Bridge of Birds

Bridge of Birds When the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness Number Ten Ox sought a wiseman to save them He found master Li Kao a scholar with a slight flaw in his character Together they

When the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness, Number Ten Ox sought a wiseman to save them He found master Li Kao, a scholar with a slight flaw in his character Together, they set out to find the Great Root of Power, the only possible cure.The quest led them to a host of truly memorable characters, multiple wonders, incredible adventures and straWhen the children of his village were struck with a mysterious illness, Number Ten Ox sought a wiseman to save them He found master Li Kao, a scholar with a slight flaw in his character Together, they set out to find the Great Root of Power, the only possible cure.The quest led them to a host of truly memorable characters, multiple wonders, incredible adventures and strange coincidences, which were really not coincidences at all And it involved them in an ancient crime that still perturbed the serenity of Heaven Simply and charmingly told, this is a wry tale, a sly tale, and a story of wisdom delightfully askew Once read, its marvels and beauty will not easily fade from the mind.The author claims that this is a novel of an ancient China that never was But, oh it should have been

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Bridge of Birds

  1. Hughart was educated at Phillips Academy Andover He attended Columbia University where he obtained a bachelor s degree in 1956.Upon his graduation from Columbia, Hughart joined the United States Air Force and served from 1956 to 1960 where he was involved in laying mines in the Korean Demilitarized Zone During Hughart s military service he began to develop his lifelong interest in China that led him to plan a series set in an Ancient China that never was His connection to China continued after his military service, as he worked with TechTop, a military surplus company that was based in Asia, from 1960 to 1965.From 1965 to 1970 Hughart was the manager of the Lenox Hill Book Shop in New York City.Hughart lives in Tucson, Arizona.

471 Reply to “Bridge of Birds”

  1. I most definitely have than a slight flaw in my character, and I only liked this book, did not love it.Truth be told, it is a simply, elegantly written account of an oddly alternate history of China describing the journey of Master Li and Number Ten Ox in dealing with a mysterious disease and lots of other stuff.I can absolutely see where someone without a slight flaw in their character would LOVE this book and want to read all of the sequels, want to take this book on dates, propose, get marri [...]

  2. I m stopping by to rate this beauty of a book First, because it s clever, humorous and a welcome counterpoint to the general sourness that is GR these days Second, because although it is relatively unknown, it should probably rank up near Princess Bride in adult folk tale charm Third, because Master Li s determined but cheerful subversiveness might just make him my new hero.More at clsiewert.wordpress clsiewert.wordpress 2013 1

  3. This book is insane Insanely fun that is The humour really drives the plot forward with a gag a minute just rolling through one on top of the other It was hilarious Set in Medieval China, the children of the village of Ku Fu have been struck with a plague and pure hearted Number Ten Ox has been sent to find a wise man for help We need a wise man who can tell us how a plague can learn to count Enter Master Li who repeatedly during the story introduces himself as My surname is Li and my personal n [...]

  4. When I moonlighted at the late, lamented The Stars Our Destination between about 1996 and 2000, this was one of two books Alice Bentley stocked in vast quantity at deeply discounted prices the other being the store s namesake When you love a book like Alice loved this one, you want to make sure everyone reads it, and she was its zealous advocate to our not yet enlightened clientele It was the sort of book that disappoints you when you have to leave it at the end, like being exiled from a wondrou [...]

  5. I can t think of a book quite like this BoB is a light hearted Chinese fantasy that is refreshing and completely enjoyable Hughart makes the folktales and legends of ancient China seem utterly commonplace and this lends to the surreality of the story After reading a number of very serious books, I really needed a novel like this

  6. This hilarious and charming book is probably the most fun bro mance I ve ever run across It gets five stars from me as a fable similar to Big Fish or The Princess Bride in tone, but with way laugh out loud moments Did I already mention charm A young fellow living in ancient China has been dispatched to find help from a wise man any wise man available for a handful of copper pennies for the children of his village have collapsed with some type of plague affecting only those between the ages of 8 [...]

  7. Second review November 2017Gosh, has it really been 7 years nearly 8 since I read this Feels like no time at all.Anyway, after not enjoying Who Fears Death, I was struck with a sudden craving for this book Just an urge to re read it I can t explain why I just knew it would help.And it definitely did I have little to add about the book itself in this second review my first review stands I ll say that I picked up on a lot of the uh sexual stuff this time around 20 year old Ben was a precious inno [...]

