of the Story of the Stone, becomes the driving force in the narrative in the second half of Volume 5.

The problem for the Western reader is trying to figure out what to mark the Story of the Stone against. The fi
Matt Kuhns
Some scholarly debate persists as to whether the "Gao E" ending to The Story of the Stone was Cao Xueqin's intended end to his great novel, or even his work. I can see why, now, as the final chapters of this remarkable story have left me somewhat uncertain what to think at all.

Most of the minor and even major plots are resolved in an oddly pat, perfunctory fashion, particularly coming after the harrowing depth of drama even in the middle of volume five. Only the resolution for the story's hero,
And so the Dream of Golden Days draws to a close, and along with it the story of the Jia family - their decadent and luxurious lifestyle, subsequent fall from grace, and their eventual restoration. As this volume's subtitle tells, Jia Baoyu achieves the realisation that his life and its passions are but an illusion and the debts of fate foreshadowed in the first volume are finally repaid in full.

The fifth volume, translated by John Minford and edited by Gao E, systematically and at times predic
Cao Xueqin's "Story of the Stone" all volumes taken together = FIVE STARS!

However, the last two books were probably by his editor Gao E, and are not as good as the other books = THREE STARS.

What to say about a 2,000 page Chinese epic about the vanity of life? Cao Xueqin deserves the praise that he has received for his novel, "Story of the Stone". It is a beautiful and haunting look at a world that has been utterly swept away in the streams of time. Sad, beautiful, well written, and utterly for
The change in authorship is very evident here as is a tendency to want to tidy everything up. It's not exactly a disappointing conclusion, but I had the sense that I could have written it it, or indeed, anyone who had read the first 3 volumes. That mysterious feel of an intelligence guiding events from behind the scenes and moving everything towards a conclusion you can't even imagine is gone. Instead the narrative builds on what you already know and heads toward a predetermined conclusion that ...more
I would give this series as a whole a rating of 4 stars, because I really loved the first three books and the world that was built there. The last two books became less interesting, probably because the original author hadn't finished writing them and the work was taken over and added to by a later editor. The characters became flatter and less like human beings, all the details that had been there in the beginning to make you see and feel this strange world had disappeared, and I have to say th ...more
Lori (Hellian)
The 5 stars is for the whole series.
I loved this series! I always looked forward to the next volume so I could return to this seventeenth century Chinese family that I was getting to know.

This series read very unlike the typical western novel. There is a tremendous amount of poetry as well as the story takes detailed tangents on a regular basis.

I especially loved the glimpse into history these novels provide.
This final volume wrapped up the entire thing in a much more pleasing way than I thought it would. It doesn't just whine about bad things that happened to a family, deserved or not. Really, there's quite a lot to take in. It's an impressive body of writing to say the least.
Jim Elkins
I read the reviews on Amazon [2007], and I thought I should add something: this novel is unbelievably beautifully written, and the English translation is absolutely superb. [return][return]You cannot find any better example of novel-writing skill in any language.
Tony Gualtieri
The end of a deep and engrossing novel. This beautifully structured work lives up to its reputation. I was entranced.
Interesting view into life in a wealthy family in China in the 1700's
Alnewton marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2015
Richard F. Schiller
Richard F. Schiller marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2015
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Cao Xueqin (Chinese: 曹雪芹; pinyin: Cáo Xuěqín; Wade–Giles: Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in, 1715 or 1724 — 1763 or 1764) was a Qing Dynasty Chinese writer, best known as the author of Dream of the Red Chamber, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. His given name was Cao Zhan (曹霑) and his courtesy name is Mengruan (夢阮; 梦阮; literally "Dream about Ruan" or "Dream of Ruan")[...]
More about Cao Xueqin...

Other Books in the Series

The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber (5 books)
  • The Golden Days (The Story of the Stone #1)
  • The Crab-Flower Club (The Story of the Stone #2)
  • The Warning Voice (The Story of the Stone #3)
  • The Debt of Tears (The Story of the Stone, #4)
The Dream of the Red Chamber The Golden Days (The Story of the Stone #1) The Crab-Flower Club (The Story of the Stone #2) The Warning Voice (The Story of the Stone #3) The Debt of Tears (The Story of the Stone, #4)

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