Mariel's Reviews > Becoming Madame Mao

Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min
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Sep 14, 11

Recommended to Mariel by: don't cry for me China
Recommended for: Eva Braun
Read on September 14, 2011

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 the Jim Cazaviel character in the film version of The Stoning of Soraya M.
Madame Mao: The White-Boned Demon He's super proud of himself because he's not as sexist as the men he confronts in his investigation of blatant sexism for a book that he'll be paid for writing. The men are like "Oh, why write a book about such a bad woman?" and in the movie it's like "Don't listen to that silly woman! She's a woman!" He's like, "Yes, I know. Women!" They were just as bad she was (the white-boned demon, I mean). And they are hypocrites because nothing the sexy stud muffin Mao did was bad. The men are still oh, women should have been gentle judge-y in tone. I picture a smug Jim Cazaviel face behind the pen. They were both cruel and both made lives of Chinese people more miserable than they had could have been. But why do they have to demonize the woman and erect the memory of the man as a hero? Why did the woman have to be good and it was okay for the man to be a total dick? Both authors come from a place of wanting to find out what happened and then ultimately shy away from how gross of a woman she was with the distance of evil! Get behind me, white boned demon! Why did a woman get to do this to people because Chairman Mao wanted to bone her? Was it that sly of a move to demand marriage? Isn't there an old Chinese proverb about not buying the cow when you can get the sex for free? (I was impressed how she tried to use their fear of women against them, such as removing her clothes to avoid interrogation. At least she wasn't afraid to use both sides of the sex coin. Historically it was a dull sided coin, as far as I'm concerned. Not boring to those who suffer but boring to me sitting here right now.)

Min apparently had a crush on Madam Mao aka the white-boned demon aka Jiang Ching aka Li Runqing. I had wanted to read this book because I was curious why the author had had a crush on their first lady of communism while growing up in China. I guess it was an excuse to put herself in the place of someone who had hot sex with Chairman Mao. I'm so confused! She must have made a list of everyone she didn't like, any slight or fuck over and then when she got a bit of power from the Chairman Mao sex she used it to do them in. Or she did what a lot of assholes did when communism gave them their tiny bit of evil power. Maybe the young Min had fantasies about the bitch girl who had a nicer regulation something or other than she had? Or it could have been her glamorous film career and looks before she took on the guise of a comrade. I don't know. This book doesn't have it. Why was Madam Mao interesting to Anchee Min?

What this book has is first person perspective of the lady. Self serving perspective. It was oh so romantic, this and that person fucked me over, I was the only little girl to suffer from feet binding in China (that was nasty). Maybe it was the thing about serial killers becoming serial killers become their mom was a prostitute. The perspective switches to what really happened in a regurgitation of the first. It wasn't juxtaposed reality enough to warrant the constant back and forth. The prose was cheesey as fuck either way.

I thought that Chairman Mao was hot in the sack.
Chairman Mao was hot in the sack.
It's really frustrating to read a whole book like that! (I'm going to go take a shower.)

I didn't think that her old love affairs or supposed crush on Mao made it okay. It wasn't okay that she "loved" her daughter when she wanted something from her. What was the motive to get closer to a woman like this? I think it had more to do with her notoriety, or Min wasn't good enough of a writer to express her own feelings about the maligned woman. I liked Terrill's book a bit more because at least he got that Qing was pretty much a bad actress in her own life. She'd quote lines from plays she had performed in. Maybe she didn't remember they were even plays. It was all a big lie to her to get what she wanted. Applause, money or position. She thought she identified with Ibson's A Doll's House and the world denied her her spoils. Or it was a line she repeated a lot when she didn't get anything she wanted. It sounded good the first time excuse. Chairman Mao was a position. Wouldn't most who lived in China "love" him? My father used to say to "deny, deny, deny" when confronted with a lie.It was safer (emphasis on er rather than safe) to. Qing had that part down. Never break out of character, even if it means having no character.
Or the bad writing was a demonstration of bad acting... I'm confused!
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 107) (107 new)


message 1: by Paquita Maria (last edited Sep 14, 2011 08:07PM) (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Question: Was that "Chairman Mao was a position" comment intentional innuendo? Or were you just getting into the "groove" of talkin' 'bout what a hot little piece of tail he was, and "it slipped?"


