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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Hock G. Tjoa was born in Singapore to Chinese parents. He studied history at Brandeis and Harvard and taught European.
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China has been a society, and at the same time a global power, continuously for longer than any other country, really, and this shows in Wang's wise perspective on geopolitical events. This is a fascinating read! The book's blurb is compelling and the title well chosen. This sweeping story revolves around a network of spies, a conspiracy and has a Central Asian setting.

The author delves into the workings of the various national secret services and weaves a plot of international proportions. The story has a full cast of characters but they, like the Chinese Spymaster, are cardboard thin and, for me, don't come alive. The writing style is smooth but, alas, dry and academic. This approach adds a touch of reality at first but soon becomes a little tiresome making the narration and speech sound stilted.

However, as the Chinese and Central Asians play an important part in the plot, the author does throw light on the way the Chinese think and act from a cultural point of view and does provide a perspective on Asian and world events. This, however, is an important aspect of the book's plot and comes over more convincingly than the spy story.

The author takes a completely impenetrable geopolitical issue and turns it into a believable and comprehensible fictional struggle. It has a lot of depth of thought and character sketching, which prevents it from becoming a story where the heroes are ostensibly perfect with one ironically superficial flaw. See all 34 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now.

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Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Explore the Home Gift Guide. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Men using weapons as accoutrements, women's lives in the hands of male family members and nuclear weapons the scar This was not a fast read for me. Men using weapons as accoutrements, women's lives in the hands of male family members and nuclear weapons the scariest back up plan for the struggle to live, I found the brutal honesty of how far the 'poor' and the major powers are willing to go quite the eye opener.

Finding threats in all sorts of small, out of the way places and the diligence to keep at it for so many years was a wonderment of dedication. The Spymaster faces constant threats from every direction. The life he lives semi-outside of his work is just as intriguing, with him navigating friends, middle age and matchmaking. It wasn't all serious, there was subtle humor interspersed along the way, proving that everyone involved is still human. How he tries to see all sides before leaping to conclusions both in and out of work shows him to be the epitome of diplomacy.

One of many favorite quotes: Jun 01, Jo Sparkes rated it really liked it. The information comes into the hands of Chinese Spymaster Wang. Realizing this might pose serious problems for China, even if his country is not the actual target, the Spymaster takes an unorthodox decision in realizing two of those six avenues can be taken on by his own people — and four others are best addressed by other countries.

His challenge is getting those other countries involved. I found this a very interesting book. The author was born to Chinese parents and taught Asian political thought, which was well-reflected in his story. I really learned something here. The characters did keep my interest. Understand, this is not a fast-paced, edge of your seat thriller. The story is often told through conversations, and rarely do we feel our characters in any sort of danger.

But if a more thoughtful story appeals, especially one that may broaden your understanding of that part of the world, this is a good intellectual read. Apr 09, E. Manetti rated it liked it Shelves: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. The Chinese Spymaster has a creative premise, the maneuverings of the Chinese Intelligence service in response to a threat that an ethnic group in Central Asia will acquire a nuclear device in an attempt to establish an independent state. As with all good espionage thrillers, the story moves among a variety of international locations including China, the United Kingdom and Central Asia.

Intertwined with the main story line are subplots relate I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Intertwined with the main story line are subplots related to political maneuverings in the Chinese Government, corrupt mullahs, and matchmaking friends. For all its pluses, the novel is hampered by the frequent use of flashbacks that occasionally confuse the narrative flow and a clinical narrative style. The emotional response of the characters is muted or absent. Jan 03, Alison Cubitt rated it really liked it.

There is a huge amount of research and scholarship that has gone into this book, from an author who clearly knows his stuff. There is great potential here for a page turning thriller, only at the moment, the geo-political research and knowledge of the author weigh too heavily on the story. At the moment the book sits at the literary thriller end of the market, which may well be your intention, but there is potential here to market to a much bigger readership if we could only see inside the heads There is a huge amount of research and scholarship that has gone into this book, from an author who clearly knows his stuff.

