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The Last Emperor

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The Last Emperor is a 1987 biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 1st 1987 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  369 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Mircalla (#FreePatrickZaki)
Apr 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cina
Pu Yi for dummies

questo libro vorrebbe essere una bio di Aisin Gioro Pu Yi ultimo imperatore della dinastia Ching e in assoluto ultimo a sedere sul trono del Drago

tralasciando la prosa sciatta e l'obsoleta traduzione, bisogna innanzitutto sapere che questo libro è stato scritto dopo il film di Bertolucci e su quella scia mandato in pasto al pubblico, ma il punto è che l'intero racconto è copiato passo passo dal precedente L'Ultimo Imperatore di Arnold C. Brackman edito circa dieci anni prima, sc
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: china, non-fiction
Certainly, an enthralling story, told by a journalist who is not an expert Sinologist. There are a few grammatical mistakes as well. As a whole, the book is intriguing in the extreme, telling the story of Pu Yi, who went from god to puppet emperor to “remoulded” model Communist citizen. Behr is good at speculating as to Pu Yi’s motives, questioning his sincerity, and so on, which are impossible to know for certain. However, he also often falls into the trap of accepting accounts in Pu Yi’s memoi ...more
Hanna  (lapetiteboleyn)
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
As far as biographies go, there are definitely worse though, as admitted during the first chapter, Behr is not a historian and he writes with an overarching aim to write the 'book of the film' The Last Emperor. Behr has a tendancy to try to brush off Pu Yi's cruelty as a reaction to outside influences, as well as a real determination to paint the last Emperor as a victim and seems completely incapable of not repeating ad nauseum that he once saw Pu Yi himself and making some pretty incredible re ...more
Daniel A. Penagos Betancur
El 2 de diciembre de 1908 un niño, que aún no entendía ni quien era, ni lo que hacían con él fue nombrado Emperador de China. Nadie de los que estuvieron presentes ese día imaginaron que él sería el último de todos los emperadores y él no sabía lo que sería su vida. Esta es la historia de Puyi, último emperador de la dinastía Qing.

El libro cuenta la historia de alguien que nunca tomó una decisión propia sobre su vida y que siempre estuvo al servicio de los placeres de una deteriorada monarquía c
Alesss :D
Uno dei peggiori libri che abbia mai letto. Questo non è per nulla il modo di fare biografie. Dispersivo, pieno di capitoli inutili su divagazioni di personaggi di contorno o sulla storia dell'estremo oriente. Sono estremamente deluso, le aspettative erano ben altre. L'unica cosa positiva sono le focalizzazioni e le narrazioni di Pu Yi, perché non sfruttarle di più? No, no, non ci siamo per niente. Mi spiace. Un vero peccato
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is an extremely thorough account of both Pu Yi's personal life and the politics surrounding his ever-changing title/position in society. I enjoyed the beginning and the end of the book; these parts discussed Pu Yi as a person, his temperament, the people he interacted with, and the rituals and culture of the time. However, I had a hard time getting through the middle of the book, which extensively described the politics of the time, the wars, war tactics, and major players in political ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quiet an interesting read which by the end you almost feel sorry for Pu Yi the last emperor of China.

The book provides a fascinating look at his life as well as providing a solid context for his life in the events both political and social which transformed him from child emperor to puppet king and finally to 'reformed' communist citizen.
Joshua Marney
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A unique and interesting biography which gives insight into the last holder of the imperial throne. A good read, especially interesting in its discussion of Puyi's time as ruler of the so-called "Manchukuo" puppet state.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As historical books go, this one held my interest all the way through, hence the higher rating. I've been fascinated with Pu Yi's story since the movie, which I've watched multiple times. This book, which is not based on the movie but a proper biography, fills in a lot of detail.
Bahman Bahman
آخرین امپراتور زندگی پویی، آخرین امپراتور چین را به تصویر درآورده است.
Emico  Salum
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, jul-20
Que livrao. Escrito na mesma época em q foi rodado o filme , ele conta , além da história do p’u-i toda a geopolítica asiática entre guerras e o pós guerra na China . FENOMENAL !
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
An interesting read, although somewhat dry. I wish there had been a bit more care taken to the presentation, as the subject matter is exciting indeed.
De laatst keizer van China gaat over Pu Yi die op drie jarige leeftijd keizer van China wordt. Hij weet niets en wordt geleidt door mensen die alleen in hun eigen belangen voorzien. De keizer leeft in een cocon en weet niet wat er precies gebeurt. Als hij wordt afgezet, wordt hij gevangengenomen. Als hij vrij komt is hij een burger en wordt hij tuinder. Alles is verandert, maar Pu Yi vindt zijn leven zonder de glamour fijner omdat hij zichzelf kan zijn.

