China Blues

China Blues The Roaring Twenties Chinatown San Francisco back street blues and bathtub gin hardball mobsters and hardheaded cops seductive speakeasies and sizzling scandals As the young Louis Armstrong blows hi

The Roaring Twenties, Chinatown, San Francisco back street blues and bathtub gin hardball mobsters and hardheaded cops seductive speakeasies and sizzling scandals As the young Louis Armstrong blows his horn in the infamous Blue Canary, impetuous Nob Hill Socialite Elizabeth Stafford Hamilton plunges into a reckless affair with mysterious Li Kwan Won Unknown to Lizzie,The Roaring Twenties, Chinatown, San Francisco back street blues and bathtub gin hardball mobsters and hardheaded cops seductive speakeasies and sizzling scandals As the young Louis Armstrong blows his horn in the infamous Blue Canary, impetuous Nob Hill Socialite Elizabeth Stafford Hamilton plunges into a reckless affair with mysterious Li Kwan Won Unknown to Lizzie, Li is the overlord of the city s vast bootlegging empire and archenemy of her powerful husband, the San Francisco district attorney Suddenly Lizzie s privileged, upper crust life is shadowed by danger and intrigue as she s trapped between her lover and her husband while they battle for control of the city.Eio Books has reissued Ki Longfellow s first novel, published by Harper Collins in England in 1989.

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China Blues

  1. Ki Longfellow, born on Staten Island, New York, to a French Irish mother and an Iroquois father, grew up in Hawaii and Marin County, California, but ended up living in France and England for many years She is the widow of a British national treasure, the complete artist Vivian Stanshall.In England, she created and sailed the Thekla, a 180 foot Baltic Trader, to the port of Bristol where it became the Old Profanity Showboat It remains there today as a Bristol landmark On it, she and Vivian wrote and staged a unique musical for the sheer joy of it Stinkfoot, a Comic Opera, garnered a host of delighted, if slightly puzzled, national reviews The Old Profanity is on its way to becoming The Last Showboat, film.Her first book, China Blues, was the subject of a bidding war China Blues, and her second novel, Chasing Women, introduced Longfellow to Hollywood a long hard but ultimately fascinating trip China Blues was reissued by Eio Books in 2012 When Vivian died in 1995, Ki stopped writing, living on Standing Room Only Farm in Vermont Time may not heal, but it tempers Eventually Ki began writing again, but her subject became the moment at age 19 that informed her life a direct experience with the Divine She chose the figure of Mary Magdalene to tell that tale in her novel The Secret Magdalene Nancy Savoca, a brilliant independent film maker winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize with her first film, True Love traveled all the way to Vermont to option the book as her next film.Ki s second book on the Divine Feminine is Flow Down Like Silver, a novel about the numinous and gifted Hypatia of Alexandria, a tragically ignored historical figure of towering intellect who searched through intellect for what the Magdalene knew in her heart.Recently, a huge departure from her all she d written before, Longfellow found herself writing a tale of supernatural horror called Houdini Heart This book was selected by the Horror Writers of America as one of a handful of books to be considered for their 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel.In the Spring of 2013 the first three titles of her Sam Russo noir murder mystery series was published by Eio Books Shadow Roll, Good Dog, Bad Dog, and The Girl in the Next Room In December, 2013, she released a tale of one woman s attempt to survive lost in the Sonoran Desert Walks Away Woman She s at work on the third and last book in her Divine Feminine series Meant to be one thing, it s become quite another thing Writers may think they know what they re going to write, but they can be very wrong.She lives wherever she finds herself Currently that s a sailboat in Puget Sound.

736 Reply to “China Blues”

  1. I can t understand why this book wasn t a bestseller when it first came out It has what any bestseller needs, and a lot Great characters, exciting plot, terrific writing Perhaps it was just too close to literature Longfellow can write anything.

  2. Like Longfellow s other work, China Blues is fraught with stunning visual imagery that delicately builds a clear and conscious tableau at every page turn The beautiful and tragic juxtaposition of Lizzie and Li only mirrors the clash of cultures happening all over San Francisco in the 20s Longfellow makes every moment of even ordinary events she details, provocative and intense She makes every instance of emotional intensity poignant and thoughtful This book s hidden power to evoke and intrigue l [...]

