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Madame Mao: Sang 'Iblis Bertulang Putih'

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  3,820 Ratings  ·  336 Reviews
Inilah satu lagi buah-pena Anchee Min, yang salah satu karyanya, Red Azalea, menjadi sebuah buku terlaris internasional. Dalam buku di tangan pembaca ini, Anchee Min menuturkan sebuah kisah menggemparkan dan bermuatan erotis ihwal seorang wanita yang dikenal sebagai 'Iblis Bertulang Putih", istri ambisius dari Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976), pemimpin Komunis paling berkuasa di C ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 2007 by Q Press (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 07, 2011 Mariel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Eva Braun
Recommended to Mariel by: don't cry for me China
Who knew Chairman Mao was so hot?

Oh that was shameless, Mariel. Way to start off a book review! With sex! Bad, bad, bad. Historical figures shouldn't be used to write cheesey love scenes. They should be used to advertise products on tv and that's it! Anchee Min, you're shameless. Have you no shame?

I don't feel like writing two Madam Mao book reviews so I'm going to shamelessly combine reviews of this chick lit book with a review of a biography written by an Australian guy that could have been
alana Semuels
This gets two stars instead of the one it probably deserves because it's an interesting premise. A human side to Madame Mao. But its told in three different voices -- often on the same page -- which makes it difficult to follow and not very engaging. You never get very close to the character, which is the whole point of a book like this. I read in the afterword that it took 5 years to get published, and I wonder if the publisher played around with it a lot or something. I kept thinking it read l ...more
Kevin Barrett
Nov 19, 2008 Kevin Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It combines three things I love; China, historical fiction, and a strong female lead.

This book is written as if it were a memoir of the wife of Mao Zidong. Anchee Min pieced the story together with various historical records and all of the characters in the book were actual people. We see her as a young girl refusing to submit to having her feet bound, to a young lady who pursues Mao out of intrigue and a desire for power. From the neglected wife kept hidden from the Chinese people,
Dec 18, 2008 Nicolebroadwater rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read several books by Anchee Min and this by far is the worst. I enjoyed all of her other books so I kept reading this book thinking it would get better yet it never did. She switches from third person to first person throughout the book and it becomes confusing. In addition, you never get into the character. This book is touted at making the "white bone demon" seem more human but it does not do this. Instead, you are left hating the so called heroine of the book and wondering if it will ...more
Apr 07, 2009 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reduced the history of Chinese communism to petty personal quests for influence and the affection of a tyrant. Made me want to learn more about the era.
Dec 29, 2012 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china-fic-lit
It's hard to imagine more complex subject matter. Anchee Min deserves credit for her efforts. Using the first and third person she tells the story from what may be Jaing Qing's point of view. The third person is also used to give background and historical perspective.

Min fashions not a cold hard Jaing Qing, but one who showers all her affection on her husband to the detriment of her daughter and country. She has ambition, drive and a staunchly feminist streak.

The book is strong in portraying her
Jul 27, 2009 Shelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really like Anchee Min and was excited to read this book. However, i couldn't even get half way through.

The style of writing was very dry and at times confusing, as it kept switching from 3rd person to 1st person and back. I did keep reading a while after I lost interest because I thought it would get better, but the characters were so distant and flat that I really couldn't connect with them. I'm the type of person who likes to connect with the characters or at least the idea that the author
Alle( Queen of Procrastination)
Basically, it's a love-hate relationship with this book.

From what I can remember, Madame Mao, the main character, has different names that symbolize her different "lives". She experiences pain ( especially when she has her feet lotus wrapped and constantly gets rejected for aspiring to be an actress), sacrifice, violence, sex, and heartbreak--as well as revenge against all the people ( and asshole men) who had double crossed her or broken up with her…Although most people may think of her as an
Jul 11, 2008 Alyssa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read Anchee Min's Red Azalea before reading this one and I enjoyed Red Azalea SO much more than Madame Mao. In fact, I disliked her writing style in Madame Mao so much that I didn't even finish it. I felt bad because I liked Azalea so much that I really wanted to like this one, but I just couldn't do it. It bugged me that she went back and forth from first person to third person and I just found myself not really caring... :(
Jen Johnson
May 31, 2013 Jen Johnson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub


I remember when I said 'meh'


She said 'meh'
Dec 11, 2012 Gianna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian
Sure, I knew about the Cultural Revolution, but I never wondered about Mao’s personal life or about the personal life of Madame Mao. Drawing on actual historical figures and events, Anchee Min creates a compelling fictionalized portrait of Mao’s forth wife, the woman known as the “white-boned demon” even when she was alive. We see the young, spirited girl struggling first to survive and then to establish herself as an actress. We can even sympathize with her. Anchee Min, who was an actor herself ...more
This book incorporates some of Mao's writings and poems which I found appropriate. I enjoyed reading the book but found some difficulty because of many characters involved. I found Madame's Mao life very colorful starting from her family background, career as an actress and her role as Chairman Mao's wife.

