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Tai-Pan by James Clavell
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Tai-Pan (original 1966; edition 1986)

by James Clavell

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2,532242,387 (4.05)42
Member:AlexulQ
Title:Tai-Pan
Authors:James Clavell
Info:Dell (1986), Mass Market Paperback, 736 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Tai-Pan by James Clavell (1966)

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English (22)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
A foul-mouthed tale about the unpleasant people who set up Hong Kong. One hopes the Chinese settlers were nicer people. But I enjoyed "King Rat" for what it was, and I read this book. B grade entertainment ( )
  DinadansFriend | Mar 12, 2014 |
West meets East, the English and Chinese in particular at the birth of Honk Kong. A great tale of pirates, trading, war, settling and corruption, this novel has a bit of everything including stories of love and nurture, politics and keeping face. Based upon the place although the characters are meant to be fictitious it is easy to imagine people like the characters in the story which is very geographical and plays to the politics of the era though I am interested to know how historically correct it is. I read this soon after reading King Rat, the authors first novel about living during occupation centred on a Japanese prisoner of war camp in the second world war. Now I look forward all the more to the next book Shogun. This may be a book more enjoyed by men and fathers, but I think it would be a good read for all that enjoy a geographical novel and tales of pirates and empire. ( )
  agdturner | Sep 15, 2013 |
This is my third James Clavell novel: previously I've read Shogun and King Rat.

Tai-Pan is about the foundation of Hong Kong in the 1840s, with the main characters being the families of two Scottish traders.

This is another engrossing tale, with Clavell's unique style. Surprising easy to read, and difficult to put down once you become interested in the characters and situations.

I didn't find it quite as good as Shogun, but that's maybe because I read Shogun first and it's difficult for other books in the same style to compete.

My main criticism is that I felt some of the characters were a bit one-dimensional, and there was a bit too much black and white. For example, Dirk Struan is a good guy, and his son is basically good if a bit naive; whereas Tyler Brock is a bad guy, and his son is just evil. I felt that Shogun was better in this respect.

I found the pigeon English interesting, because I wasn't aware of this meet-half-way language that was used in the Chinese pors in the 19th century. ( )
1 vote Pondlife | Apr 13, 2013 |
I'm working my way through this series again. The movie version of this was on TV this week and it reminded me how much I liked it the first time around. ( )
  nomadicrose | Apr 4, 2013 |
I read this book after reading Shogun. I think I would have thought better of it if I'd read it first.

I have no interest in reading it again. ( )
  fuzzi | Dec 2, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Clavellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jongerius, MargreetTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nimwegen, Arjaan vansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Graag wil ik mijn dank uitspreken aan de bevolking van Hongkong, die me zoveel van haar tijd en kennis geschonken heeft en me een blik gunde in haar heden en verleden. Naatuurlijk is dit een roman en geen geschiedenisboek. Mannen en vrouwen die erin voorkomen, kwamen voort uit de verbeelding van de schrijver en er is geen enkel verband met personen of firma's uit het huidige of het vroegere Hongkong bedoeld.
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For Tai-tai, for Holly, and for Michaela.
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Dirk Struan came up onto the quarterdeck of the flagship H.M.S. Vengeance, and strode for the gangway.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Set in the 19th century, Englishman Dirk Struan sets out to turn the desolate island of Hong Kong into a bastion of British power, and to make himself the supreme ruler: the Tai-Pann--Publisher.

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