Read The Tent of Orange Mist by Paul West Online

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In The Tent of Orange Mist, short-listed for the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Prize, Paul West deftly illuminates the plight of intellectuals and artists during profound social and cultural upheaval. In December 1937 the city of Nanking, China, falls to brutal Japanese invaders, and thus begins a compelling drama of widespread chaos and personal courage. Against aIn The Tent of Orange Mist, short-listed for the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Prize, Paul West deftly illuminates the plight of intellectuals and artists during profound social and cultural upheaval. In December 1937 the city of Nanking, China, falls to brutal Japanese invaders, and thus begins a compelling drama of widespread chaos and personal courage. Against a backdrop of burning buildings and random atrocities stands Scald Ibis, the teenage daughter of an eminent scholar, who must transform herself completely in order to survive. With her family gone, she is forced to work as a prostitute in a bordello, changing slowly and painfully from a girl into a woman. Her fortunes improve when a Japanese warlord, Hayashi, takes a fancy to her; but her greatest challenge comes with the sudden appearance of her ailing father, whose inner demons threaten both of their lives. The Tent of Orange Mist frames public and private conflicts that define us all....

Title : The Tent of Orange Mist
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780879517922
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Tent of Orange Mist Reviews

  • Robert Wechsler
    2018-12-02 12:10

    Paul West died on October 18, and it was an easy decision to read another of his novels, in his memory. This novel takes place during the Rape of Nanking in 1937, but it should not be read for the history. It should be read for the splendid things the author does with a bildungsroman about a young woman who, in the novel, never leaves her home. Her home leaves her.As one watches how the protagonist's mind deals with her situation, one gets to enjoy the way West’s incredible mind works, as well. The prose is West’s usual: erudite, unexpected, and repetitive, with an excellent ear. The novel’s only weakness, for me, was the material about and by Sandro Somatti, a 16th-century Jesuit.

  • Melinda
    2018-12-10 18:26

    I have this kind of obsession with Nanking and the events there during WWII, so this seemed like a good read.Alas, not for me. The Tent of Orange Mist tells the story of Scald Ibis, a 16 year old girl who is kept by the Japanese as a "comfort woman". She lives in her own home which becomes a high class brothel. She has no idea what has happened to her brother and mother, who disappeared the day of the invasion. Her father, a former professor at the university, is a Chinese soldier at the front, who later deserts and returns home to find the brothel in his home. Together Scald Ibis and her father plot to keep him hidden and reorder things there.We are introduced to the running of the brothel by the Japanese colonel, Hayashi, who makes Scald Ibis his special favourite. And at some point, Scald Ibis, who is well educated begins telling the tale of an Italian monk who was in the orient in the 1500s. Then we have interspersed chapters talking about the monk's genital diseases. Really? I suppose this is a metaphor or object lesson or something, but I really didn't get it. Scald Ibis survives and lives out her life to tell her story,but the book is so convoluted and bizarre that I really did not enjoy it.

  • Becky
    2018-11-15 19:00

    The premise sounded very interesting and based on historical fact....plus, it was on the short list for the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Prize, but I found my interest wane. The setting is Nanking, China, 1937, shortly after the Japanese invasion. (Remember the rape of Nanking and the comfort women?) The story centers around Scald Ibis, a 16 year old Chinese girl, who is "saved" from the brutal deaths her mother and brother faced, as she was forced into being a prostitute/comfort woman. Hayashi, the Chinese military man who selected/saved her, built his "tent of orange mist" which serviced other military men. He ends up having a special relationship with her. The story is built around her surviving and adjusting between the Japanese and Chinese culture. It is complicated by the sudden appearance of her scholarly father who also adjusts in order to survive. But, many times the story was verbose and repetitive and I debated about even finishing it. I found myself skimming sections to get on with it.

  • Laurie Tomchak
    2018-11-21 17:14

    After reading a non fiction book about the rape of Nanking and a fictional book that touched on it, I found this one. Very readable (I finished it in two days) but at times a bit creepy. It deals with the rape of Nanking as it affected two people's lives, a chinese woman who becomes a geisha for the occupiersn and her father. The creepy part comes from the sexual politics--the author, who writes very well, seems to focus on certain sexual practices with a little too much interest, without clarifying their symbolism. Some characters are introduced and then fade away. The idea of focussing on one or two characters is a good one, but West doesn't use them to make us see the bigger picture, as I think he intends.

  • Luisalex Delarosa
    2018-12-11 11:19

    The setting is in Nanking, China, 1937, shortly after the Japanese invasion.The story centers around Scald Ibis, a 16 year old Chinese girl, who is "saved" from the brutal deaths her mother and brother faced, as she was forced into being a prostitute/comfort woman. Hayashi, the Chinese military man who selected/saved her, built his "tent of orange mist" which serviced other military men. He ends up having a special relationship with her. The story is built around her surviving and adjusting between the Japanese and Chinese culture. It is complicated by the sudden appearance of her scholarly father who also adjusts in order to survive. But, many times the story was verbose and repetitive and I debated about even finishing it. I found myself skimming sections to get on with it.

  • Ryan Tran
    2018-11-10 16:14

    This book is based on a story of a 16 year old girl by the name of Scald Ibis. This setting is 1937 when the Japenese invades China also known as the Nanking war. So far, the book hasnt made that great of an impression on me. The book jumps in different directions often. I felt that it was hard to focus on the main plot of the story which was Scald trying to regroup with her family members on the day of the invasion. I hope that im wrong and that the book does improve over time.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-14 13:20

    The Tent of Orange Mist by Paul West takes place during the Rape of Nanking. Personally, I thought the author digressed from the main plot too often to the point where I just skimmed the chapters about Somatti. If West had not dragged the plot out and added more about the Rape beyond what occurred in The Tent of Orange Mist, the book could have been great. However, he did not and and I gave the book one star.

  • Kevin Lin
    2018-12-10 13:00

    Honestly this book had a lot of potential. Great plot, excellent characters, related to a very controversial event in history. However, the author falls short on the story development. This book is very slow, and the writing style is not my personal favorite. However, West is very descriptive and knows how to drag scenes many many chapters. An OK book but not recommended.

  • Vivian EVHS Nguyen
    2018-12-04 18:13

    Very philosophical to the point where I didn't understand parts. Author did a phenomenal job with delving into the mind and motivations of the characters. Very poetic language, it sounded abstract but he used concrete words and metaphors. Emphasized the sexual elements of Rape of Nanking (almost to the point of glorifying it.)

  • Diana
    2018-11-15 16:09

    Paul West's prose is breathtaking--so much so that you lose touch with the story he's telling. The prose is so thick that I couldn't see the characters and events well enough to identify. I enjoy West's turn of phrase, but it was too much of a good thing. Also...what was with the 16th C. monk and his ongoing problems with some STD?

  • Louvaine
    2018-11-18 11:26

    Beautifully written novel of the rape of Nanjing, as seen thru the eyes of a Japanese brothel-keeper and his "comfort girl". Juxtaposes the horror with well-chosen beautiful prose. Surely the Chinese/Japanese way?

  • Sheri
    2018-11-15 14:24

    A novel set during the Rape of Nanking, a subject already so powerfully addressed by Iris Chang in her nonfiction work, that I was left underwhelmed by this story.

  • Kevin Wu
    2018-11-24 11:13

    Great book on conflict between China and Japan and I was able to related this book to some parts of my family's history.