  3. I now read anything Longfellow writes This seems to be her first published book For a first book, it s highly polished China Blues is a witty, fast paced, fascinating delight of a read, a close and colorful look at San Francisco in the early Jazz Age But it s also a study of a young woman very much like Austen s Emma Longfellow s heroine is rich, vain, and foolish, yet basically good hearted in her headlong plunge into tragedy To punish a distant husband, she seduces a Chinese tong leader Ultima [...]

  4. I read this quite awhile ago and then I gave someone my copy I ve always wished I hadn t because I couldn t find it again This is reissue, much beautiful to look at than the originals It s a story of a woman in 1920s San Francisco who is very much like Jane Austen s Emma She s spoiled and selfish, rich and bored Out of her own selfish interests she destroys all she loves But she finds her own heart It s a hard lesson and sad to watch, but so interesting and entertaining, you can t take your eye [...]

  5. Grabbed this when I learned it was published again Already a fan after The Secret Magdalene and Flow Down Like Silver Hypatia of Alexandria so I really wanted to read it It was really worth it A real snap crackle and pop through San Francisco s Chinatown It s the Roaring Twenties It s full of imported mobsters And going behind the scenes of Chinese city life Not to mention a terrific heroine whose character flaws are fascinating and ultimately a disaster for all The writing is full of verve and [...]

  6. Even if I weren t already in love with this writer, who could resist this cover I m told that to be a success in the arts an artist has to make the same thing over and over Longfellow makes a different thing each time I read somewhere this was her first published book and she was trying to write the usual best seller It s not the usual anything It s smart and sassy and sad The poor little rich girl messing with other people s lives in a rip roaring San Francisco of the 1920s I have to say, I hav [...]

  7. This was an absolute joy to read I just raced through it It s funny and fast and sad and colorful and just a heck of great read on a rainy day Or any day, for that matter Plus, you get to go behind the scenes in San Francisco s Chinatown back in the Roaring Twenties The heroine is perfect You want to shake her or hug her Sometimes all at once.

  8. If I hadn t read Flow Down Like Silver Hypatia of Alexandria and The Secret Magdalene I would have given this book 5 stars It s everything you d want in a novel But it doesn t carry the immense weight of the other two If I hadn t just read Houdini Heart I wouldn t know how innovative this writer is China Blues is a first novel I ve read somewhere it was meant to fit into the mainstream It does It s a book anyone could read I honestly believe that if Longfellow didn t write so damned well, her bo [...]

  9. I was born in San Francisco It s been a long time since I ve seen it But reading this roller coaster of a book brought it back to me full blast No, I m not old enough to have known it in the Twenties, but it doesn t matter which San Francisco you know, Longfellow s San Francisco will sweep you up and carry you from the top of Nob Hill to South of the Slot The Slot was the track running along the middle of Market Street once upon a time South of it was a darker Frisco But it s Chinatown and Li an [...]

  10. A dizzy ride You could say a dizzy dame except Lizzie Stafford Hamilton changes Her character arc is a swooping adventure of the best kind But at such cost to those around her And did I love Li or what And Kit And Appetite Ike Longfellow births the most amazing people They re real What they do is what they would do And every scene follows the other at breathtaking pace, in perfect order Loved this You want a fast read that means something, that touches you Here it is Although why people want eve [...]

  11. Fast fun exciting funny sad read Appropriate for any age, but especially IMO for those who like a wonderfully well written love story between the races set in fascinating places and times Rich Lizzie Stafford, plotting to take down her ambitious philandering husband San Francisco s DA and poster boy for high political office to come , sets her sights on a scandal that ought to destroy him She woos the very mysterious head of Chinatown s biggest Tong What comes next is a page turner, something to [...]

  12. A kick in the head of a story Fast and colorful and full of life both hilarious and tragic Longfellow has a gift of putting you wherever she wants you to go In this case, first you re in the middle of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and then you re in Chinatown, on top of Nob Hill, in newspaper offices, in dives and grand whorehouses It s a great ride Loved it

  13. A terrific fast paced read I think Longfellow meant it to be a racy throwaway, but accomplished instead actual literature anyone can read and love How could you not love an affair between the head of a Chinese tong and a rich spoiled harebrained white girl Or the coming of age of a great newspaper reporter who saw it all Or the whole San Francisco earthquake described in page after thrilling page And so much .

