Peking : An Epic Novel of Twentieth-Century China

4.83 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
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This epic novel of a wide-eyed missionary and a rebellious woman thrust into China's Communist revolution is "an excellent read, panoramic in scope" (Financial Times).

In 1931, young English-born missionary Jakob Kellner brings all the crusading passion of his untried Christian faith to a China racked by famine and bloody civil war. He burns to save the world's largest nation from Communism.

But when he is swept along on the cold, unforgiving Long March, Jakob becomes entangled with Mei-ling, a beautiful and fervent revolutionary. Soon, powerful new emotions challenge and reshape his faith-and entrap him forever in the vast country's tortured destiny.

Once held hostage by Red Guards in Peking for more than two years, author Anthony Grey traces the path of China's Communist party from its covert inception through purge and revolution. He crafts a portrait of China as a land of great beauty and harshness-of triumph and tragedy-in a sweeping narrative, rich in historical and cultural revelations.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 647 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 37.59mm | 839.15g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 150404925X
  • 9781504049252
  • 61,300

Review quote

"Well-written and exciting." -Library Journal

"A magnificent epic novel of modern China . . . The book is worth reading solely as a factual reminder of the chaos and calamity of China, as a quarter of the world's people struggled and suffered toward modernity in the stormy and cruel decades between 1920 and 1980." -Toronto Star
"Skillfully narrated, the book is a parable of China and the West's love affair with it." -Far Eastern Economic Review
"Anthony Grey's gripping fiction, based on meticulously attributed sources, is part epic, part blockbuster. . . . A moving chronicle." -The Times (London) "Grey's depth of feeling makes Peking a compelling epic." -The Sunday Telegraph "Outstanding . . . Balance, sanity, serenity and realized human love in the face of a shifting and violent and mostly hateful world." -The Sunday Record
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About Anthony Grey

Anthony Grey became a foreign correspondent with Reuters after beginning his career in journalism in Norfolk, England, where he was born and educated. He reported on the Cold War from East Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Sofia, and Bucharest for two years before being assigned to China to cover the Cultural Revolution. There, his imprisonment by Red Guards in a house beside the historic Forbidden City of China's emperors attracted worldwide headlines for over two years. After his release, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to journalism, and was named UK Journalist of the Year. He has gone on to become a radio and television broadcaster, bestselling historical novelist, independent publisher, and frequent public speaker.
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Rating details

18 ratings
4.83 out of 5 stars
5 89% (16)
4 6% (1)
3 6% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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