Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An): An Authentic Eighteenth-Century Chinese Detective Novel

Translated by Robert van Gulik
Edited for audio and produced by Yuri Rasovsky
Read by Mark Bramhall , with Lorna Raver and Stefan Rudnicki

7.78 Hours 05/13/2009 unabridged
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Long before Western writers had even conceived the idea of writing detective stories, the Chinese had developed a long tradition of literary works that chronicled the cases of important district magistrates. One of the most celebrated of these was Judge Dee, who lived in the seventh century AD. This book, written anonymously in the eighteenth century, interweaves three of Judge Dee’s most baffling cases: a double murder among traveling merchants, the fatal poisoning of a bride on her wedding night, and the suspicious death of a shop keeper with a beautiful wife. The crimes take him up and down the great silk routes, into ancient graveyards where he consults the spirits of the dead, and through all levels of society, leading him to some brilliant detective work.

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Summary

Summary

Long before Western writers had even conceived the idea of writing detective stories, the Chinese had developed a long tradition of literary works that chronicled the cases of important district magistrates. One of the most celebrated of these was Judge Dee, who lived in the seventh century AD.

This book, written anonymously in the eighteenth century, interweaves three of Judge Dee’s most baffling cases: a double murder among traveling merchants, the fatal poisoning of a bride on her wedding night, and the suspicious death of a shop keeper with a beautiful wife. The crimes take him up and down the great silk routes, into ancient graveyards where he consults the spirits of the dead, and through all levels of society, leading him to some brilliant detective work.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Dee Goong An is artfully narrated by Mark Bramhall…He pronounces the Chinese names with assurance. His full-voiced reading is especially good with querulous old men and the stern Judge Dee. Highly recommended.” SoundCommentary.com
“Offers a glimpse of ancient Chinese society, illustrating the importance of rank and authority. Mark Bramhall reads with an appropriately formal air but relaxes when he portrays roadside ruffians and guilty widows.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

by Nelle 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Asian Intrigue from Centuries Ago

This mystery will appeal to people who like mystery stories set in foreign locales and in earlier eras. And the audio presentation is excellent, with one main narrator, Mark Bramhall, and other voices added occasionally. What I like about the Judge Dee stories is that they are based on actual criminal cases recorded centuries ago in China. I found it fascinating to get a glimpse into life in ancient China. In this particular account, I was surprised to hear how outspoken the regular populace were in bringing their complaints to their local magistrate, in this case the man called Judge Dee. Judge Dee is for the most part an honorable and hard-working judge who, in this story, has a few assistants helping him investigate three different crimes. I was startled to learn how acceptable torture was back then in getting suspected criminals to confess. Overall, I find it enjoyable getting transported back in my imagination to a place and time so far away. And the overall audio production, mastered by Yuri Rasovsky, is wonderfully done, as all his productions are.

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Runtime: 7.78
Audience: Adult
Language: English