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July's Fantasy (Morning Session) - Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

Please join us as we discuss Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was by Barry Hughart, winner of the 1985 World Fantasy Award and the 1986 Mythopoeic Award. If you prefer the ebook version, you can find the novel in the omnibus The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox. The book is a fairly quick read, at about 278 pages.

Please keep your RSVP updated and accurate!* Space is limited for this event. If it fills up, please add yourself to the waiting list if interested. This our morning discssion session. Our afternoon session can be found here.

From Amazon:

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 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!

*Since missing one of these meetups is taking a spot away from someone else who wants to go, we'll need to have a stricter attendance policy than normal. For book discussions, 3 no-shows in a rolling 3-month period will prohibit you from attending any other book discussion for 2 months after your last no-show. In order to avoid a no-show, please update your RSVP no later than 10pm two nights before a discussion. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation!

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  • Prashant

    Entertaining book and interesting discussion. Common likes and dislikes, but some things raised that I hadn't thought about.

    July 13, 2014

  • Kent

    Hmmmm, now THAT was interesting! We got out early because most of liked the book, almost all of us agreed on the various strengths/weaknesses, and we didn't have to defend our positions - - it was SO agreeable! (Not that book club discussions AREN'T usually agreeable - but there was no real impassioned point/counterpoint debate going on - which is a hallmark of our normal discussions.) Sometimes, it's possible for us to all align on one perspective. Go figure! It was a delightful discussion, and I especially enjoyed hearing that others appreciated the light and clever nature of the book. Thanx to all for your contributions!

    2 · July 13, 2014

  • Bill K.

    Today’s morning book discussion was once again different. Overall this book received positive reviews. Now that is good and bad. Most of us found a book (first of 3 volumes) that we enjoyed, in a new setting (China-like) but because of that we did not have the normal sometimes passionate discussions of a widely different points of view. We did get some background (this being in the style of a classic Chinese fable and the Confusion and Taoist influences) by two members of the group that was interesting and appreciated. There was much discussion of the humor in the book both “tongue and cheek” and of the adventures. I did get some additional titles for my ‘books to read’ list, which sounded interesting (from classic Chinese fables to just fantasy and sci fi books set in the Far East). We finished up with recommending a list of actors to fill the various roles if this ever turned into a movie. Overall an enjoyable discussion.

    4 · July 13, 2014

  • Kevin

    Loved the book. Would have loved the discussion. Gotta work to pay the man who's busy keepin me down....

    July 11, 2014

  • Vijay

    Hi everyone! Just a reminder to please update your RSVP if your availability has changed, to avoid a no-show. Also, we're likely to have some spots open in the afternoon session, if anyone would prefer a little more time to sleep in on Sunday. :) Just let me know here and add yourself to the PM waitlist here:

    Also, if you're interested in coming to our summer mixer on 7/26 (a potluck and cookout at Lake Accotink Park), please RSVP here and either pay online, or bring $10 cash (exact change) to Sunday's book discussion. Thanks!

    July 10, 2014

  • Karen

    I won't finish the book in time so I've changed my RSVP :(

    July 10, 2014

  • Prashant

    I am confirmed for the afternoon session but unable to attend. Anyone willing to switch?

    July 8, 2014

  • Vijay

    Hi, everyone! Now that we're less than a week away, please update your RSVP if your availability has changed. Thanks!

    July 7, 2014

  • Derek

    This book was a lot of fun :)

    June 30, 2014

24 went

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