  8. I feel bad I finished this book two days after we recorded the episode of Sword and Laser where we wrap it up first time I haven t finished a book for the audio show I blame Outlander for being too long.Anyhow, I wish I had made it to the end, because coming away from the book now I feel much differently than I did at the 75% mark If felt like the silliness that was almost a distraction for me came together in the end in a really beautiful and meaningful way You all said I d feel different, and [...]

  9. Writing a review of Bridge of Birds is a challenge that I admit to not being up to I do not know of words that are powerful enough to do even a half rate job of conveying just how fantastic I think this book is Nevertheless, I shall attempt it, as the most important thing in the entire world right now is that I convince everyone to read this book.Number Ten Ox who isn t actually an Ox, but was his parents 10th child, and is rather large is a peasant farmer in the titular China That Never Was Dur [...]

  10. This was the February pick for the Sword and Laser, and I m glad I read it It feels like a translation of a Chinese mythological tale than a novel written by a guy named Barry in 1984 That s a good thing, in my opinion It has a lot of the humor found in bizarre characters and nonsensical cultural practices because of an emperor s whim or fetishization, I am not saying that the Chinese are nonsensical that I have seen in a lot of actual Chinese literature, and Japanese too The fantasy elements a [...]

  11. I was really torn between 3 4 stars for Bridge of Birds I enjoyed the story and thought that the setting ancient China and characters were quite unique for fantasy I loved that it was a done in one fantasy I thought the prose was beautifully lyrical It was funny in places However, the story fell a little bit flat because it was told in the style of a myth or fable The characters were like caricatures than three dimensional people I didn t sense any great urgency to their obviously urgent quest [...]

  12. My surname is Li and my personal name is Kao, and there is a slight flaw in my character.So says Master Li to Number Ten Ox when Ox is sent to the city to find a sage to assist his village, dealing with a mysterious disease I personally was born in the Year of the Ox and therefore had a soft spot for Number Ten Ox.This novel rated about 3.5 stars for me which, I hasten to add, I consider to be a good rating I may have been reading Bridge of Birds at the wrong moment for me, as I am in a bit of a [...]

  13. Just listened to the beginning of thishereatForgotten Classics first 11 mins are kinda introduction about the author and stuff and suddenly I m so very excited about it Soon

  14. 3.5 stars Best way I can think of to describe this book is that it is beautifully written fable set in China It is clever, funny and very original Recommended Winner Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature 1986 Winner World Fantasy Award for Best Novel 1985 tie

  15. For years people have been telling me how great this book is, and I can only conclude that they read it when it first came out in the 80s and forgot all the awful bits, cause it turns out the story is littered with sexism and outright misogyny.But, somebody is sure to say, isn t this a story of ancient China Women s lib, not so big back then That s true to some extent, though, as often the case with history, not to the extent we think Further, note the subtitle of the book A Novel of an Ancient [...]

  16. My surname is Li and my personal name is Kao, and there is a slight flaw in my character PLOT In the beginning of the novel, the village of Ku fu is stricken by a plague which kills its silkworms and sends its children between the ages of eight and thirteen into a coma Number Ten Ox, the narrator, is dispatched to find a wise man who can cure the children In Peking, he finds Master Li Kao, a drunken scholar with a self described slight flaw in his character , who immediately identifies the cause [...]

  17. Here s my dirty literary secret I don t like Sherlock Holmes I wasn t intrigued by the mysteries, and the characters ejaculating everywhere with their 19th century speech and stuffy manners bored me I enjoy the Bront s, Austen and other writers from the same period For some reason Doyle s particular brand of stuffy didn t connect While it s often compared to a Holmesian caper, I was pleased to find Bridge of Birds doesn t suffer from the same sense of propriety Indeed, one of the protagonists is [...]

  18. It s not often that you read a book and it immediately jumps up into your Best Books Ever list Usually it takes some time and reflection, careful thought about the book s characters, themes and message Perhaps a re read would be in order, and then, after some consideration, you might say, Yeah I think this is a really, really good book that I want everyone else to read I think I hit that somewhere around page 182.This is, as the cover tells us, a novel of An ancient China that never was It s set [...]

