marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Bridge of Birds

Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

Masses of Chinese legends thrown together with a naive young man, Number Ten Ox, and an elderly scoundrel Master Li Kao, who has a slight flaw in his character.

Number Ten Ox is looking for a sage to help the stricken children of his village. With the money he has to offer, only Li Kao will take the job. This proceeds to turn his life upside down with a quest that involves that Great Wall of China and a dream about it, children's games and songs, traicking a woman into a fake faint, a woman who loves jade and pearls, a desert where three travelers compare what they see in mirages until that crucial day when they all see the same thing, monks who can not be trusted, questions of immortality and invnerability and raising the dead, and more.
Tags: fiction reviews: fairy tale based

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