Mariel *blushes*


message 3: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez HA! And what a dominant position it was...


Mariel He was on top.


message 5: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez And he exhibited brute force.


message 6: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez (...and there was indeed much iron fisting.)


Mariel He was a CHAIR man.


message 8: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Mao chikki mao-wow!


Mariel Pour some sweet and sour sauce over me.


message 10: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Mao? More like "Meeee-ao!"


Mariel I'm com-rading.


message 12: by Manny (new)

Manny I'm looking forward to Becoming Eva Braun. What was Adolf Hitler like in the sack? We have a right to know!


message 13: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Sep 14, 2011 10:27PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Manny wrote: "What was Adolf Hitler like in the sack? We have a right to know!"

He praised himself from a third-person perspective, for one, while sack-bound:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25...


Mariel We know why he had that mustache if the cries from the boudoir were any indication.


message 15: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Manny wrote: "I'm looking forward to Becoming Eva Braun."

I was going to write a comment comparing Hitler to men with big trucks for the purpose of overcompensating for something, but then I realized how funny your comment looks when it's all italicized.


message 16: by Manny (new)

Manny It's a good thing the first B is capitalized. Though I fear I may still be quoted out of context.


message 17: by Paquita Maria (last edited Sep 14, 2011 11:34PM) (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Manny wrote: "I'm looking forward to [b]ecoming Eva Braun...!"


Mariel And Bra(un).


message 19: by Manny (new)

Manny I'm going to mail Lars von Trier and see if he want to go out and get drunk together. We clearly have a lot in common.


message 20: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Mariel wrote: "I thought that Chairman Mao was hot in the sack. Chairman Mao was hot in the sack. It's really frustrating..."

Sorry...insomnia makes me sassy.


Mariel And Brawn.


message 22: by Paquita Maria (last edited Sep 14, 2011 11:41PM) (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Manny wrote: "I'm going to mail Lars von Trier and see if he want to go out and get drunk together. We clearly have a lot in common."

Considering he makes his actors basically pay their own way (flying themselves to his sets, taking drastic pay-cuts, etc.), you'll likely have to foot the bill. Probably for the best, though...bet he's a shitty tipper.


message 23: by Manny (new)

Manny Paquita Maria wrote: "he makes his actors basically pay their own way (flying themselves to his sets, taking drastic pay-cuts, etc.)"

Well, at least he's better than Fassbinder in that respect...


Mariel If there's an academy award in the offing the actors might say it was worth it.

I didn't know that about Fassbender.


message 25: by Manny (new)

Manny Mariel wrote: "If there's an academy award in the offing the actors might say it was worth it."

I think Kirsten Dunst has a good chance of a nomination at least. She really was pretty amazing in Insomnia... I agree with all the other people who say it's the best work she's ever done.


message 26: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Oh, I want to see that, yes...thank you for the reminder. I'm just going to pretend that von Trier's movies don't make me want to punch a wall repeatedly until my knuckles are completely shattered.


message 27: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez (Yet I still watch them. I always watch them.)


Mariel I do want to see that.

Nicole Kidman did not work with Trier again despite saying that she would do it again.


Mariel Me too with the wall punching.


message 30: by Paquita Maria (new)

Paquita Maria Sanchez Dogville did the worst number on me. During the last 20 or so minutes of that movie, I experienced some of the most sinister, despicable glee I have ever encountered, and I had to restrain myself at the end, sit, and really think about who or what had just come over me. I'm totally against capital punishment, vigilantism, vengeance/vengefulness in general, etc, but that movie made me wonder if I actually...am...against those things...


message 31: by Manny (new)

Manny I read that Kidman only failed to do the sequel to Dogville for scheduling and contractual reasons. But maybe there was more to it than that.

He's kind of mellowing with age. I didn't really want to inflict harm on myself after Melancholia... just felt a sort of generalized despair for the future of the human race, but even that was sort of, well, maybe it's not so bad when you think about it.


message 32: by Manny (new)

Manny Paquita Maria wrote: "Dogville did the worst number on me. During the last 20 or so minutes of that movie, I experienced some of the most sinister, despicable glee I have ever encountered, and I had to restrain myself ..."

