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Imperial Woman

The Story of the Last Empress of China
Written by: Pearl S. Buck
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 17 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The story of Tzu Hsi is the story of the last empress in China. In this audiobook, Pearl S. Buck recreates the life of one of the most intriguing rulers during a time of intense turbulence.

Tzu Hsi was born into one of the lowly ranks of the Imperial dynasty. According to custom, she moved to the Forbidden City at the age of 17 to become one of hundreds of concubines. But her singular beauty and powers of manipulation quickly moved her into the position of Second Consort. Tzu Hsi was feared and hated by many in the court, but adored by the people. The Empress’s rise to power (even during her husband’s life) parallels the story of China’s transition from the ancient to the modern way.

Pearl S. Buck’s knowledge of and fascination with the empress’s life are contagious. She reveals the essence of this self-involved and infamous last empress, at the same time she takes the listener through China’s struggle for freedom and democracy.

©1971 Pearl S. Buck (P)2011 Oasis

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • 2012-07-29

China - a new look

Would you listen to Imperial Woman again? Why?

Certainly. It is completely enjoyable listening. You are swept along thru Chinese culture and its people.

What other book might you compare Imperial Woman to and why?

All Pearl Buck's books. She is the enchanter of Chinese story telling.

Have you listened to any of Kirsten Potter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes I have. Ms Potter's style and voices are so perfectly suited to cary the english speaking listener into China that it makes you feel like YOU are the "Old China Hand".

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. The chapters were arranged so as to present perfect stopping points.

Any additional comments?

Don't miss this book. And that goes for all of Pearl Buck's stories. With good readers, you are swept INTO the story, you become one with the story. It makes you feel as though you belong.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Theresa
  • 2013-05-19

History made interesting

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, interesting peroid in Chinese history, fasinating culture and people.

Any additional comments?

Went out and rented "The Last Emperor" just to see the clothing described in the book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • alison
  • 2015-05-12

Beautiful - I loved it !!

I was so drawn in to the story and life within the Imperial Palace that I was quite at a loss when the book finished. I loved my daily visits to the Empress. Buck's beautiful descriptions of the robes, palace, gardens and even the food painted such vivid pictures it was almost like being there. It may not be historically acurate, but it gave a pretty good indication of what life was like then and afterall if you want factual history you can always read a text book.
I loved everything about this book, the way it was written, the characters and the story itself. Kirsten Potter's excellent narration only helped to increase my enjoyment of the book.
This was my second Pearl S. Buck book, my first being Peony, and I was not disappointed. I look forward to discovering more of her books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate
  • 2014-07-16

Wonderful journey!

I read most of Pearl S. Bucks' books in my youth. She was one of my favorite writers back then. I feel that reading her work deepened me and gave me so much to think about at the time that I may not have otherwise.

This was one of her books that I had not read before and I am so glad to have discovered it now in my older years. The woman definitely had an amazing talent for bringing the reader into another interestingly different time and place in an authentic manner.

The narrator was wonderful and I will be searching out her other performances.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Victoria Evangelina
  • 2015-07-05

Exquisite

Colors and times of Imperial China in the palm of a strong willed girl, who nurtured and educated herself to be an Empress: whatever it take, she followed what she believed was her destiny. Another jewel of a book from Pearl S. Buck.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Nanfit
  • 2015-06-18

Spectacular in every way!

Pearl Bucks grand , epic novel, the extraordinary and impeccable reader and the production all combined to a remarkable audible experience! If there was an Oscar for readers this reader ought win! Thank you Audible for a truly memorable experience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Victoria Sneed
  • 2015-06-07

Great historical insight

Love that they gave this haughty woman such a personality and the voice over was perfect!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carl
  • 2015-05-15

Great story read perfectly. Really enjoyed it.

The reader was wonderful. A classic book. can't wait to listen to another by Pearl Buck.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Susette
  • 2018-08-02

An impressive story and reading with historical details of what happened but also small day to day living experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • gabriel
  • 2017-02-04

Masterpiece

Masterfully written and beautifully narrated. Details paint an exquisite picture & love story has transcending depth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful