The Tapestries

by Kien Nguyen | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0349116431 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingApoloniaXwing of Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Germany on 8/29/2009
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingApoloniaXwing from Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Germany on Saturday, August 29, 2009
"Nguyen follows his acclaimed memoir, The Unwanted (2001), with a daringly complex and vividly imagined debut novel about a boy who fights to reclaim his family's royal legacy in Vietnam at the turn of the century. Seven-year-old Dan Nguyen is married in childhood to a 27-year-old family servant named Ven, who hides and protects the boy when rivals come to execute Dan's parents. But Dan's strange union with Ven is disrupted when Ven contracts malaria and she is forced to sell him into slavery to the mayor's family. Dan's stint as a slave proves fateful, though, when he becomes the personal servant of the beautiful Tai May and the two fall in love. In spite of Dan's station, Tai May chooses him over a wealthy young suitor. When the spurned suitor spies on Dan and finds out about his marriage to Ven, Dan is forced to flee the family. The dizzying intricacy of the plotting occasionally becomes a bit overwhelming as Nguyen tracks Ven's tragic fate and Dan's search for Tai May while attempting to piece together a treasure map that has been laid out as an interlocking series of body tattoos. But the beauty of Nguyen's stately, ornate prose-perfectly suited to the rigidly formal customs of Vietnamese royalty-serves him well as the complex plot unfolds. The scope of the tale and its grace and power make this a formidable first novel."

Journal Entry 2 by wingApoloniaXwing at Contemporary Asian Literature, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (11/11/2009 UTC) at Contemporary Asian Literature, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book was part of the Contemporary Asian Literature VBB and is travelling to Tsjara now.
Happy reading!

Journal Entry 3 by Tsjara from Zaandam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Sunday, November 15, 2009
Arrived here safely yesterday (together with Colours of the Mountain by Da Chen). Sounds interesting, I'm looking forward to read it :)
Thank you ApoloniaX for hosting the VBB and sending it so quickly, and for the lovely bookmark!

TBR and also reserved for the Contemporary Asian Literature VBB. (Chosen by soffita1)

Journal Entry 4 by Tsjara from Zaandam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, February 11, 2010
I finished reading this last night and enjoyed it a lot. I haven't read much about Vietnam before (except for history lessons at high school, but that was more about the Vietnam war) so this was very interesting :)
The story reads quite easily and it just draws you in from the first few pages. Though sometimes I thought the author (or maybe his grandfather?) got a bit carried with the story (especially the parts with Toan, he seemed kind of inhuman..) The only thing was that I didn't really like how the story ended - at least the part about Ven, she had such a difficult life, and I just sort of hoped she had a more happy ending..



The book will be mailed tomorrow to soffitta1 for the Contemporary Asian Literature VBB ^-^


Journal Entry 5 by Tsjara at Heiloo, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Friday, February 12, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (2/12/2010 UTC) at Heiloo, Noord-Holland Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Managed to pop the book into the mailbox this morning before catching the train to school :)
(oh and the bookmark is also travelling with the book ^-^)

Happy reading!

Journal Entry 6 by wingsoffitta1wing from Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, February 18, 2010
Thanks for sending this!

I will fill this in later, good read, but extremely tragic.

Released 9 yrs ago (7/10/2010 UTC) at Soffitta1's Asia-themed Bookbox, BookCrosser -- Controlled Releases

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In the bookbox.

Journal Entry 8 by blueblack at Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Thursday, August 05, 2010

Journal Entry 9 by blueblack at Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 09, 2010
After picking it up and starting the first chapter, I kept getting distracted... But have finally started to give this book a proper read!

Journal Entry 10 by blueblack at Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I'm glad I finally persevered with this one. I don't usually read the blurbs of bookcrossed books in great detail, which adds to the element of discovery/surprise! While reading this book there were points where I thought "How horrible that things like this have really happened to people" only to discover, when reading the afterword, that the events of the novel were based on the life of the author's grandfather!

The first two thirds of the novel didn't draw me in; The shift in perspective from Ven to Dan made me feel a little confused about whose story I was reading, and I never really got beyond seeing Dan as a child. He never developed much of a personality in my eyes, whereas Ven was crackling with life. The last few chapters, however, really drew me in, with the inter-weaving threads of Ven, Con, Dan, Camille, Lady Chin and Magistrate Toan's stories finally connecting in some interesting twists. Upon reading the afterword I was surprised that Tai May's point of view is so marginalised, when the author had the opportunity to learn her side of the story... She always seemed flat to me, the damsel in distress... The most moving part for me was the conclusion of Con and Ven's relationship, and the final note about the food left for Dan's birthday, which I won't spoil for anyone who has yet to read the book.

Journal Entry 11 by blueblack at Another Bookcrosser, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- World Wide Web on Thursday, November 25, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (11/25/2010 UTC) at Another Bookcrosser, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- World Wide Web

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Released as part of ApoloniaX's South-East Asian Virtual BookBox

Journal Entry 12 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Monday, November 29, 2010
Thanks for passing on this book blueblack, which arrived into snowy Dublin today. And thanks to ApoloniaX for organising the virtual book box which meant I can read books from non-european cultures.

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