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Summary

In 1920's China, Peking opera was luxurious entertainment for the privileged class-but only children from the poorest families were sent to opera schools to train as actors. Xiao Douzi is brought to an opera school - and abandoned there by his mother, a prostitute who can no longer care for him. With seeds of bitterness sown in his soul, the nine-year-old boy endures hardships and misery to learn and perfect his craft.

The novel focuses on the all-consuming love Xiao Douzi holds for the boy he befriends, and the beautiful female courtesan who comes between them. As these three remarkable individuals are caught up in the great historical events devastating China, they are forced to betray each other in order to protect the one they love.

One of the most unusual epic romances of all time, Farewell to My Concubine moves swiftly from the decadent glamour of 1930's China through the horrors of the Japanese occupation right up to Hong Kong in the 1980's.

©1994 Lilian Lee; (P)2009 Phoenix

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  • brian
  • 19-03-14

A Trip to another world.

Where does Farewell My Concubine: A Novel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not one of the best, but quite good still.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Farewell My Concubine: A Novel?

In the first scene, the opera is putting on a play of the Monkey King. The actor playing the Monkey King takes a fall and the other actors fall like dominos.

Which character – as performed by Nancy KwAN – was your favorite?

I'm not certain. They're all excellent.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

There was already a film made in 1993.

Any additional comments?

My first foray into Chinese Opera.