Ha! Well, that's the way I felt too.

As I said at the end of my review of Millennium #3, it seems to me that there are some points of contact with Lisbeth Salander - a kind of female Christ-figure who decides not to turn the other cheek after all. Perhaps that is what the world needs right now.


Mariel I wanted to do some alien transportation of peoples and perhaps start up prison colonies somewhere...


Mariel I finally figured out to make my first million.

You know how tired out historical novels about Robert Dudley with Elizabeth and his wife are? Hitler, Eva Braun and Unity Mitford. I'll milk this cow. In one book Eva is his true love and Unity a viper impostor to love. Then the next it is Unity's turn. I can make them the back drop of all kinds of historical romances. Hitler's niece can get a book (Uncle Adolf already did that but it wasn't trashy enough). I'll have to use a pen name for my book about Hitler's love child.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Mariel wrote: "We know why he had that mustache if the cries from the boudoir were any indication."

Little known fact: the blitzkrieg style of German military attack was initially inspired by Hitler's cunnalingual prowess. Also, kristallnacht was inspired by his paramour's habit of shattering windows with aforementioned cries from the boudoir.


Mariel The nazis were great at sex. That's why they called them joy divisions.


message 37: by Manny (new)

Manny Mariel wrote: "Hitler, Eva Braun and Unity Mitford. I'll milk this cow."

Mariel, I hate to say it, but you're thinking too small here. I see a series entitled Adolf's Seven Women - you know, a sort of modern Henry VIII. One woman per volume (maybe Eva could get two volumes), and each one either commits suicide or tries to. It'll beat the shit out of Harry Potter - every hot actress in the world will be lining up to play the female leads. Start writing now!


Mariel http://eminemjamesuk.com/?p=271
Oh my god! Mao washed out the venarial diseases in the bodies of more women! Maybe I'll write porn about him and make the tv mini movies on HBO about Hitler. Women love it when their romantic leads lock up their women! He was so hot they couldn't live without more Hitler sex. Twilight who?


message 39: by Manny (new)

Manny Can we have Robert Downey Jr as Hitler and Gwynneth Paltrow as Eva? I thought they had fabulous chemistry in Iron Man, and he just needs to remodel his mustache a bit. Then of course Scarlett as Unity...


Mariel It could be like Matchpoint!


message 41: by Manny (new)

Manny OMG, yes. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Hitler. He really looks good with his shirt off and I can see there'll be a lot of nude scenes. I hope you've already got an agent doing elevator pitches in Hollywood?


Mariel I'm talking it up by water coolers. "Game of thrones meets Star Wars."


message 43: by Manny (new)

Manny You've probably already got a cute child actor to play Young Hitler? You know, Anakin before he goes over to the Dark Side...


Mariel Jonathan Lipnicki is still eight so he'd be good if they want a name. Hitler loved Disney. They'll want to co-fund.


message 45: by Manny (last edited Sep 15, 2011 05:54AM) (new)

Manny Mariel, you've clearly got the whole thing there in your head already. Just write it down and get Disney to sign before someone beats you to the punch. Right now, you've got a first mover advantage, but who knows how long that will last?


Mariel I'm going to drop everything else and head straight to Canada. Celine Dion's soundtrack will push this into epic territory.


message 47: by Manny (new)

Manny Can you cast Taylor Schilling from the Atlas Shrugged movie? That'll bring in the Randroids, and there are a dozen angles for clever cross-promotions. Maybe she could play Geli?


Mariel You should be a producer and sleep with the actresses. I like the way you think. I'm seeing spin off material too. The tea party, Stalin (Oscars for costumes!) and Trujillo. It could be sweeping across generations. A love that never dies.

Maurice will have to be played by Michael Fassbender. I might use the casting couch too...


message 49: by Manny (new)

Manny How can I say no to an offer like that?

By the way, I have many Holocaust victims in my family, and I expect that will generate more free publicity. I'm already preparing lines for my first interviews.


Mariel I will have to giggle about Hitler's photo being my first girlish twinges of sexuality...


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