Some interesting points mentioned about Mao were having many concubines (most of which were actresses) for longevity but his health dwindled maybe because of poor diet and old age. I was a lit
Feb 23, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I liked much about this book, I also found it very disturbing and even frightening. The fact that I read it while I had a serious case of the flu and probably a high temperature might have influenced my reaction. The book is a fictionalized account of the rise of an actress, the girlchild of a last concubine, to the role of the powerful Madame Mao in China. I use the word "role" purposively since this girl Lan Ping (she changes her name 4 times so it is hard to identify her by name) liv ...more
Sep 20, 2008 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
I was fascinated reading this fictional account of the life of Jiang Qing, one of the most hated women of the 20th century. Called the White Boned Demon by many, she has born the brunt of blame for the Cultural Revolution and other evils. Anchee Min's book takes a step into the heart and soul and humanizes this woman seen as many to be the epitome of evil. The author does not excuse her actions, but does help explain them. Having read a good bit about Mao himself and about the last 75 years of C ...more
A very involved narrative of Madame Mao, and how she evolved from a beautiful young actress in Shanghai into Mao's mistress and then wife. Her love for acting stays with her until death and presents itself in her inner thoughts and political achievements. At the end she is a bitter old woman, made that way by her constant attempts to win Mao's love. Mao's feelings about her fluctuate, and he toys with her emotions so much that she becomes paranoid, mean-spirited, and vindictive. The story makes ...more
Silvia Iskandar
Mar 29, 2012 Silvia Iskandar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got lost in its poetic prose. The way Min describes things is genuine and wonderful. She described the sunset horizon as that of watermelon, green grass, topped with orange and bright red sky; described the heroine's state as raddish (couldn't remember the vegetable exactly) pickled in sorrow...wish I had taken down notes.

It could have been a boring biography with all the details, but Anchee Min weaved gems in her story and presented us with a beautiful and sad story.

Love it, love it, love it.
Kavita Ramesh
Aug 08, 2015 Kavita Ramesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am surprised so many people gave this book one star. I guess if you go in expecting a fact-based, hard-hitting historical novel, you would be disappointed. This reads like fiction (most of it probably is!), and I enjoyed that. Plus, I adore Anchee Min. I've read almost everything she has written, because I like her simple but eloquent style of writing. I sometimes forget characters, plots and even entire stories a few years after having read them. However, her stories stay with me (much like A ...more
May 05, 2012 Mmars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a richly imagined telling of Madame Mao. I think I enjoyed it more for the insight on what it must have been like to be married to, and dominated by, The Chairman. I have a penchant for stories about women who live subverted lives and do everything in their power to survive under the circumstances. Granted, I often can't agree with their choices and actions, but I am fascinated with the ingenious ways they find to survive. And, sadly, this is history folks.
Apr 21, 2011 Christine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I found this a very difficult book to read becausing of the constantly changing Point of View. I couldn't get by this artifical contrivance by the author and did not read more than 2 chapters before giving up.
Deanne Harvey
Might have enjoyed this more if I knew a bit more about China's history, but now I know more than I did before...
Jacqueline Williams
I liked the way the book was written, I got lost in the story.
However, it has left me wanting more history and facts - I feel I only got a slice of the relationship in the Maoist messy pie!
Aug 29, 2016 ems rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aзии, g-women
i loved her memoir (red azalea) & her fictional story of a girl growing up during the cultural revolution (wild ginger) -- but the combination of nonfic & fic in this one didn't really work (for me)
Feb 27, 2016 Noora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anchee Min writes beautifully!
Jun 20, 2012 Julee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction.
LonewolfMX Luna
Jun 27, 2009 LonewolfMX Luna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in the history of China, Jiang Qing, & Mao Tze Tung
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 02, 2010 GSL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, east-asia
Wow. Becoming Madame Mao. This book is certainly thought-provoking. It raises many interesting questions and forces much-needed perspective on the reader. No matter who you are, or what you know about China’s recent past, this book is extremely helpful to gain perspective on the “white boned demon”, Mao, China’s leaders and Chinese (and Western) culture, although keep in mind that is historical FICTION. And important note, this is not a review, but a reflection, a reaction to this book.

First co
Feb 06, 2017 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look into the life of Madame Mao Zedong, one of the most powerful women of the 20th Century, and wife of the Chairman to the Communist Party of China Mao Zedong. I found the writing style to be poetic and enjoyable to read. The main character's story was intriguing and it inspired me to learn more about the modern history of China. However, around the second half of the book, Madame Mao's character began to fall flat. The author chose to have more historical context information, s ...more
Ginger Stephens
Feb 14, 2017 Ginger Stephens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a biography of Madame Mao called The White Boned Demon when I was in high school. Jiang Qing was still alive when it was written, but you knew her end would not be a happy one.

I remain fascinated by Jiang Qing and her ability to reinvent herself. She has always reminded me a little of Anne Boleyn. She was an arresting personality, but never learned to wield the power that was so close to her grasp.

Anchee Min is one of my favorite authors. She managed to capture Jiang Qing's voice as well
Feb 20, 2017 Freesiab rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love this author normally but this book was blah. The first half was fantastic. Around 70% it lost me. I guess the history of Chairman Mao and communism wasn't as interesting as it sounded. Although, Madam Mao was an interesting historical figure.
Stefania Ion
Mai citisem de Anchee Min Imparateasa Orhidee si ma asteptam cumva la acelasi fir narativ continuu presarat cu notele istoriei vremurilor respective. Insa Cum am devenit doamna Mao e diferita (desi sunt descrise multe din palatele din Orasul Interzis prezente si in Imparateasa Orhidee) si imi dau seama acum dupa ce am terminat-o ca nici nu avea cum sa nu fie asa. Vorbim de alte vremuri si desi cruzimea in istorie a existat dintotdeauna pe cea contemporana o resimtim altfel iar cand seamana si cu ...more
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Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She moved to the United States in 1984. Her first memoir, Red Azalea, was an international bestseller, published in twenty countries. She has since published six novels, including Pearl of China and the forthc ...more
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