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I saw the title in a bookstore and the subject really interested me. The early reviews were a bit discouraging but I thought I would give it a try.
The story does tend to repeat itself, which is a pet irritant. However, overall the book does present some very interesting insights into the individual characters of old Shanghai. Usually histories into pre-war China seldom expand to the background of important figures of the day. This book fills in a lot of those gaps.
The story is fascinating, although the prose is sometimes dense and hard to follow. I would very much have preferred a male narrator. This one made some mispronunciations of English words, and the reading style is a bit jumpy.