Book Reviews of Waiting

Author: Ha Jin
ISBN-13: 9780375406539
ISBN-10: 0375406530
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 320
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 34 ratings
Publisher: Pantheon
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

32 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Waiting on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Marvelous book. "Waiting" reminded me of a Chinese version of Wharton's "Ethan Frome." "Waiting" is told from three points of view, but never confusingly. The characters and their respective plights are engrossing, patient, kind, and full of little foibles to remind us that they are human characters, not simply dusty one-sided protagonists. With Communist rule in the background and human frailties in the front, "Waiting" is a beautiful read, and one that is well worth it.
reviewed Waiting on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book has broad appeal because it uses the constraints of the Chinese culture and circumstances, that could easily be translated to any other culture, even the Western culture. The main character is torn between love and obligation. This book follows the impact of his struggle with being honorable or following his desire over a period of years.
reviewed Waiting on + 162 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I loved this book. It has a wonderful stillness to it that matches Lin's patience. Just a beautiful book.
reviewed Waiting on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
didn't love this book. It dragged on and gave a very predictable ending. I was lost as far as time period until they actually gave it to me somewhere in the middle. That is something a good writer leads you into without the need to actually spell it out.
reviewed Waiting on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I loved this...even though the pace is is full of subtle details.
reviewed Waiting on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The term "waiting" is extremely descriptive for this book. The main characters are waiting for the male to obtain a divorce so they can marry. As a reader this action or lack-of action seems to take a long time, exactly what the author plans. In the end the "moral-to -the-story" is very clear, and worth waiting for. Well written, interesting human life-events occur. Winner of the National Book Award.Well deserved.
reviewed Waiting on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Nattional Book Award winner
Pen/Faulkner Award
Pulitzer prize finalist
NewYork times notable book
Great story
reviewed Waiting on + 536 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Wonderful latent style of writing, kept me turning the pages, wanting to understand how the characters thought. Reminded me so very much of French existentialists.
reviewed Waiting on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book is a great learning experience about life, and realizing that the grass is not always greener on the other side. It also gives you some cool facts about another culture. I really enjoyed it!
reviewed Waiting on + 130 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Jin takes us through the Chinese Cultural Revolution on a small scale: just a few people and their foibles and interactions. I loved this book, as did my husband. It felt so foreign, so honest, and placed me inside the two main characters, so that I understood their weaknesses and motivations.
reviewed Waiting on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
It was hard to put this book down. Great picture of life in China during and after the Cultural Revolution. A good read.
reviewed Waiting on + 224 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I feel sort of ignorant as I write this, because I obviously have an opposing view to so many! I thought it was unbearably slow at times and quite predictable. I think it's a style of writing that is just not my bag. On the front cover, there's a quote from a writer for the New Yorker that refers to it as suspenseful. The only thing I didn't have figured out was whether or not it was worth continuing to the end. For me, the answer is that it was not.
reviewed Waiting on
Helpful Score: 2
Beautiful, powerful love story. Ha Jin eloquently answers the question of how people can show love in a society that condemns displays of affection, and how love not allowed to reach its potential can be oppressive.
reviewed Waiting on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wonderful book which brings you into another time and culture, yet explores themes that everyone, everywhere can relate to. Makes you think about what you really want, what is important to you, how you determine what is important.
reviewed Waiting on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a book will think about for a long time. that is the kind of book I like to read
reviewed Waiting on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Ha Jin's characters are beautiful and real. He made me think if I would/could wait.....fantastic....highly recommended
reviewed Waiting on
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoy Ha Jin's writing as I enjoy a glimpse into other cultures. I have War Trash waiting to read next. I liked A Free Life a little bit more, but this was a well-written book that kept me coming back until the end.
reviewed Waiting on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A story that happens during the Cultural Revolution that captures the emotional struggles of a man who is torn between duty and love. A simple story that captures your heart. Nothing sappy or crude or political, just a story that unfolds. Deservedly so, is a winner of the National Book Award.
reviewed Waiting on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Every summer a doctor in the chinese army returns to end his loveless arranged marriage but each time he returns to the city to his educated modern lover having to postpone. Caught between 2 different women and trapped by a culture in which adultery can ruin lives and careers.
reviewed Waiting on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. A twisted love story about a doctor in the Chinese army who is having an affair with a nurse while he is already in an arranged marriage.
reviewed Waiting on
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book, I found it very easy to read and the author pulled me in. As a man, it made me consider my future actions. It was both happy and sad at the same time. I was never a big reader but I really liked this book and highly recommend this book.
reviewed Waiting on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The story of a modern Chinese darmy doctor who is trapped bewteen the ties that bind him to two women. It pictures the constraints of tradition, daily encroachments of government on the lives of normal actions of today;s Chinese citizens.
reviewed Waiting on + 34 more book reviews
Wonderful love story in a setting in China. Facinating. Very interesting to learn about another culture in an interesting fashion.
reviewed Waiting on + 336 more book reviews
Loved the book.
Story was refreshing to read.
Simple, down to earth; telling a story of love, wanting, already having, and having to wait for what you think you want.

This is the China of the late 50's/early 60's thru late 70's (and perhaps early 80's).

Story of Lin Kong, a man living in two worlds, struggling with the conflicting claims of two utterly different women as he moves through the society designed to regulate his every move and stifle the promptings of his innermost heart. For more than seventeen years, the ambitious doctor has been in love ...with an educated, clever, modern woman, Manna Wu.

But back in the traditional world of his home village lives the wife (Shuyu) his family chose for him when he was young -- a humble and touchingly loyal woman, whom he visits every summer, year after year, in order to ask unsuccessfully for a divorce.

Ha Jin the author keeps you in suspense as the story unfolds. Does he get the divorce he wants that the society he lives in thinks is improper? Will the waiting Manna Wu continue to wait as the years go by and she becomes an old maid while waiting? With each passing year making her less desirable from any possible suitor besides Lin ou'll find yourself on the edge of every page because the story and characters and scenes and customs are so fresh and wonderful.

Highly recommended for light and enjoyable reading. Very touching. Lovely.

I think I would like to reread this story in a couple of years.

Danny N (Alameda)
reviewed Waiting on + 74 more book reviews
Everyone should read this book
reviewed Waiting on + 3 more book reviews
Chinese novel, National Book Award winner
reviewed Waiting on + 158 more book reviews
Winner of the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner award
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
reviewed Waiting on
Waiting - does waiting bring you happiness, or does it skew your perspective? At what price do you adhere to the Party line?
reviewed Waiting on + 41 more book reviews
A book read for the pleasure of the writing as much as for the story. A Natiional Book Award Winner. Best to quote from The New York Times Magazine, "Waiting has the stripped down simplicity of a fable....It casts a spell that doesn't break once....Jin has the kind of effortless command that most writiers can only dream about." This is a story about a man caught betten two women and to cultures, that of ancient and modern China.
reviewed Waiting on + 16 more book reviews
It is definitely deserving of it's 2000 Pen/Faulkner award.
reviewed Waiting on + 5 more book reviews
reviewed Waiting on
I was disappointed in this story. I'm puzzled by those who call it an "engrossing love story". If anything, I think it shows the reader that your dreams aren't always what you'd hoped for. After waiting for love for so many years, you'd think that the lovers would have thought and discussed what their life together would be like and plan for their life together. Maybe what you interpret as love isn't love at all.