Four Chinese women, drawn together by the shadow of their past, meet in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and to "say" stories to each other. Nearly 40 years later, one of the women has died, and her daughter arrives to take her place. However, the daughter never expected to learn of her mother's secret lifelong wish - and the tragic way in which it has come true. The revelation creates among the women an urgent need to remember the past. What is lost between generations and among friends - and what is salvaged - resonates throughout this novel of friendship among women and the relations between mothers and daughters.
Jacket Illustration ©1989 Gretchen Shields; Copyright ©1989
"Amy Tan effortlessly mixes tenderness and bitter irony, sorrow and slicing wit. The Joy Luck Club is a fabulous concoction." (Louise Erdrich)
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"Joy Luck - abridged"
This is a fabulous story - extremely well written but should not be abridged. I would have given it five stars had I listened to the entire book. It needed the extra flesh.
"I love the individual perceptions of the character"
I loved the story it was a very fun read and I strongly recommend it.
i was recommended to read this by my Chinese girlfriend who shared that while it could be an exaggerated set of stories from one perspective, it was enriching nevertheless. i agree.
I loved the book and the audio was good as well. This was my first book on tape, so I have to say I'm not 100% used to heading someone else's voice while listening to a story but generally she did a good job. She pronounced Chinese words (which I could never have done) and had at times a believable Chinese accent that wasn't too much to take away from the story, but she changed her voice to pretend to have a mans voice and this was very strange. That's why I knocked off a star because her "man's voice" was very distracting and unnecessary. But over all it was good.
"The Story was OK, but the Narrator was terrible."
The Narrator was awful. Some of her voices sounded like 'Yoda' from "Star Wars"... To me it ruined the story. This is one of the few times that I really liked the movie more than the book.
"Enjoyed the book"
I have read and enjoyed all of Amy Tan's novels. Since this is an early one, it isn't always easy to keep track of individual characters. The story and the emotion are well worth reading.
On the other hand, I did not care for the narrator. I liked the voice of the main character, but some of the others were very abrasive-- maybe how an American voice sounds to an Asian. Also, several words were mispronounced. An example: lapel rhymed with label. I fault the producer/editor for missing those words.
Overall, I recommend this book.
"Great book, Horrible Narrator"
The Joy Luck Club was one of my favorite books growing up as the daughter of Chinese immigrants in America. It's still a touchstone novel about the Chinese-American experience.
That said, this audiobook is marred by a terrible narrator who narrates HALF the book in a fake Chinese accent, which really takes you out of the lyrical beauty of Amy Tan's prose. It's like listening to a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel being read like Speedy Gonzalez.
She also gives all the American characters laughably distracting cartoon voices, especially the white boyfriends and husbands. Harold, Lena St. Clair's American husband, sounded like a cross between Yoda and a Muppet.
This is the first time ever where I thought the movie was better. Although it was interesting to see the difference. By reading the book there was a bit more insight into some of the meanings of things said. But still the movie was better.
I loved the narration and the story. I've watched the movie several times but never got around to reading the book. I liked what the book to had add to the holes left in the movie and the format the story took in the book. I'd definitely recommend this one.
"Beautiful story, so-so narrator"
I loved Amy Tam's gorgeous prose. The linked stories were fascinating and slowly revealed the characters. The narrator grated at times. Her Chinese mom voices were good, but the American male characters all sounded like cartoonish buffoons and most of the daughters sounded like imbeciles. And she pronounced "librarian" "li-BARE-ian" and "sword" "SWW-ord." Irritating as all get out. Didn't ruin the book for me, but certain passages were hard to get through.
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