• Mao's Last Dancer

  • Young Readers' Edition
  • By: Li Cunxin
  • Narrated by: Paul English
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 12-18-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (33 ratings)

Regular price: $20.97

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $20.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Add to Library for $0.00

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

One day, not so very many years ago, a small peasant boy was chosen to study ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy. His mother urged him to take this chance of a lifetime. But Li was only eleven years old and he was scared and lonely, pushed away from all that he had ever known and loved. He hated the strict training routines and the strange place he had been brought to. All he wanted to do was go home - to his mother, father, and six brothers, to his own small village. But soon Li realised that his mother was right. He had the chance to do something special with his life - and he never turned back.
©2003 Li Cunxin (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

"Plucked from poverty, Li Cunxin was brought to Beijing to learn ballet. Later, after defecting, he became a principal dancer in both the Houston and the Australian Ballets, ultimately becoming world renowned. Paul English's crisp accents march precisely through Chinese pronunciations and the difficult stories of Li's early life in Quingdao. Occasionally, English pauses on emotional peaks, portraying, for example, Li's fear when his mother faints from hunger and his loneliness while adjusting to life at the dance school. Mostly, English's level narration allows listeners to imagine the contrasts of Li's life - his incomprehension of the wealth and freedom he sees while visiting the U.S. And, soon after, his struggle to attain them." ( AudioFile Magazine)
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By BPJones on 07-30-17

Excellent book!

I enjoyed how the story gives insight into China during Mao from the point of view of a young peasant boy thrown into the role of a dancer. The story line was captivating from a historical point of view as well as inspirational and entertaining. I would most definitely recommend this book!

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars
By Natasha on 10-29-13

Happiness rising from the injustise

Where does Mao's Last Dancer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Tie first. It was first last week but then I completed "The Condition".

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mao's Last Dancer?

The story about the man who "died" because he choked on an egg and then came to life after a robber punched him in the stomach.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it was interesting, heartwarming, exciting, both sad and happy.

Any additional comments?

I would like to listen to it in one sitting again and again, okay and maybe a couple more agains.

Other memorable moments:

Him breaking his pencil trying to write for the first time.

When he breaks his mother's new plates trying to make her a surprise meal.

When his parent's get applauded at the first performances of his they get to watch in America. And that curtain rise was kept on hold until they arrived.

Read More Hide me

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By ne5566 on 10-26-17


An informative, entertaining, evocative and inspiring story. I listened to this over several days and was captivated. Peasant China and Mao's 'Cultural Revolution' were especially informative areas and were dealt with in detail but I felt the ending a little rushed and sparse. Perhaps this was because 75% of the story is captivating due to the colourful and at times bizarre 'foreign' and 'exotic' setting. Once the story shifts to the West and focuses more on bureaucracy and politics, the pace was lost. Given the autobiographical nature of the book this is unavoidable but despite my criticism, Mao's Last Dancer is well worth experiencing - in any format.

Read More Hide me
5 out of 5 stars
By Ms on 02-12-15

Maos last Dancer

A moving story of a courageous young man and his family i have spent had to go to rural china his description transported me there. He describes the people i've been loving and kind which they are

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews