China has been a wellspring of storytelling for over 2,000 years. Sadly, this fantastic literature is little known in the west outside the halls of academia, though a handful of recent 20th century authors have attained a respectable following. The stories in this volume date from the sixth century A.D. to the early part of the 20th century, and will give the listener a good feel for the subject. Astonishingly, the Chinese enjoyed from the earliest times many of the genres we take for granted today, from romance and love to adventure and satire. There are seven stories in Volume 1.
In "The White Monkey," by Anonymous, a general's honor and self respect are on the line when his wife is kidnapped.
"The Jade Goddess," retold by Lin Yu Tang, is like a fine piece of exquisite porcelain. This wonderful story from the 6th century is a thing of delicate beauty. Will an artist put aside his creative gifts for the sake of love?
"The Canary Murders," by Feng Meng-lung, is a twelfth century forerunner ofthe detective story which attempts to sort out a string of mysterious deaths.
"The Book Worm," by P'u Sung-ling is a humorous satire about a bibliophile who suddenly finds love.
In "K'ung I-Chi," by Lu Hsun, an old-fashioned scholar loses his way in life.
In "Mr. Pan In Distress," by Yeh Shao-Chun, war threatens the settled life of a provincial educator.
"Intoxicating Spring Nights," by Yu Ta-fu, is a look at the effects of a newly industrialized society.
(P)2003 Audio Connoisseur
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Critic reviews

"The stories are lovely....Griffin reads in a deep, rich voice that is easy to listen to." ( Philadelphia Inquirer)
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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Zaubermond on 30-04-13

Another great story collection

I have an enormous collection of short stories, but most are European. What I know about Chinese literature would fit in a thimble, so I certainly can't comment intelligently about these stories, nor the pronunciation of Chinese, etc.

But as a lover of perfectly crafted short stories, I enjoyed each one. For me these were exotic, unusual, and fascinating glimpses of another culture. ("The Jade Goddess" was my favorite). Additionally, Charlton Griffin is simply wonderful here, and I enjoyed the sound effects.

I'm starting Vol. 2 tonight.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Roslyn on 09-08-07

Classic Chinese Short Stories, Volume 1

This selection of classical Chinese short stories introduces English-speaking listeners to the best of traditional tales of China. They are read with outstanding characterisation, intonation and passion, transporting listeners to a foreign place and time. The strangeness, mystery and colour of China blends with attributes common to all humankind to build bridges between Western tales of antiquity and the Orient.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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