Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shanghai” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.81  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  18 reviews
With his last breath, China’s First Emperor, Q’in She Huang, entrusts his followers with a sacred task. Scenes intricately carved into a narwhal tusk show the future of a city “at the Bend in the River,” and The Emperor’s chosen three—his favourite concubine, head Confucian, and personal bodyguard —must bring these prophecies to life by passing their traditions on for gene ...more
Hardback, 800 pages
Published May 6th 2008 (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shanghai, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shanghai

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-eras
Shanghai is not a bad book, but it is a book that is too long. If you are going to write a long book, you have to characters that justify the length. Shanghai lacks this. Many of the characters are interchangable and lack real depth. Rutherford, who does something similar, does not make this mistake. Shanghai is good book in terms of place, but not character.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the story. Definitely a history lesson for those unfamilar with China and Shanghai specifically. For those who have read David's Inspector Fong series some of the names will be familar as they are descendants of several of the characters in the book. Do not be daunted by the size of the book. Think of it as trilogy contained in book that spans over 2,000 years. The bulk of the story is contained within 1840 - 1950ish.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
„Градът при завоя на реката”
„Шанхай” от Дейвид Ротенбърг

Китай-вековна история,вековна традиция,вековна култура!
Страна необятно огромна,страна необятно богата,страна с която търговията е било мечета,мечта неосъществима до 1842г.,до Нанкинският договор подписан не и без помощта на оръдията.
1842г. Китай се отваря за търговия със светът и започва нова глава от вековната му история.
1842г. Китай навлиза в „епохата на белите птици върху реката” ,навлиза в епоха на мрака.Какво би могло да се предложи на
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: others
This book was intriguing, fasincating and full of adventure, mystery, drama and history. I love reading the book to the point that I couldn't bear to put down this wonderful novel. The imagery and characters were full of life and turmoil. The daily struggle and the ever changing power struggle and hunger of China and effect on their lives, especially on the chosen three. Highly recommend reading this book if you like mystery, drama, historical, and adventure.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book is an epic, a fascinating and powerful. The only word I can use is AMAZING!!!
Shanghai encompasses the history of the city from mid-19th century to the rise of Mao’s communists in the mid-20th century. It chronicles the Opium Wars, the foreign concessions within the city,
ancient history, and modern warfare.
Not what I would go to if I wanted profound characters and the story-telling was decent albeit not the best, but the thing is I read this book purely for fun, and fun it was(granted there were massacres that were pretty horrendous, but there were quite a few chapters that were pure awesomeness).

Dec 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Not a bad book...seems like a negative review, but that would be wrong. Shanghai is an important city and Rotenberg knows it well...worth a read for no other reason that for a really intriguing take on alternative perspectives on history. This is especially true about a book dealing with a fascinating history of an important city in a very important country.
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed this book at first. But about half way through it seemed to become less a story about the various characters and more just a chronicle of events. Disappointing. However, on a positive note, it has made me interested in learning about some of China's history.
Oct 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Because the book spans so much history and is in essence a story dedicated to telling the tale of the development of Shanghai the character development is weak at best. I never sympathized with anyone in the book. The plot itself is intriguing and compelling if a bit forced.
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I bought it when I was in China, and am rereading it. It's long, but its mystical and the characters family lines carry on throughout the story. Great read, especially for someone who is interested and knowledgeable about recent Chinese history.
Zafir Ignatov
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good and interesting book , original story too .
Feb 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
Starts well. disappoints in the end.
A very long read - close to 1,200 pages. Interesting to read about the history of Shanghai and how it came to be relatively recently in Chinese history.
A very enjoyable way to learn a bit about the history of Shanghai. Engrossing - kept my mind of a 22 hour flight.
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
a lot of history bundled together, mixed with a lot if imagination...
Dave Schulte
Fascintaing historical fiction accouint of the founding of Shanghai and the development of the opium trade. Beautifuly written.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got me so addicted,that I read it in 3 days...then re-read it 2 times.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It started off really good and then it became boring and lost me. Didn't finish it, which is sort of a shame because I thought it was going to rock.
rated it it was ok
Mar 08, 2012
Galina Karanikolova
rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2016
rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2017
Elizabeth Danielova
rated it it was ok
May 17, 2011
Dorothy Dewitte
rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2017
rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2017
rated it liked it
Mar 07, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • I Hate Martin Amis et al.
  • The Aimee Leduc Companion: A Guide to Cara Black's Paris
  • Nærmeste Pårørende
  • Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850
  • Wink Murder
  • The Detective Branch (A Pyke Mystery, #4)
  • Warlords: An Extraordinary Re-Creation of World War II Through the Eyes and Minds of Hitler, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin
  • Sea Fighter (Amanda Garrett, #3)
  • Remembrance Rock
  • The Reunion
  • Voyage of Innocence
  • Walking Into the Ocean (Peter Cammon Mysteries #1)
  • Rebellion (Matthew Hawkwood, #4)
  • Truth Lies Bleeding (DI Rob Brennan #1)
  • The Dead  (The Saxon & Fitzgerald Mysteries, #1)
  • Cut and Run (Joe Hunter, #4)
  • Plague Child (Tom Neave, #1)
  • A Child of the Jago
David Rotenberg has been a master acting teacher for over 20 years. He has directed on Broadway, in many major regional theatres, for television, and he has published six novels, including the Zhong Fong detective series, all of which are available at your local bookstore or online. The series is in the process of being optioned for film.

David has taught at York University, the National Theatre Sc
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »