Bryan's Reviews > Eight Skilled Gentlemen

Eight Skilled Gentlemen by Barry Hughart
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Sep 13, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, historical, humour
Read from August 30 to September 13, 2012

Bridge of Birds and The Story of the Stone were two great novels that I remember with fondness. I'd always hoped that Barry Hughart would either write more adventures of Master Li and Number Ten Ox or, at the very least, more books.

Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago with I discovered Eight Skilled Gentlemen at one of my local used bookstores. What a score! I'd had no idea the book was even out there. Lucky me.

Well, while I wouldn't say it is a "bad" book, it was pretty disappointing. The plot felt a bit muddied and ramshackle to me. It never really seemed like a very clear adventure tale. It was more like a collection of loosely related stories and incidents cobbled together into book length.

I did still enjoy Hughart's wit and charm and of course Master Li and Ox were their enjoyable selves, but the story was weak in my opinion. Worst of all was that both villains were easily predicted and the whole [mild spoilers] tea and cages plot seemed not only overly complex, but kind of pointless.

I know I have a habit of writing reviews that seem to focus on the negative, so let me reiterate that I still enjoyed reading Eight Skilled Gentlemen, it's just that in comparison to the first two novels featuring the Master Li and Ox, it was a very disappointed book.
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Reading Progress

09/06/2012 page 123
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