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Eight Skilled Gentleman

Eight Skilled Gentleman

5.0 1
by Barry Hughart

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hughart's ( Bridge of Birds ) third novel is another gem, continuing the adventures of the aging sage Master Li and his youthful sidekick, Number Ten Ox, a delightful pair of ancient Chinese sleuths. When a respected mandarin is murdered by a ch'ih-mei , a vampire ghoul, in broad daylight, the Celestial Master, the most revered Taoist priest in the realm, gives his old friend Master Li the case. The Celestial Master himself, however, seems to be the main suspect after he reports the murder, which he claims was committed with a ball of fire by a man who was then transformed into a crane. Thus commences a wild adventure that takes Master Li and Number Ten Ox from the Forbidden City through backwoods villages and bandit-infested countryside to the sinister palace of Yen-men. There are ghosts, wizards, dog-brides, monsters, puppeteers, female shamans, magic birdcages and, of course, the Eight Skilled Gentlemen, mysterious hooded figures from the dawn of Chinese history who are in league with eight particularly nasty demon-deities. Superbly written and narrated in the humorously observant voice of Number Ten Ox, this is a book not to be missed. (Jan.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA-- That honorable and learned scholar, Master Li, is back, along with his right-hand guy, Number Ten Ox; and the two of them are once again investigating the ineffable mysteries of ancient China. No amount of description can possibly capture the resolutely calm hilarity of this mad careen through Chinese mythology disguised as a detective story. Suffice it to say that Master Li has chosen to become involved in a mysterious incident of mass hypnosis, which has resulted in the reported appearance of a vampire ghoul. The rest of the plot proceeds at a breakneck pace, with breathing room provided by Number Ten Ox's outrageous commentary on the not-so-picturesque aspects of life in ancient China and Master Li's alternately philosophic and bold-faced pronouncements. This is a mystery story for those who don't read mysteries, a fantasy novel for people who don't read fantasy, and a good time for anyone. Expect requests for Hughart's other Master Li books if you purchase this one. --Cathy Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library

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Random House Publishing Group
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