“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Guardian Review of A Hero Born

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/mar/16/hero-born-kung-fu-chivalry-wuxia-jin-yong-legends-condor-heroes-translation

A plot summary barely conveys the extraordinary energy of this book. It blends real and fictional characters, teems with incident – reversals, unexpected meetings, betrayals, cliffhangers – and, most of all, dwells for page after page on lovingly described combat. To paraphrase Miss Jean Brodie: for those of us who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing we like. As martial artists square off, evocatively named strikes are responded to with equally evocatively named parries: Search the Sea, Behead the Dragon; Seize the Basket by the Handle; and, only to be used in extremis, the desperation move: Sword of Mutual Demise. The novel gives us the history of strange martial techniques, assesses the merits of different schools of kung fu, and describes the mysterious internal alchemy that gives rise to the most devastating physical force.

Comments

# 1.   

Jin Yong never wrote kung-fu stories, it's all wuxia.

Brigitte Duzan, April 5, 2018, 5:26p.m.

# 2.   

So who are popular kung-fu stories writers? Do you mean Kung-Fu as real masters, vs. fictional martial arts folklore?

susan, April 15, 2018, 4:20p.m.

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