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Lust, Caution and Other Stories
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Lust, Caution and Other Stories

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  206 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In 1940s Shanghai, beautiful young Jiazhi spends her days playing mahjong and drinking tea with high-society ladies. But China es occupied by invading Japanese forces, and in wartime things are not always what they seem.

Jiazhi's life is a front. A patriotic student radical, her mission is to seduce a poweful employee of the occupying government and lead him to the assassin
Paperback, 162 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
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I picked this up at the library on a whim and was happy I did.

Lust, Caution and Other Stories is a series of short stories set in 1940's Shanghai. A stark political backdrop, a time of turmoil where food rations are real and travel is limited.

And yet, Eileen Chang decides instead to focus precisely, intently on the minutiae of life for the characters in her stories. I found some of the stories difficult or slow because of how little plot there is, but then there were so many other things I enj
Literature in Republican-era China was dominated by concerns of "Nation", "Progress", and "Revolution"; themes that promised national salvation through literature by the like of noted authors such as Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Ding Ling, or Guo Moruo. Literature that deviated from this aim was often disparaged or looked down on for its "bourgeois" tendencies and its lack of concern for the future of China, the quality of the literature notwithstanding. Eileen Chang (Zhang Ailing) was one such author looke ...more
Lane Ashfeldt
Dec 16, 2012 Lane Ashfeldt rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
The title story in this collection of tales of a bygone Shanghai was adapted for cinema by director Ang Lee, and at under 30 pages is amazingly brief given the film’s close to three-hour run time. Packed with flashback, intrigue and subtle detail, 'Lust, Caution' so condensed it improves on a second read.

Other pieces are more simply constructed but equally evocative of Shanghai in the 1930s and 40s, where Chang grew up and began to publish.

Along with her insightful non-judgmental way of presen
Dioni (Bookie Mee)
Jan 30, 2016 Dioni (Bookie Mee) rated it really liked it
Shelves: recent-favorites
Review first published at:

I watched Lust, Caution the movie at the end of 2013. It was so good that shortly afterwards I was rushing to buy and read the short story it is based on.

The story is more compact than the movie -- Ang Lee took the liberation to add a few details, but the story is clearly Eileen Chang's, following her recurring themes of emotional loyalty, vanity, and betrayal with the backdrop of turbulent China.

I was very impressed at both the
Jul 18, 2013 Mizuki rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

I had tried, once again to read Eileen Chang's short novella Lust, Caution; which is probably most well known for being made into a movie with the same name, directed by director Ang Lee.

But...I had failed. Because I simply can't stand the heroine and her stupidity. I know Ms. Chang didn't have much hope for women---even her own fictional characters to make the wise choice when it comes to men, love and relationships, but still...the heroine in Lust, Caution is so weak-willed and stup
Jan 30, 2015 Annabelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Eileen Chang's collection of short stories give realistic insights into the minds of early 20th-century Chinese women. From the everyday habits of maids, to the turning-points of political plots, the reader can feel both educated and entertained. Besides the authentically presented plots, Chang has such a beautiful writing style, using metaphors that truly stand out for their unusual yet accurate connections. I hope to read more of her works in the future.
Wendy Chard
Jan 24, 2012 Wendy Chard rated it liked it
As much as I enjoyed this story of love and betrayal, I was disappointed when I realised that it was actually a short story in a collection, and not a novel as I assumed it was (I rarely read blurbs these days!)

I felt like I was really getting into the characters, the espionage, the rebellion, the lust and the caution! And then it was suddenly over. (Bang!)

Still, a fantastic collection with real insight. Chang is a wordsmith, indeed.
Oct 06, 2013 Louisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: recent-reads
They say writers notice the things that everyone else overlooks; Eileen Chang perpetually manages to bring these details to life to enrich her stories and create delicate scenes of troubled domesticity.

"They all laughed, but were slightly ill at ease, not certain if they should have laughed or not. Mrs Lou knew that her husband had made a joke, but she didn't really catch what he said, so she laughed the loudest."
Nicholas Whyte
Jul 15, 2012 Nicholas Whyte rated it liked it

A short collection of short stories about people getting on with their lives, mostly in 1940s Shanghai, while the world changes around them. The title piece, a tale of espionage and seduction, is the most memorable but they are all interesting and well-observed.
Indah Threez Lestari
657 - 2013

Ternyata... kumcer.

Padahal sudah niat membaca lama sambil membayangkan Tony Leung sebagai Mr Yi yang dingin tapi tentunya ganteng dan seksi itu.

Bisa-bisanya cerpen Lust Caution yang cuma 30-an halaman jadi satu film penuh... Etapi, mungkin karena banyaknya adegan 21 tahun ke atas yang nggak ada di cerpen ya... :)
Benjamin Farmer
Jun 07, 2014 Benjamin Farmer rated it liked it
Wonderfully translated (at least to my untrained eyes) and wonderfully written. The stories themselves weren't exactly to my taste and my torpid review reflects my feelings upon the matter. Nothing wrong with it, just not to my taste.
Esther Hong
Only read "Lust, Caution", didn't bother with the other stories. Not a fan of the translation; I think it took away a lot. The original "Lust, Caution" is available online so I'll have a go at it after exams.
John Self
Nov 14, 2007 John Self rated it really liked it
An unusual but cumulatively powerful collection of stories set in 1940s China and concerning men and women and East v West. The title story is the source for Ang Lee's award-winning film.

Full review here:
Jul 18, 2013 MNLO rated it it was ok
Recommended to MNLO by:
I can remember very little about this and I finished it a week ago. Shame, because I liked the style of each story, simple not the substance?
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Jan 03, 2012 Mary Addison-lamb marked it as to-read
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Carl Thelin rated it it was amazing
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Eileen Chang is the English name for Chinese author 张爱玲, who was born to a prominent family in Shanghai (one of her great-grandfathers was Li Hongzhang) in 1920.

She went to a prestigious girls' school in Shanghai, where she changed her name from Zhang Ying to Zhang Ailing to match her English name, Eileen. Afterwards, she attended the University of Hong Kong, but had to go back to Shanghai when Ho
More about Eileen Chang...

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