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Possible, in my humble opinion only, one of the best books I have ever read.
What did you love best about The Flowers of War?
The story skirts around the worst of the atrocities of the Rape of Nanking yet while making only glancing note of the western heroes of the event like John Rabe and Minnie Vautrin, it captures the essence of fear and terror in the Chinese people who had to cope with out of control Japanese soldiers.
What did you like best about this story?
Zhang Yimou is noted as a director who can convey visually the essence of Chineseness to a western audience. Yet the novel is a much more compelling narrative than the film made by ZY.
Which character – as performed by Samantha Quan – was your favorite?
Undoubtedly Yu Mo for her essential humanity and her ability to reconcile conflicting interests, her own as well as others.
Who was the most memorable character of The Flowers of War and why?
Any additional comments?
This is a fictional narrative based on the true events of the notorious Nanking Massacre, a blot and shame on Japan which it has never come to terms with, and an all but forgotten historical event. The pity is that it will be read by very few and that the inferior film will be seen also by few, but many compared to readership of the book. Anyone who bears witness to horrors that have unfolded in Asia, the Bengali (1943) and North Vietnamese (1945) famines, Nanking (1937) The Cambodian Killing Fields (1975-1979) and the strufggle for freedom in Burma, led by Aung-San Suu Kyi, should read this, and hopefully then some or the more detailed studies such as Iris Chang's study of the Nanking Massacre, Elizabeth's Becker's When the War Was Over. Flowers of War is only a good beginning and if it doesn't whet your thirst for more information about this horrible event, read it again.
Unrealistic, over-romanticised, sugary slush. Really tedious. Everyone, apart from the baddies behaves chastly and honourably. And the tarts turn out to have noble hearts of gold.