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Kai Lung's Golden Hours

Ernest Bramah

Book Overview: 

Kai Lung’s Golden Hours is a frame story or frame novel, that is, the narrative provides a frame for different stories. Think One Thousand And One Nights or Canterbury Tales. Kai Lung is an ancient Chinese storyteller who tells stories to postpone his criminal conviction in the court of a Mandarin.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .scarcely have acted in this incapable manner, for each sheath was inscribed with one symbol of a magic charm and in the possession of the complete sentence resided the whole of the Being's authority and power.

Then Hia, seeing that he could no longer control her movements, and that the end to which she had been bending was attained, gathered together the fruits of her conscientious strategy and fled.

When Ning returned to the condition of ordinary perceptions he was lying alone in the field by the river-side. The great sky-fire made no pretence of averting its rays from his uncovered head, and the lesser creatures of the ground did not hesitate to walk over his once sacred form. The tent and all the other circumstances of the quest of Hia had passed into a state of no-existence, for with a somewhat narrow-minded economy the deity had called them into being with the express provision that they need only be of such a quality as would last for a single. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I bought this book on the recommendation of Noel Perrin's A Reader's Delight (which I cannot overpraise and overcommend), spurred by already knowing Bramah for his Max Carrados mystery stories. But it's not the first Kai Lung collection I proceeded to read, because Perrin points out that there were

rare game of great funny writing. Kai Lung is a guy who get in troubles all the time, he is not in favour with authorities and he fell in love with the most beautiful girl around. for me it is amazing how Bramah who never went to China got it quite right. it is real fun.

I tried to write my comments on Ernest Bramah’s Kai Lung’s Golden Hours, which I just finished, in the same style:

In the opinion of this lowly reader, the esteemed author before our unworthy eyes has created a gem of the highest quality, polished by fine craft.

But you can only do this so long before

How is it possible to suspend topaz in one cup of the balance and weigh it against amethyst in the other; or who...can compare the tranquillising grace of a maiden with the invigorating pleasure of witnessing a well-contested rat-fight?

Forget the frenetic world of Facebook, the torrent of trivia tha

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