Ik geef het drie sterren. Niet
Frances Lockhart
Jun 29, 2011 rated it liked it
An interesting biography about what was surely one of the most fascinating lives of the twentieth century. Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China, was born into ridiculous privilege and almost worshipped as a child. He was de-throned when China became a republic, became a "puppet" emperor for the Japanese in Manchukuo, was captured by the Soviets at the end of WW2 and then imprisoned and "re-educated" by Chinese Communists under Mao. His story was therefore a history of China - albeit from a very limi ...more
Apr 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, bigraphy
I rarely read a biography. I have a little trouble writing this review. I need to keep remind myself that it is a real story of a man who was the last emperor of China. So I couldn’t criticize the story parts in it.

The book presents the story of the China’s Last Emperor, started when he was a toddler king and ended by his days as a common people. The story was quite interesting, continuous day by day (or years?) seamlessly. But for one without knowledge of China’s history, I lost between china’
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: China buffs
Shelves: other-cultures
I would give this 2 1/2 stars. I am glad I read it but not sure most people would enjoy it, unless you're really into Chinese history. I really wish I had read it before my China trip! This is a companion novel to the movie The Last Emperor, but it is written more like a history book than like either a novel or a biography. The author basically gave as much inside information about Pu Yi as he could gather from those who had known him, and then filled in the rest of the book with a history of Ch ...more
Naiwrita Sinha
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
Pu Yi's life has certainly been interestingly portrayed here, and got me quite hooked. ch is saying something, considering I am not really into biographies. But this is a really candid look into the workings of a politically undulating nation, as it moves forward into so-called progress. Behr has sketched a not-so-sketchy account of China in one of her most controversial periods, but what enthralls the most is how an almost impersonal narrative manages to bring out the inner helplessness of a mo ...more
Terri R
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read this one---but I remember how vivid the story was. Behr does an outstanding job of re-creating characters and scenes of an unfamiliar world and transporting the reader to feel as though they are there. While the story is complex and can be graphic in parts, it is one hell of a read. I think the book is absolutely worth reading because it depicts a critical period in world history in a very compelling and personal manner.
Tim Magor
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Fascinating read of 20th century Chinese political history. It's definitely a way into understanding modern China as the dragon rises as the World superpower of the 21st century. Pu Yi the last emperor didn't get assassinated or executed as a war criminal but managed to survive in a post Mao communist China. It's really a story of survival of a blue blood.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The story of Pu Yi spans across a tumultuous period of Chinese history that I had previously not been clear on. The book is very well writing and has a surprisingly strong narrative for a non-fiction biography. It's no surprise a movie was made off it!
Jan 26, 2009 marked it as to-read
Shelves: catalogued
Craig Earnshaw
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Important story, fascinating history, not particularly well written.
Patty Simpson
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
A fascinating bit of history, but the book was a slog. Good enough that I kept at it, but enough of a slog that it took me months to finally get through it.
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this book very interesting. It gave me a revised perspective on this period of time.
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
I got an overall picture of the time and the things the emperor went through. Rather standard narrative style for a biography. Nothing special.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, movies
Well written book provides a good look at life in China during this period.
Jeric Anthony
very good
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Hard to imagine how it must have felt to be the last emperor of China.
Feb 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Outstanding and colourful biography of Pu Yi.
Seeing Clarely
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This biography wasn't like a gripping suspense novel, but it was quite interesting. Makes me want to read more about the history of China.
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Edward Samuel Behr was a journalist; he worked primarily as a foreign & war correspondent. He began his career in the early 1950s with the Reuters news agency, then worked for Time-Life, serving as bureau chief in several cities around the world for Time Magazine. He then took a position with Newsweek in 1965 as Asia bureau chief, based in Hong Kong. Later in his career, Mr. Behr also made a numbe ...more

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