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Jin Ping Mei / The Plum in the Golden Vase / The Golden Lotus



Posted May 6, 2016 by

Jin Ping Mei / The Plum in the Golden Vase / The Golden Lotus – c. 1368–1644 (Translated by David Tod Roy)

Posted by Joffre on 29/4/2013, 12:28:09

Maybe some of you have already noticed. I just saw that the final volume of Chin P’ing Mei is scheduled for release in August. I think I’ve been waiting for this for ten years. I hope it turns out to be an enjoyable book.

Surely they will celebrate the completion with a boxed set or something, at least make all the volumes available on kindle. One or two of them already are, but not, I think, the first ones. Anyway, I hope to be able to read the thing next year. I guess it will take pretty much all of next year.


Posted by Steven on 29/4/2013, 12:48:56, in reply to “at long last”

That’s great news! So David Tod Roy has lived to finish it. I don’t recall his exact age, but I think he’s well into his 80s when Volume 4 came out. The effort probably kept him young. Unfortunately the price is going to be a big obstacle for me. I found Volume 1 in a used book store in perfect condition for 50 cents, but I probably won’t be so lucky with the others.


Posted by Sterling on 29/4/2013, 21:40:11, in reply to “Re: at long last”

What awesome news! I never really believed that Roy would live to complete it. You’re probably right, Steven. I’ll bet the effort did keep him young. Price will be an obstacle for me as well, although I cam probably manage if I buy them one at a time as I read them, rather than following my typical pattern and springing for the whole set.


Posted by Sterling on 19/11/2013, 8:39:13

David Tod Roy finished! He’s 80, but he made it! I don’t know if this link will work for non-subscribers, but here’s the article in the New York Times:



Posted by Steven on 20/11/2013, 16:47:45, in reply to “Jin Ping Mei”

It must’ve kept him young.

Are you going to buy it? Hardcopy or Kindle version? The Kindle versions are about $10 less per volume, but it would still be about $130 for the set of five volumes.

I have a copy of Vol. 1 which I found at a used book store, but I don’t expect to find the rest of the set that easily or cheaply. It has a list of characters that is 55 pages long with about 25 characters per page. (The list appears to apply to the whole work, not just the first volume.) It’s also indexed, which is something you rarely find in fiction, so if you want to find the first reference to a particular character or an episode involving a tiger, there’s an easy way to do it in the print version as in the ebook.


Posted by guillermo maynez on 21/11/2013, 10:24:32, in reply to “Re: Jin Ping Mei”

Thanks for sharing these news! Phew, I don’t know when I will be able to fit something like this in my reading schedule, but it sounds fascinating.


Posted by Sterling on 23/11/2013, 9:34:51, in reply to “Re: Jin Ping Mei”

Like Guillermo, I have no idea when I will be able to fit in such a mammoth undertaking. I have no plans to retire, but maybe I will someday, and I’ll read it then. Mostly, I’m pleased to know that it is done and available so that I can read it when I’m ready.

I wouldn’t have started it before it was all published. Occasionally I read multi-volume sci fi/fantasy tales for my “light” reading. If the books are an actual series of independent novels (like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe), I’m perfectly fine reading a book from an ongoing series. It really irritates me, though, when the books are actually one huge, continuous novel (like Lord of the Rings) to start and not be able to finish. If I do start, by the time the next volume is out I’ve forgotten too much and must read it again. A real pain in the neck! This is made worse when, as with the Roy, there is real concern that they will not be finished at all.

There is also the question of cost, although Joffre rapped our knuckles complaining about that. :^)


Posted by Steven on 23/11/2013, 13:14:43, in reply to “Re: Jin Ping Mei”

Another way in which our tastes are similar…I want to make sure I have all of the books in a series before I start it, and then read it in the “correct” order, even when that’s not strictly necessary.

I once made the mistake of assuming that “once an ebook, always an ebook” and waited until I was ready to read something before purchasing it. It was no longer offered.

As I’ve probably already mentioned here, I’m doing a sort of personal survey of great works of Western civilization in chronological order (skipping over what I’ve read in the last 10 years, which is actually quite a lot). I’ll probably go as far as the Renaissance, and currently I’m only on Herodotus. After that I’ll do a comparable but less comprehensive reading of Eastern works, so that’s when I’ll spring for the rest of Chin Ping Mei.


plum in the vase

ReadLit Team


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