Monday, March 17, 2014

"Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart Book Review

Hi Kids,  This one is a radical departure from what I usually read, in fact you could say I went completely off the reservation.  But every once and awhile I take a break from history and check out what the cool kids are doing.  And in this case I'm glad I did.  "Bridge of Birds" is an absolute masterpiece.  It is subtitled "A Novel of Ancient China That Never Was."  It's basically a fairy tale of epic proportions as the two main characters; Number 10 Ox and Li Kao (who has a slight character flaw) go on a series of adventures to save the children from a mysterious illness.  They encounter all sorts of weirdness and bizarre characters to find the Great Root of Power, the only cure for the kids.  My personal fav is when Ox has to perform the Sword Dance against a ghost with a broken heart.  "It is said that the challenge of the Sword Dance is stronger than death itself.  I'd do it myself if I could be ninety again, but it looks as though you can have the honor of chopping off your arms and legs," says Li Kao.  Hundreds if not thousands of people are killed or maimed each year during the Sword Dance!  Barry has a serious gift with words, and I'm going to have to check and see if he's ever written anything else.  My used copy was only US$2.00, so get thee to a bookstore post haste!

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