Shanon's Reviews > The Story of the Stone: A Master Li Novel

The Story of the Stone by Barry Hughart
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Dec 15, 09

bookshelves: fantasy, abandoned, 2009
Read in December, 2009

I hate to do this, I really do. I loved Bridge of Birds A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was but I just can't get into this one. I'm reading an ebook and am 72% done and just don't care what happens. I've been trying to finish this book for a month now and just can't force myself to sit down and read.

I've learned that I need character growth and development instead of just a story. I was hoping to learn more about Number 10 Ox & Master Li in this book but while they are the main characters you learn nothing more about them, their relationship, their past - NOTHING. It's a story for a stories sake and. I guess I've learned the difference in character driven & plot driven novels. I like character driven.

There is so much mythology and history without the story behind it that I did't understand the significance of events until it is spelled out in it's entirety later on. Even then it holds no significance TO ME. For example:

*** SLIGHT SPOILERS but I'm really not sure how much of a spoiler since I didn't finish :) ***


Grief of Dawn hallucenates about a trip to the market. Master Li questions her about it and gets more and more details but the reader has NO IDEA why. It wasn't until much later in the book that Master Li explains that her hallucenated trip to the market couldn't have taken place any sooner than 700+ years ago and that she was accurate enough in her descriptions of the people and time that she must have lived a life back then and is having memories from her previous life surface. An annoying aspect of this revelation is that in the explination THE ENTIRE conversation/hallucenation is repeated word for word. It wasn't much after two completely repeated converstations that I had to put the book down.
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Reading Progress

12/10/2009 "a little over half - I REALLY need to finish this book it's taking me too long!"

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn I've had no luck in finding this... :(


message 2: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Oh No!!! Only 1 star!! That makes me so sad and in no rush to read it.


message 3: by new_user (new)

new_user I also like character-driven novels. That's too bad. Shanon, have read any Robin Hobb?


Shanon Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Kathryn. I was SO excited to read it after searching high & low.

I haven't read Robin Hobb - which of hers would you suggest for a newbie??


message 5: by new_user (new)

new_user I love her Farseer series. It starts with Assassin's Apprentice and follows him as he grows older, etc. It's strong on characterization. :D


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