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Barry Hughart

a slight flaw in his characters

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Back in the 1980's, Barry Hughart wrote three delightful fantasy novels about brawny Chinese peasant Number Ten Ox and his friend and master, the sage Li Kao: "My surname is Li and my personal name is Kao, and I have a slight flaw in my character." So far as I know, he's written nothing since, which is a great pity. Whereas Robert van Gulik's "Judge Dee" novels take place in an extremely down-to-earth China, Number Ten Ox and Li Kao inhabitant a wild and colorful place in which Chinese folklore has a beautiful (and frequently deadly) way of coming to life.

Bridge of Birds is the first of the three, and the best; don't miss it.


Bridge of Birds
Reviews: 1 June 2000, 1 January 2004
The Story of the Stone
Reviews: 1 June 2000, 1 February 2004
Eight Skilled Gentlemen
Reviews: 1 June 2000, 1 February 2004

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