  19. I brought this book about this time last year this is now my fourth read of it Its a wonderfully complete book it makes you guess, makes you laugh, makes you cheer, makes you sad The voice is wonderful although not one for people addicted to show, don t tell or very modern prose The finest thing about this book is Master Li, who is the impossibly wise and completely irreverent mentor we d all pick if we were stuck in a fantasy world or any world really Such a shame we don t have books featuring [...]

  20. Every now and then one must let go of the apprehension of wandering into the unknown realms, straying away from the routine and the familiar to head into an unknown and unchartered territory, for you may end up finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow or even better, a book like Bridge of Birds.The children of a village aged between 8 and 13 are mysteriously poisoned leaving the villagers in a state of shock and worry The Abbott asks Number Ten Ox named so because he is the tenth child to [...]

  21. What a fun ride.Delightful is the best way to put it This is a true fantasy novel almost insane at times with the level of fanciful world building and maximum level hyperbole.You can tell Hughart is a true lover of stories, especially faerie tales and those sorts I wasn t sure what to think the first few chapters, but you have to remember I came from a Wheel of Time marathon, which has a lot description and slower pacing.But I quickly fell in love with this fantastic adventure novel It s simila [...]

  22. Executive Summary This book provides a good mix of adventure and humor with a bit of action and mystery thrown in for good measure It s only about 250 pages, so it makes for a quick read once you get into it Highly recommend.Full ReviewThis one got on my radar thanks to Sword Laser from one of Aaron s great white boards It got lost on my ever growing to read list, until the club decided to make the February pick.Normally I try to time things so I can read the club picks at the beginning of the m [...]

  23. The opening chapters of this book are very good, and set up high expectations for the rest of the story The author invokes mythology, history and superstition, and infuses them into the affairs of a small Chinese village The action begins when the children of Ku Fu fall into a mysterious death like coma The hero, Number Ten Ox, hires the sage Li Kao, and together the two set off on a quest to find the Great Root of Power, which is the only known cure The end is wonderful, surprising and mythical [...]

  24. This is truly a book about a China that never was, and probably should have been Hughart catches perfectly the folk story style while also giving us a complex and engrossing story, through a fantastical world enhanced by all those close contacts with real world history.The main characters are very likable, the plot does not lose track of itself despite the sharp turns, and it is wonderful how a small character flaw can make someone interesting.It is read in a breeze, which is also an important p [...]

  25. Sorprendente novela que no dejar a nadie indiferente.Muy bien escrita, esta gran aventura, hace gala de toques fant sticos, mitol gicos, detectivescos, aderez ndolo todo con un poco de humor negro muy especial que conseguir sacarte alguna que otra sonrisa tonta.Adem s de un gran prosa, Hughart nos presenta unos personajes muy especiales , por no decir estramb ticos, que pronto se ganar n nuestro coraz n La historia es como un peque o rompecabezas, que si uno va estando atento a la trama ser capa [...]

  26. 5 star reviews from 3 people I trust the most on GR plus a recommendation A must read, obviously just don t know when.

  27. Bridge of Birds makes a nice change from the standard Western fantasy Barry Hughart is a Western writer, of course, but he s drawing on non typical settings and sources although, of course, a lot of the stories and lore in this book is made up for the purposes of the story, there are also things I recognise from the little I ve read of Monkey Journey to the West It s different enough to be refreshing Some of the stories it includes are lovely particularly the one that turns out to be central to [...]

  28. This book is different from most fantasy novels I have read It is like a hero quest, where the heroes Li Kao and Number Ten Ox are not overly blessed with morals or magical talent, but through luck and superior ability to solve puzzles, they are able to stumble into resolving the trials of their village At the same time, they kill an evildoer who has lived for centuries and allow a goddess to be restored to her place in heaven.I wish that I were familiar with Chinese culture and folklore I fee [...]

  29. Bridge of Birds, as narrated by Number Ten Ox is a brilliant piece of work It is very difficult to decide whether this is a fantasy with elements of comedy or the other way around Either way it is thoroughly entertaining Plot The book is a comedy fantasy set in ancient china and we follow Number Ten Ox and Master Li as they search for the great roots of power With hilarious situations, characters, dialogues and endless twists the book forces you to abandon all other things like work, food and pr [...]

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