At the moment the book sits at the literary thriller end of the market, which may well be your intention, but there is potential here to market to a much bigger readership if we could only see inside the heads of the characters' a little more to find out what makes them tick. This would come at the expense of removing some of the exposition, which impedes, rather than enhances the progress of the story.

Although this might be a facetious way of putting it, it reminds me of the movie version of Amadeus, where Emperor Joseph II tells Mozart, 'there are simply too many notes. Just cut a few and it will be perfect. I think once you'd done the necessary rewrites, that you'd have a winner on your hands. Jan 26, Jake Thompson rated it it was amazing.

In "The Chinese Spymaster," a variety of international arms dealers try and sell nuclear weapons to the Pashtuns. Who are the Pashtuns? Think of the National Geographic cover girl with the bright green eyes. The Pashtun tribes want a nuclear warhead, because they think that they can use it as a threat to successfully secede from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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The unification of scattered tribes via a powerful "Talisman," aka a nuclear warhead, is an interesting idea. One subplot that I truly en In "The Chinese Spymaster," a variety of international arms dealers try and sell nuclear weapons to the Pashtuns. One subplot that I truly enjoyed was the one that focused on Kong, Jiang and Wang. This particular subplot became very endearing once you got to the heart of the matter and realized the source of Jiang's rage towards Wang. I am fascinated by China and love its culture, and I must say that this book is very illuminating. On a final note, "The Chinese Spymaster" is one of the most engaging books that I've read in quite a while.

It has left me with a lot of food for thought. I am impressed by the author's intellect and in the near future I intend on perusing some of his other works. View all 4 comments. Mar 09, K. I feel that this novel is a great and perfect for those of us who love suspense stories. The characters were well developed and the plot was well executed. Also, you can tell that Tjoa did his research on the inner workings and procedures of the different intelligence agencies as well as the political climates of the different geographical locations mentioned in the book.

I appreciate that this novel isn't littered with action scene after scene. Instead, they are placed and written skillfully. I found myself kind of rooting for the Pashtuns to get their independence, but at the same time like Spymaster Wang and his team, I didn't want them to earn it through acquiring and using the nuclear devices.

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I love that Tjoa did a great job of sprinkling of mini conflicts throughout the story so that the whole isn't solely just about trying to prevent the Pashtuns from setting off a domino affect. I definitely recommend this book. Jun 10, Christoph Fischer rated it it was amazing. Tjoa is a fascinating and intelligent political spy novel set mainly in Asia. The story begins with the potential of a nuclear thread coming from the Pashtuns, a tribe divided by the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, that might destabilize the current power balance. Spy master Wang plays a political chess game to prevent damage and keep the peace.

Geographically and politically the book is incredibly insightful and I liked that the author chose a Chines "The Chinese Spymaster" by Hock G. Geographically and politically the book is incredibly insightful and I liked that the author chose a Chinese perspective for this story, rather than a Western or American. There are some great martial arts scenes and descriptions in the book, influences from the past and some accomplished manipulation. The pacing maybe slow at times for those who like a non stop action read but that doesn't take anything away from the continuous and underlying suspense.

A thriller worth your time. Jan 25, Nicolas Wilson rated it liked it. This is the first novel of Hock Tjoa's that I've read, although I read a play adaptation of his, several months back. I enjoy the perspective in his writing, although the dryness of his tone is less engaging to me. But the complex story set out in The Chinese Spymaster is intriguing, and the tone does work, for the most part, to emphasize the nature of it. I would have liked to see a hair more warmth and subtlety to the characters, but the story itself is an interesting read, with thorough exami This is the first novel of Hock Tjoa's that I've read, although I read a play adaptation of his, several months back.

I would have liked to see a hair more warmth and subtlety to the characters, but the story itself is an interesting read, with thorough examinations of central Asian politics tied into the development of the plot. It's an interesting counterpoint to the Cold War-mired thrillers that are still pretty ubiquitous nowadays.

It's a heavy read, but well worth it. I received a free copy, in exchange for my honest review.

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Oct 29, Gloria Ng rated it it was amazing. Not my usual genre of choice to read. However, I really liked the action-packed fight scenes, the quick sketch of background that gave you depth to each character significant to the story. The book took you places in the East, West and Middle East. So if you are into international spy stuff, the intrigue in this book will keep you guessing. If you are't into spy stuff usually like yours truly , then it will take you some time to map things out--since there are some twists and turns in the story Not my usual genre of choice to read.

