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Gina This fabulous book creates its own scale. 0-10-0
Anne Saturley I don't think I can rate it on a simple number scale. Just the lengthy descriptions of what it is like to be a composer of music, or the Buddhist jokes alone, are worth reading this novel for. The sweeping encompassing of various periods in the extremely complicated and often very unhappy history of China...this novel made me realize how little I understand about this vast and populous country. She (Thien) definitely deserved the Giller!
Kristine Walker This is not a novel for the escapist reader. It is beautifully written, especially the last quarter, but there are sections that are meticulously detailed and seem plodding. I kept with it and ended up giving it a 5 stars because it stole my heart at the end in the last 100 pages or so with the description of Tiananmen Square and the protests there in 1989. I'm glad I was patient.
Carol Gendron I very seldom give up on a book but I gave up on this one around page 170. After reading so many good reviews I very much wanted to love it. I made a chart to follow the many characters but even at that it was confusing. I kept waiting to be grabbed by the story but finally gave up.
Ameya Joshi Entertainment Quotient : 7/10 (complex, if somewhat wandering plot)

Education Quotient : 10/10 (this book with Wikipedia for reference could teach you more about Chinese History than a college course)

Readability : probably 5/10 (there're really complex segues into the technicalities of music and the meaning of music in life which you might zone out around)
Nancy Shulgan 3 or 4 I put it down after plodding through 77 pages what a relief!
Elizabeth I give it a 9.5. Just a little confused about the lineage of the characters . . . but the story is great. I was totally absorbed!
Elizabeth Athanassiadis The book swept me away with the first three sentences. As a musician and a lifelong lover of classical music, the intensity of the musical themes interwoven with the story as a whole greatly increased the intensity of the reading experience. It is an intellectually challenging read and not for those who are not willing to become totally engrossed in all aspects of work . . . historical, musical, philosophical, and spiritual.
James i simply could not connect to any of the characters in this book and gave up at about page 100. They are distant.
Sylvie On an ascending scale, 8.5
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