Extended Audio Sample

Download Rules for Virgins: Wherein Magic Gourd Advises Young Violet on How to Become a Popular Courtesan While Avoiding Cheapskates, False Love, and Suicide Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Rules for Virgins: Wherein Magic Gourd Advises Young Violet on How to Become a Popular Courtesan While Avoiding Cheapskates, False Love, and Suicide (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Amy Tan
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,019 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amy Tan Narrator: Nancy Wu Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN:
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In her startlingly sensual story Rules for Virgins, beloved best-selling author Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter's Daughter) takes us deep into the illicit world of 1912 Shanghai, where beautiful courtesans mercilessly compete for the patronage of wealthy gentlemen. For the women, the contest is deadly serious, a perilous game of economic survival that, if played well, can set them up for life as mistresses of the rich and prominent. There is no room for error, however: Erotic power is hard to achieve and harder to maintain, especially in the loftiest social circles.

Enter veteran seducer, Magic Gourd, formerly one of Shanghai's Top Ten Beauties and now the advisor and attendant of Violet, an aspiring but inexperienced courtesan. Violet may have the youth and the allure, but Magic Gourd has the cunning and the knowledge without which the younger woman is sure to fail. These ancient tricks of the trade aren't written down, though; to pass them on to her student, Magic Gourd must reach back into her own professional past, bringing her lessons alive with stories and anecdotes from a career spent charming and manipulating men who should have known better but rarely did.

The world of sexual intrigue that Tan reveals in Rules for Virgins actually existed once, and she spares no detail in recreating it. But this story is more than intriguing (and sometimes shocking) historical literary fiction. Besides inviting us inside a life that few writers but Tan could conjure up, the intimate confessions of Magic Gourd add up to a kind of military manual for the War of the Sexes female combatants. The wisdom conveyed is ancient, specific, and timeless, exposing the workings of vanity and folly, calculation and desire that define the mysterious human heart.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irina | 2/18/2014

    " I was a little leery of this topic. I thought it was going to be something that was overly sensationalized. It's not. It's wonderfully written and quite an interesting look into the life of the courtesan. I would definitely recommend this story for the over 18 crowd. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hannah | 2/15/2014

    " I have to say I was not impressed and almost disappointed in this book. It was very short and needed more editing. The memoir/teaching way of story-telling was neat though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tina | 2/12/2014

    " Not what I expected. Kind of boring. Just one woman telling another what to do as a courtesan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cario Lam | 2/11/2014

    " Amy Tan has still got it. After not writing any fiction for six years, she composes a story about an aging courtesan instructing her young protege. The story is told as a monologue. Ms. Tan is writes as she always has with poetic imagery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/27/2014

    " Beautifully written. I just love Amy Tan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Himes | 1/26/2014

    " Definitely different than what I expected from the author of the Joy Luck Club, and I am pleasantly surprised. This sometimes baudy, yet always intriguing novella is an instructional monologue to a courtesan starting her career. Wonderfully written and a very quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniela Capistrano | 1/19/2014

    " This was the first Kindle single I ever bought. I wasn't sure I would enjoy the format, even though I love Amy Tan's work. I am not a fan of the subject matter in this single but Tan's talent made it a pleasure to read. I will probably get more Kindle singles in the future. "

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

    " SO EXCITED for the full book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anicka | 1/12/2014

    " The content of this book wasn't new for me. I read something similar in The Memories of a Geisha. :D "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray | 12/29/2013

    " Looking forward to the complete book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary | 12/6/2013

    " Only good thing about this very short partial story was that it was short. I love Amy Tan's writing and was excited to find this. But basically you only need to read if you don't know how to be a highly paid whore in China and have some need or desire for that knowledge. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 11/17/2013

    " Kind of disappointing because this is unlike anything Amy Tan has ever written. I wouldn't really recommend this book. I mean, really, yes, the lady is a prostitute and these "rules" are pretty much expected of her. There really isn't much to go on. Decently written but not much else going for it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 11/9/2013

    " A nice short story, and athough it reminded me too much of "Memoirs of a Geisha" I kept reading because it was so short and I love Tan's writing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria Maniscalco | 9/15/2013

    " First person narration of a Geisha schooling a young girl into the culture. Wittingly sharp and engaging. I read it twice as her advice transcends time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Yuliya | 8/17/2013

    " Ehhh...I like Amy Tan and this was intriguing, but it's a story with no beginning and no end that leaves you feeling completely unsatisfied. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 8/2/2013

    " Very quick read - definitely put me in the mood to read more of this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Issendai | 7/14/2013

    " A delightful read that's less a story and more a glimpse into a world where stories are about to take place. My only complaint is that I want more! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 6/17/2013

    " Excellent short story. Very much like the few half of "Memoirs of a Geisha" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 5/20/2013

    " Enjoyable quick read, but there's not much of a plot. It feels a little like Memoirs of a Geisha light. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristinae Olaughlin | 5/19/2013

    " Awful! I had no idea that it was only a short story! So disappointed! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juliana | 4/26/2013

    " Good novella by the Master Amy Tan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 3/20/2013

    " Eh. Whatever Amy Tan. Nice work. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 rebecca | 3/14/2013

    " Oops. An accidental theme has emerged in my reading? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audrey | 12/31/2012

    " Nice short read. Only 48 pages. Great advice if you are going to become a prostitute "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clau | 12/21/2012

    " Not what i was expecting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 9/21/2012

    " I really liked this book but cannot give it more than 3 stars because it was too short, way too short! I felt like I was cheated after reading it. Where's the rest of the story?! "

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About the Author
Author Amy Tan

Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, among others. She has also written the children’s books The Moon Lady and Sagwa, which has now been adapted for television by PBS. Tan’s essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in California and New York.

About the Narrator

Nancy Wu has narrated audiobooks since 2004. A New York theater, television, and film actor, she has recorded in studios all over the world—from Italy to Switzerland to Thailand. Her credits include Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Hope & Faith, All My Children, Made for Each Other, and the Oscar-nominated film Frozen River.