If you are't into spy stuff usually like yours truly , then it will take you some time to map things out--since there are some twists and turns in the story that will ultimately make sense in the end. Overall, I found it quite entertaining and learned a thing or two about different cultures. The author has a nice way of painting these descriptions and landing it in succinct and sometimes humorous ways.

Definitely an enjoyable read. Oct 19, Anne Carlisle rated it it was amazing. Hock Tjoa's suspenseful spy book has it all. The novel opens in the midst of a thrilling martial arts contest with a hidden agenda. The characters are swiftly delineated through dialogue, and they include a female "M. The action is fast, but along the way we are given enjoyable glimpses of locales like London and we learn about Chinese culture and politics.

Highly recommended for readers who Hock Tjoa's suspenseful spy book has it all. Highly recommended for readers who like substance with their spy novel fix. Mar 08, Rebecca Larsen rated it really liked it. My Review 4 star an intriguing adventure into the life of a Chinese Spymaster. Travel along on his journey to verify and stop the sale of a nuclear weapon to the Pashtuns. This story delves into what may be needed to detect and prevent drastic changes for any nation.

This is a highly realistic story, with great character interaction and an exciting plot. I was amazed at the depth of information that the author found during his research for this story. I look forward to reading more works from Mr. Dec 08, Emma Jaye rated it liked it. Political intrigue rather than what I would consider a thriller. This is a weighty read, and hats off to the author for the amount of effort and research it much have taken to craft this story. I found the writing style somewhat clinical and stiff, which made it somewhat difficult to become invested in the characters, but this is a worthwhile read, particularly for the alternative political viewpoint from that standard western one which is so prevalent in modern media.

Mar 23, Judi Moore rated it really liked it. The author provided me with an e-file of this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book a lot. I like to learn New Stuff when I read fiction and, for me, this book contained plenty of fascinating, fresh, information about the Chinese in general, particularly their intelligence agencies; the Pashtun people and their fragmented existence in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the reaction of intelligence communities in countries such as Israel and the UK to their Chinese counterparts.

Tj The author provided me with an e-file of this book in exchange for an honest review. Tjoa maintains that his depiction of the Chinese intelligence agencies is without foundation in fact. However, it is certainly founded on intimate knowledge of Chinese culture and rang very true. The premise is that the Pashtuns are seeking to acquire a portable nuclear device to use as political leverage. They are talking to six different potential suppliers. This is not a spoiler: It was an interesting and timely plot device.

And enabled Tjoa to investigate the character of Spymaster Wang, who was a child during The Great Leap Forward, when blame and self-criticism were vicious tools of the state, and recognises that elements of that mindset still exist in China today. The ways in which Chinese friendships and families work are subtly different from western ways. As are their work relationships. Much of the book consists of people finding stuff out and puzzling over what it means.

I prefer this sort of spy thriller to those where there is a high and bloody body count. There is action, but the espionage is more cerebral than physical. A nice line in Chinese aphorisms runs through the book. By the end of the book I felt I knew considerably more about the way in which power is shifting towards the East in our world. These days a refreshing breeze disturbs the Bamboo Curtain, giving us glimpses behind it.

Tjoa also contemplates the rumblings of nationalism in this part of the world might it begin, in truth, with the Pashtuns? This is fruitful ground for the modern spy thriller writer. But in the context, it is probably the most economical way to keep the story moving. The occasional shifts in where and when we were kept me on my toes. In one case we unexpectedly timewarped some ten years into the past. However, it very quickly became apparent that this was essential information.

And how else was it to be offered to the reader?

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An aide memoire to the large cast of characters would also have been helpful. I had no difficulty with Hu and Yu. Nor with Wang, Tang and Owyang. The use of nicknames apparently a Chinese schtick helped. But I did have difficulty remembering who was who among the many minor characters. I would make a lousy spy! If you like your spying bang up to date and more mental than action-based, I believe you will enjoy this book.

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