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Download Brothers Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Brothers Audiobook, by Da Chen
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (578 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Da Chen Narrator: Roy Dotrice Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9781415933909
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At the height of China’s Cultural Revolution a powerful general fathered two sons. Tan was born to the general’s wife and into a life of comfort and luxury. His half brother, Shento, was born to the general’s mistress, who threw herself off a cliff in the mountains of Balan only moments after delivering her child. Growing up, each remained ignorant of the other’s existence. In Beijing, Tan enjoyed the best schools, the finest clothes, and the prettiest girls. Shento was raised on the mountainside by an old healer and his wife until their deaths landed him in an orphanage, where he was always hungry, alone, and frightened. Though on divergent roads, each brother is driven by a passionate desire—one to glorify his father, the other to seek revenge against him.

Separated by distance and opportunity, Tan and Shento follow the paths that lie before them, while unknowingly falling in love with the same woman and moving toward the explosive moment when their fates finally merge.

Brothers, by bestselling memoirist Da Chen, is a sprawling, dynamic family saga, complete with assassinations, love affairs, narrowly missed opportunities, and the ineluctable fulfillment of destiny.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • From Shaolin to the sugarloaf mountains of Gwangdong to Tiananmen Square and the skyscrapers of New York: an epic novel that neatly distills modern Chinese history. Da Chen’s elegantly written novel ends on the promise of redemption. . . . Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • Within this sweeping, ambitious, historical novel, there is a beautifully wrought story of young men coming of age, related to each other but strangers, and heading toward a breathtaking collision. Ron Nyswaner,author of Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir
  • This book is fantastic in every sense of the word—a saga of China that is at once exotic and universal, an epic tale of destiny entwined with history. The description of Shento’s birth is one of the most original beginnings of a novel I have ever read, and it launches the novel with the generous imagination that is evident throughout. . . . Chinese family life, military tradition, and the steaming violence on the Vietnamese border are all depicted with the wide strokes of a great artist creating a timeless tale. Laura Shaine Cunningham, author of Sleeping Arrangements and Beautiful Bodies
  • Brothers begins as if in a dream. And like a dream you are captured by its first eerie lines: ‘To tell the tale of my birth, I must start not from the beginning, but from the end to my beginning. I was born twice, really.’ This is Shento speaking. His brother Tan speaks next. And an epic novel evolves out of their alternating accounts, with all the rich and exquisite detail you expect from such an artful writer as Da Chen. He deals in big emotions: revenge, love (both graphic and romantic), torture, and fealty. He gives us China, from the ordinary soul to the ruling elite. He takes you from Mao to Tiananmen Square and then beyond. If you’re in the mood for a good atmospheric read, you won’t find a better one. John Bowers, professor of creative writing, Columbia University, and author of The Colony, In the Land of Nyx, and Stonewall Jackson: Portrait of a Soldier

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendi | 2/8/2014

    " One of the worst books I've read in a long time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Iluv2paint | 2/6/2014

    " this was also a book club recommendation, but I just couldn't get into it. I only read 75 pages and took it back to the library, boring to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 2/1/2014

    " A book of good against evil within one family...keeps you thinking til the end. A wonderful story about communist China. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/25/2014

    " I got this book from the library because I enjoyed so much his memoir "Colors of the Mountain." This was fiction, but the voice was the same. The plot of this novel was a little over the top - sort of fairy tale set in recent Chinese history. But the characters were very likeable and interesting and I didn't want to put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 1/23/2014

    " Having met the author and liked him, I feel sort of curmudgeonly about giving this book only three stars. I am aware of its strengths. Chen is an able storyteller; he keeps things moving along, and there is plenty of action and intrigue. (I kept seeing this as a Hollywood movie.) He sets the hyperbolic tone in the first few pages of the story, but I sometimes wondered why every character was the best at what he/she did. At times, the characters seemed to aquire money and power almost effortlessly. Nevertheless, I am interested in reading more by this writer and I look forward to his future efforts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hot Cup O'Monkey | 1/17/2014

    " This started out well, but about halfway through, I felt like I was reading a superhero comic book without the pictures. The evil was so exagerrated, the villains were unspeakably barbaric, the heroine was so perfect and heroic--everything was over the top. Disappointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elysa | 1/14/2014

    " This book stays with me ... lots of action and fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hong | 1/13/2014

    " What I like most about this book is it's oriental style & culture that is all so familiar. And how everything is so real, how fate is so destined, how corruption is so infiltrated into every part of society. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Dodds | 1/10/2014

    " Interesting book, if a bit of vulgarity in it. I try to skip past those parts, but nice change of scenery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Francesca | 1/1/2014

    " the last 1/3 of this book was extremely frustrating. i wasn't rooting for either of the main characters...in fact, i thought they deserved whatever horridness came their way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 12/4/2013