  14. Take a spoiled brat, throw her into a world she can t control, add wonderful writing, a wonderful setting, a host of colorful characters, a time in our history that fascinates me, anyway , early jazz, early newspapers, an actual mystery in the to this day unexplained sudden death of the President of the United States, Warren G Harding a doofus very like George W Bush, mix it all up and you get this wonderful book.

  15. A wonderfully written romp through the San Francisco of 1923, after a great opener during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake If you ve ever hungered to wander through the real Chinatown of tongs and opium dens, or to know what goes on in those big houses on Nob Hill, this is your book It s a humdinger and I loved every sassy word of it.

  16. I read this when it was first published Just read it again in its new form It s as fresh and punchy as I remembered it Actually I liked it this time That s the funny thing about books They re different each time you read them A BIG RECOMMENDATION for those who d like a great read about San Francisco and Chinatown and historical mysteries and brilliant color and characters.

  17. I m with the reviewer who said Loved it and the one who said what joy It isn t funny all the through, and it isn t happy all the way what is but the end result is a treat of a read that beats so much popular stuff all hollow I guess it just doesn t get those big numbers because Longfellow forgot the vampires and just went with great writing and a thrilling story.

  18. I ve never been to San Francisco But now I feel like I ve made a thorough visit to early Twentieth Century San Francisco In this wonderfully diverting story, I fell headlong into the plot and the setting It was all a strange and exciting adventure for me in a whole world I never knew existed What fun.

  19. Terrific read Witty, fast paced, San Francisco in its early glory, Chinatown in its mystery, the earthquake, gangsters, fast talking newspapermen, speakeasies, a confused rich girl messing with forces she doesn t understand GREAT.

  20. Yo nadaba como un pez en este libro A veces se sumerge profundamente en la literatura, a veces juega como un ni o Me encant cada palabra Me re y llor.

  21. A completely different book from this writer s other books Lighter, frothier, funnier, faster but just as well written and just as insightful So colorful So full of vivid scenes, times and characters It takes place the year the president of the United States is paying a quick visit to San Francisco Politics hasn t changed, crime hasn t changed, the nature of the rich hasn t changed This is the solution fanciful of what could have happened to Harding in Frisco told in the midst of wild action, co [...]

  22. Not sure what to say about this book except it is a fast moving good read that I really enjoyed five stars.It s set during an interesting period in San Francisco history, so you learn so history just by reading the story but it s not a history book.It s historical fiction, but that does not really matter It s easy to get a feeling for the times and it does not seem like you ve ended up in some foreign world.Full of drama, humor, pathos, and fascinating characters.I guess that is it If you are lo [...]

  23. I would have given this 5 stars if I didn t have to compare it to the author s other books Maybe that isn t fair Maybe it should be judged solely on its own merit I loved it I ll go away and think about my choice It really does deserve 5 stars My opinion anyway.

  24. Great read I d recommend this to anyone It was like cake I wanted to eat it all at once, but I made myself slow down and savor it Loved it.

  25. A colorful novel, even vivid, taking you into a real life deep breathing San Francisco both during the 1906 earthquake, then later in 1923 when the President of the United States, the gormless Warren G Harding, came to town to die It s chock full of wild and wonderful characters on both sides of the law, all worthy of attention, but its leads are forever memorable Li, the Chinese kid who grew up to be a kingpin of the Chinese Tongs Kit Dowie, a wild eyed rascal who dreamed of writing like Damon [...]

  26. A terrific read Full of dash and color San Francisco s one of my favorite cities in all the world This story gets into places you could never see as a tourist, and barely see as a native It has a fascinating heroine, a fascinating love triangle, the mysterious death of Harding, at the time the President of the United States with the Teapot Dome Scandal about to burst over his head Best of all it has gangsters vs a Chinese Tong The leader of the Tong is just about the sexiest man I ve ever met in [...]

  27. I don t think I ve read a better portrayal of a black woman by a white woman than I found in this fast paced very clever novel Dido is not the central character but she acts like it I loved the idea of a cold hearted good time girl who could sing hot blooded songs I loved her honesty and her strength in a time when colored folk could sing in the Cotton Club but they couldn t get in the front door Blacks, whites, Asians, the Irish, the mobe racial mix in this book is a wonder and I ate it up.

  28. I would rate this higher but the author s other books get one star for profundity Even so, I loved this book.Ik zou dit hogere tarief, maar de auteur is andere boeken krijgen een meer sterren voor diepgang Zelfs zo, hield ik van dit boek.

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