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Nanjing Requiem

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3.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,068 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
The award-winning author of Waiting and War Trash returns to his homeland in a searing new novel that unfurls during one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century: the Rape of Nanjing.
 
In 1937, with the Japanese poised to invade Nanjing, Minnie Vautrin—an American missionary and the dean of Jinling Women’s College—decides to remain at the school, convinced that her A
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ebook, 288 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2011)
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Shomeret
I read this book because I thought a novel would be a better way for me to read about the Japanese occupation of Nanjing. Reportage of atrocities can de-sensitize us so that they have less impact and you care less about the victims. Fiction with characterization where you see into the minds and hearts of the characters and see their lives in context should make you care more. Unfortunately, as other reviewers have said this is closer to reportage than fiction.

One of the problems is that Ha Jin
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Manray9
Feb 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
Rarely do I quit a book once started, but I closed Nanjing Requiem after about 140 pages. Ha Jin wanted to write a history of the Rape of Nanjing in the form of a novel. The result was stilted and awkward with poor development of characters or plot, weak background, and no narrative flow. Minnie and Anling went here, went there, went here again, went there...the Japanese did this, the Japanese did that -- this doesn't make a novel. Ha Jin‘s War Trash was well done. It contained all the elements ...more
Tara Chevrestt
I appreciate what the author has done here: educated us about the rape Nanjing. I didn't know a thing about it till I picked up this book. But where I was expecting a historical novel about a strong missionary woman named Minnie, I got just what I said above, the rape of Nanjing.

The first part of the book... is one brutality after another, page after page of rape, sexual molesting and deforming of women, head slashing, and even urinating on children. The Japanese committed the foulest of acts.
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Bill
too boring...this reads like journalism, not a novel.
NyiNya
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ha Jin never goes for the jugular. His cool, reserved style works to his advantage in "Nanjing Requiem. The facts are so horrific, that letting too much emotion creep into the narrative could take it over the edge into Grand Guignol.

The focus of Nanjing Requiem is Jinling Women's College. Ha Jin seamlessly blends real and fictional figures and locations to bring us into the center of six weeks of hell on earth. As the Japanese advance, Chaing Kai-shek flees to Chongqing; he leaves his armies in
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Annette
Jul 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No-one
Sadly, I don't have anything positive to say about this book. It's been on my to-read list for ages, and I've long been interested in the story of the Nanjing massacre. Nanjing Requiem was a major disappointment, and it read to me as if written in the simple language of a 10 year old. That in itself isn't a crime, but it was also devoid of life, colour and personality.

The characters (based on real people living in Nanjing during the Japanese occupation) are one dimensional, and the prose is mund
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Marjorie Snook
I really wanted to like this book. Jin's Waiting and The Crazed are two of my favorite books, and I pre-ordered this book on Amazon so I could get it as soon as it came out.

I was underwhelmed, though. While I did learn a lot about the occupation of Nanjing, and especially the role of foreigners in the city during the time, the book was strangely unengaging. The book is all told at a strange emotional remove, making the storytelling seem wooden and sometimes strained. Jin also had the very bad ha
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Vít Kotačka
Zvláštní kniha. Vyprávěná z pohledu fiktivní přítelkyně skutečné postavy Minnie Vautrin, popisuje události Nankingského masakru.

Dalo by se říct, že pro nás Evropany, unavené záplavou knih o Šoa, jde až o "exotické" téma, podpořené stereotypem o asijské krutosti. Podstata je ale stále tatáž - běsy války uvolní v lidech to nejhorší. A ani po konci přestátých hrůz nepřijde vykoupení, ale často naopak další křivdy a utrpení. Sama Minnie - přezdívaná Bohyně milosrdenství - je toho důkazem.

Zvláštní kn
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Chris
May 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
While I found the opening sections of this book riveting and horrifying the slow pace and dwelling on minute details left me struggling to keep up my interest as the novel progressed. Clearly a subject worthy of exploration and revelation but I couldn't help but compare it unfavorably with classic historical novelizations like "All Quiet on the Western Front" or last year's "The Sojourn."
Dymbula
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poctivá čtyřka hvězdiček. Autor dokázal, že mi až do konce nepřišlo, že to psal chlap. Klobouk dolů. A kromě toho obdivuji jeho schopnost zůstat popisný a hlídat si emoce při popisu takových prasáren. Obdivuhodné čtení. A smutné.
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Mixed reviews 1 5 Dec 30, 2013 03:53PM  
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Ha Jin is the pen name of Jin Xuefei, a novelist, poet, short story writer, and Professor of English at Boston University.Ha Jin writes in English about China, a political decision post-Tiananmen Square.
More about Ha Jin...