Customer Reviews for

Chang and Eng

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2003

    Chang & Eng , George and Lennie

    Chang and Eng are to the East-coast what George and Lennie were to the West-coast. In this tale of brothers that explores mans' struggles to be accepted, Strauss reveals that the search for the American Dream was universal. Like George and Lennie, Chang and Eng couldn't live together and couldn't live apart. Intolerance is not prejudice towards anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2000

    Too Much Fiction and Too Little Fact

    Darin Strauss has taken liberties, inserting himself into the mind of a 19th century oddity, and he hasn't quite pulled it off. I am not impressed with his rather florid style, but there is no denying that the story of Chang and Eng is fascinating. However Mr.Strauss hasn't done his historical research: Christmas trees were unknown in the US in the 1840s -- they only caught on after Prince Albert brought the traditon to England. At one point the author has an obvious rube quoting 'Alice in Wonderland,' which was not written until after the twins' death. Likewise there are references to electricity (in the 1820's or 30's?), but worse of all is his frequent use of the term 'conjoined twins,' which only recently became the common term for Siamese Twins. This sloppiness devalues the novel and makes me wonder what other anachronisms I missed. I would like to read a biography of Chang and Eng, as there is much extant material on their lives. I like the idea of the novel, but this is poor historical fiction. It just goes to show that if you want to learn about historical subjects, read history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2002

    Love, heartache and history...

    A touching and well-written fictionalization of the lives of Chang and Eng, perhaps the most famous Siamese Twins in history. This novel goes artfully back and forth between the early and later stages of the twins's lives, leaving the reader in a constant state of anticipation. The two stories eventually catch up with each other as Strauss takes us to the last days of Chang and Eng. This is an unforgettable story told remarkably well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    WONDERFUL

    This is one of the best books I have read in many years. Strauss has a wonderful way with the english language. His words and the story flow at a pleasing tempo. Any historical inaccuracies should be irrelevent to the reader. This is a NOVEL, NOT a research paper. To focus on such details while reading a work such as this, is tantamount to visiting the Grand Canyon, and complaining that 'it looks bigger on TV.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2000

    overrated and disjointed

    I read this 'novel' to gain more insight about the lives of the original Siamese twins. Although there is a qualifier in the beginning addressing the fictional nature of the book, I expected more of a historical fiction than this book delivered. I found the chapters which alternated between the times to be distracting and disjointed and would have preferred a chronological approach. This book might have well been about any conjoined twins rather than the Bunkers. I think I'll stick to non-fiction titles to gain a better insight into interesting historical characters!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2000

    Remarkable

    Strauss blends superbly a cold detachment reminiscent of Maupassant with the poignant perception of a Chekhov and adds a touch of tragicomic humor. What makes this all so remarkable is not merely Strauss' eye and ear for vital detail. Nor is it his talent for exposing the innards of character in paragraph, a sentence, a phrase. It is Strauss' vision, his uncanny ability to seize the moment and to see beyond it. Strauss' prose is sharp, subtle, compact and alive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2000

    great job

    This is historical fiction at its best. The author has done meticulous research, and the language is exquisite. The book of the year!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2000

    Chang and Eng

    I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-publication copy of Strauss' book, Chang and Eng, and I think it's the best read to come down the pike in a long time. Old-fashioned adventure mixed with the psychological insight of modern literature, the book holds you from first page to last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2000

    Chang and Eng

    After reading about Chang and Eng being one of the top 7 works of fiction for the summer of 2000 in the Wall Street Journal, I got hold of a copy. I was not disappointed. Chang and Eng is beautifully written historical fiction. The subject matter, the first famous Siamese twins, is fascinating. Strauss' command so early in his career reminded me of Phillip Roth. This book is better than the other books on the Wall Street Journal's List, and better than all of the other books I've read so far this year.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

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