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Spirits Abroad {expanded edition}

por Zen Cho

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9511284,337 (4)4
Fantasy. Fiction. Science Fiction. Short Stories. Nineteen sparkling stories that weave between the lands of the living and the lands of the dead. Spirits Abroad is an expanded edition of Zen Cho's Crawford Award winning debut collection with nine added stories including Hugo Award winner "If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again." A Datin recalls her romance with an orang bunian. A teenage pontianak struggles to balance homework, bossy aunties, first love, and eating people. An earth spirit gets entangled in protracted negotiations with an annoying landlord, and Chang E spins off into outer space, the ultimate metaphor for the Chinese diaspora.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
My first book by a Malaysian author. Wow. Simply wow. Short stories of various genres - literary fiction, fantasy, ghost story, romance; all steeped in Malaysian myths.
Cleverly grouped in Here (various folk groups in Malaysia), There (Malaysians emigrated to Great Britain) and Elsewhere (spirit world), a compendium of strong stories and a glimpse into strange foreign worlds. ( )
  Yuki-Onna | Mar 14, 2024 |
This is a collection of 10 short stories about the Malaysian spirits, folklores and the likes written by Zen Cho. There is no doubt that she writes pretty well but I just wasn't into some of the stories. I seemed to be reading this in the wrong month too LOL! Overall, it was entertaining to a point, but such spirits/ghosts' stories are just not my cup of tea.

I've listed the 10 titles here so that you know what to expect lah.
1. The First Witch of Damansara
2. First National Forum on the Position of Minorities in Malaysia
3. The House of Aunts
4. One-day Travelcard for Fairyland
5. Rising Lion - The Lion Bows
6. The Mystery of the Suet Swain
7. Prudence and the Dragon
8. The Earth Spirit's Favorite Anecdote
9. Liyana
10. The Four Generations of Chang E

I've enjoyed a few like no 2, 3 and 7. If you like stories by Tunku Halim or Ee Leen Lee, then you should give this book a try. ( )
  Sholee | Jan 25, 2024 |
What an exquisite short story collection, one of the best I’ve read in a while. I’ve been meaning to read more by Zen Cho, so I am glad I found this book.

The writing is wonderful, and so is the humour. I know next to nothing about Malaysia, so it was interesting to get glimpses of culture and mythology. I had fun googling the food (which was a big mistake – awwwwwwww). I loved the characters' speech patterns. (Also, I’ve learned an extremely, ahem, impolite Chinese expression.)

“The First Witch of Damansara” – a prodigal daughter returns to Malaysia for a funeral. There is magic, laughs for the reader, and family dynamics. I loved Nai Nai!

“The Guest” – Yiling, a consultant magician of sorts, gets a cat “In this way affection returned into her life…” There is the most unexpected and loveliest twist at the end.

“Fish Bowl” – a koi will grant you any wish, but there is a price. An excellent horror story.

“First National Forum on the Position of Minorities in Malaysia” – I would have loved to go to this conference! Hilarious, romantic, and sad.

"Odette" – a broken and abused child grows into a broken woman. There is a magic house. I did not care much for this one.

"House of Aunts" – a story about a family of pontianaks (these are scary!) and teenage love. It was absolutely adorable (I laughed my head off) and heartbreaking.

"Balik Kampung" – Lydia, a hungry ghost, is planning to see her husband in the world of the living. There is tragedy and some humour. Not a great, but a good story.

"One-Day Travelcard for Fairyland" – a boarding school in England is attacked by fairies. It ends more or less well. I liked how the fairies were depicted here.

"Rising Lion – The Lion Bows" – a lion dance troupe does ghost-hunting jobs on the side. Wonderful, humane, touching story.

"Seven Star Drum" – another lion dance troupe story. Too short, but entertaining.

"The Mystery of the Suet Swain" – there is a creepy stalker at the university. I liked it a lot! There is awesome girl power.

"Prudence and the Dragon" – this one is set in Sorcerer to the Crown universe, but in modern times. A dragon comes to London. Loved it! (Lots of laughs guaranteed.)

"The Perseverance of Angelas’ Past Life" – Prudence’s best friend from the previous story gets a story of her own. It’s a lovely one about the past selves we repress and try to forget for various silly reasons.

"If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again" – an imugi is trying to become a dragon. Another five star story in this collection☺

The Earth’s Spirit’s Favorite Anecdote – An Earth Spirit is just trying to find a home! I liked the narrative voice and the ending is pretty cool.

Monkey King, Faerie Queen – Monkey King goes to Fairyland, with predictable results. Great stuff☺

Liyana – a sad and beautiful magic child story…

Terracotta Bride – I have read this one before, and loved it.

The Four Generations of Chang E – deals with immigration, letting the connection to your roots decay, either through rebellion or the passage of time. There was poignancy there, but the story and the world building felt incomplete. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
An eARC from Netgalley.

I liked this anthology very much. It collects Cho's short fiction, which is Malaysian inspired fantasy, both historical and contemporary. The only thing I had a hard time with was the Malay language/dialect; it took a bit of getting used to the cadence and the Malay slang (a glossary might have helped; it seems other editions had this).

The stories themselves reminded me of Roald Dahl, bittersweet, often with a sting in the tail, but great fun. 2 stories I'd encountered before, If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Again, and The Terracotta Bride, but the other stories I'd not read before.

Recommended (although best read in a more traditional format - PDF doesn't play nicely with ereaders).
  Maddz | Sep 17, 2023 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
A fantastic collection of short stories revolving around family, spirits, and death. The stories are similar in tone and ideas, which is nice as you know where the stories are going to go. They are all of high quality and I enjoyed all of them. Some of the short stories are outstanding. They are not connected, except for a few. They all are based on a Chinese-Malaysian culture, therefore there may be some terms used that some people may not be familiar with. If anyone is interested in short stories, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  renbedell | Jan 25, 2023 |
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Zen Choautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Allsbrook, WesleyArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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This is the expanded edition from Small Beer Press (2021), which contains nine additional stories. Do not combine with the original edition.

ISBNs include 978-1618731869 (print) and 978-1618731876 (ebook).
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Fantasy. Fiction. Science Fiction. Short Stories. Nineteen sparkling stories that weave between the lands of the living and the lands of the dead. Spirits Abroad is an expanded edition of Zen Cho's Crawford Award winning debut collection with nine added stories including Hugo Award winner "If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again." A Datin recalls her romance with an orang bunian. A teenage pontianak struggles to balance homework, bossy aunties, first love, and eating people. An earth spirit gets entangled in protracted negotiations with an annoying landlord, and Chang E spins off into outer space, the ultimate metaphor for the Chinese diaspora.

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Zen Cho's book Spirits Abroad was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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