    " I like this book but not as much as I like The Color of the Mountain, his memoir. The novel is about a legitimate and an illegitimate brother who become rivals in modern-day China leadership--and about the girl who loves them both. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 11/28/2013

    " Great novel set in China's cultural revolution. Highly recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexis | 10/2/2013

    " Awesome story. Definately wanted to know how everything was going to tie together and I was very satisfied. Loosely based on Chinese history from 1960-1990. It made me want to read more actual Chinese history to see what was real and what was not. The only trouble with historical fiction! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 6/16/2013

    " This book is beautifully written but it's just one too many stories set during the cultural revolution for my tastes. The first few I read were riveting, but somehow now it seems like I've read the story before, even if the characters have changed slightly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy | 6/4/2013

    " Good book - about China in the 1980's "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 4/8/2013

    " This is one of my all-time favorite books, ever, across all genres. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ana Luiza | 1/12/2013

    " I got it a gift and didn't know exactly what to expect, but it is a very interesting book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 12/18/2012

    " I loved loved loved this book! Setting is China leading up to Tiananmen Square. This book has everything -- love, hatred, betrayal, brutality, tenderness, kindness -- and did I mention love? -- everything that human existence can contain. You really should read this book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martin | 12/15/2012

    " For the effort two stars. Don't wasteyour time,though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kc | 7/22/2012

    " Somehow I just couldn't get involved in this story. I did learn things about Chinese history (assuming Mr. Chen is correctly reflecting the events of the time) but found myself hurrying through the get to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jae | 7/14/2012

    " Quite interesting given the backdrop. But difficult to root for the right brother. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff Volkmann | 7/12/2012

    " I really liked the first two thirds of the book. The author does a great job of making you both love and hate the two main characters. Unfortunately the end had a little to much melodrama for my taste. Based on Da Chen's other work I think he has a bright future and I look forward to my empress. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maegan Blackwell | 5/21/2012

    " A pretty solid debut novel. Yes, the coincidences are implausible. Yes, it dragged in places. However, I kept wanting to read to find out if Shento would evolve or not. You will have to read for yourself to find out if he did or not. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 12/15/2011

    " likable, but not lovable. the last half of the book was so predictable that i had to force myself to read it, which was easy enough since da chen is a proficient writer. not one for the book clubs as my librarian apparently suggested, but definitely a decent read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angel | 6/27/2011

    " Thought it would give me some cultural and historical insight. The flow of the read was not smooth at all. I was bewildered most of the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 6/20/2011

    " It's pretty interesting book as to how lives intertwines together "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elysa | 5/4/2011

    " This book stays with me ... lots of action and fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 5/4/2011

    " Great novel set in China's cultural revolution. Highly recommended! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 4/24/2011

    " likable, but not lovable. the last half of the book was so predictable that i had to force myself to read it, which was easy enough since da chen is a proficient writer. not one for the book clubs as my librarian apparently suggested, but definitely a decent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 1/26/2011

    " Excellent beginning to the book with unique style and concepts. The book becomes predictable and Michener like about halfway through. No one is capable of greatness unless they have the blood of generations of greatness. The ending was a surprise. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 12/2/2010

    " I like this book but not as much as I like The Color of the Mountain, his memoir. The novel is about a legitimate and an illegitimate brother who become rivals in modern-day China leadership--and about the girl who loves them both. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fran | 7/4/2010

    " A decent translation and maybe it's not quite a 4*. Nonetheless it is an interesting novel into the dynamics of family within Chinese culture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joann | 6/5/2010

    " Very interesting book about half brothers and their lives in China. I would like to read more novels by Da Chen. I kept wondering how much was based on fact. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 alexis | 6/3/2010

    " Awesome story. Definately wanted to know how everything was going to tie together and I was very satisfied. Loosely based on Chinese history from 1960-1990. It made me want to read more actual Chinese history to see what was real and what was not. The only trouble with historical fiction! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hong | 6/1/2010

    " What I like most about this book is it's oriental style & culture that is all so familiar. And how everything is so real, how fate is so destined, how corruption is so infiltrated into every part of society. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendi | 3/2/2010

    " One of the worst books I've read in a long time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 2/17/2010

    " Interesting book, if a bit of vulgarity in it. I try to skip past those parts, but nice change of scenery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ana Luiza | 7/24/2009

    " I got it a gift and didn't know exactly what to expect, but it is a very interesting book. "

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About the Narrators

Roy Dotrice is a Tony Award–winning actor best known for his Broadway performance in the revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before producing and directing some three hundred stage plays. In 1957, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theater, an experience that brought him opportunities in radio, film, television, and numerous Broadway productions.

Roy Dotrice is a Tony Award–winning actor best known for his Broadway performance in the revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before producing and directing some three hundred stage plays. In 1957, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theater, an experience that brought him opportunities in radio, film, television, and numerous Broadway productions.