Xanadu

Xanadu How Far Would You Go In The Pursuit Of Beauty Nicolas Keszthelyi Aesthete, Philanderer And Semi Legitimate Moscow Antiques Dealer Is On His Way To Afghanistan, On The Trail Of Buried Treasure A Friend Of A Shady Friend Has Discovered A Hoard Of Priceless Ivory Carvings Hidden Beneath A Chinese Copper Mine In Paktia, And Keszthelyi Intends To Ensure That Finders Remain Keepers Unfortunately For Him, UNESCO, The Afghan National Police Force, And The Mine S Mobbed Up Owners Seem Inexplicably To Have Other PlansIn No Time At All, Keszthelyi Is Sucked Into A Great Game Of Crime And Chaos Playing High Stakes Mahjong, Impersonating The Russian Mafia, Wresting With Giant Teddy Bears And Just Maybe Getting Filthy RichTags Crime, Literary Fiction

Like my main character, I am a specialist in the art and culture of China and Japan, and spend my time between Paris and the Far East Unlike my main character, I have never killed anyone.

➟ Xanadu  free download ➤ Author Dang Ziciu – Webcamtopladies.info
  • ebook
  • 258 pages
  • Xanadu
  • Dang Ziciu
  • English
  • 28 June 2019

10 thoughts on “Xanadu

  1. says:

    Wow, what can I say Having read the first book in the Keszthelyi Chronicles, I expected nothing but wild and hilarious adventures that would attack the protagonists and the readers from all unexpected directions, with all sorts of strange challenges And yes, I got all of this and This time instead of the sleepy rural Brittany, both Keszthelyi and Estrado are busy trying to make a killing in bubbling, exotic, unpredictable Kabul, following a hunch that Estrado sniffed out and Keszthelyi assessed The mission that looked reasonably possible In the beginning, that is Until it got complicated Then it was all up in the air, with Afghan sweet female drag dealers, French Air Forces, Russian mafia connections, Chinese mahjong addicts, occasionally firing guns and frequented visits in the hospital for all sort of unconnected reasons Which kept me laughing hysterically, then biting my fingernails, then laughing again, alternatively.I hope the book 3 will come out soon, in the meanwhile I ll be giving occasional rereads to this one.

  2. says:

    Xanadu continues the adventures of cheerfully corrupt Nicolas Keszthelyi, antiques dealer, and his dangerous partner in dubiousness, Estrade It forms the second instalment of the Kesthelyi Chronicles, but can easily be read as a stand alone novel Keszthelyi, a kind of low rent Indiana Jones, has his eyes on some non PC Kushan ivories that Estrade recently released from an Iranian jail has informed him may be found in a mine in Afghanistan Instead of Indiana Jones cry of These belong in a museum , Keszthelyi s motto is These belong on the black market, with my share of the proceeds going to supporting my lifestyle and increasing brood with wife Anastasia The local colour and detail of their exploits in Afghanistan are convincing and evocative There is a cast of eccentric hangers on, including Bibi, who affects a delightfully infuriating hip hop patois At one point, Keszthelyi insinuates himself into a high stakes game of Mahjong Forget the so called glamour and sophistication of Bond style turns at the roulette wheel, Mahjong, a game which is usually the preserve of middle aged Chinese women, apparently, has its own pulse rating excitement Xanadu didn t have me laughing out loud in places the way People Like Us did, but there are still many amusing asides and situations that kept me smiling.It was, however, tightly constructed than People Like Us , with fewer side excursions as it wends its way towards a climatic finale of sorts It ends literally on a cliff hanger if deserts were vertical that hopefully hints at a third instalment Once again, the witty cynical repartee is a chief attraction.

  3. says:

    As this is my third review of D.Z.C s stuff Bright, Still and People Like Us being the first two or fourth review if one can count Connie, in theory written by Sarah Pliton, wink, wink I feel as if D.Z.C s oeuvres are becoming a fixture in the home library And well they should, even if I m still left mulling over the precise gender of D.Z.C alias Zichao Deng, alias Jennifer Dodgson In my current reading and reviewing, D.Z.C keeps close company with the likes of P G Wodehouse and Vladimir Nabokov two quite eminently able writers D.Z.C., in my opinion, is no less able a writer in his or her own right.As has already been said by other reviewers, Xanadu is a continuation of the happy or hapless shenanigans of Nicolas Keszthelyi and his partner literally in crime, S raphin Estrade, albeit in a quite different corner of the planet from where we last met them viz., in the French countryside Nicolas as we learn only here in Xanadu has in the meantime acquired both a wife Anastasia, by Christian name Nastia, by pet name and three unlikely heirs Masha, Anya and Nadezhda At one point location 2,527 on my Kindle , this same Anastasia writes her absent husband now doing business in Afghanistan a long e mail in which she describ es her antics with the university students brought in to replace him , so he spent an afternoon putting together a cover and a blurb, and uploaded it to the erotic ebooks section on I trust you get the picture Nicolas Keszthelyi a k a D.Z.C is quite the little prankster.One of the many things I like about D.Z.C s story telling is that s he always includes little anecdotes of historical value that, in my currently circumscribed worldview, I might otherwise never learn One such anecdote is the following, at location 1,397 on my Kindle According to Buddhist legend, the first tea bush sprang from the eyelids of the monk Bodhidarma, who had cut them off in a pious rage at his own tendency to fall asleep while meditating D.Z.C then delivers this little d lice with an appropriate wallop This cup of tea certainly tasted like it A couple of paragraphs later, D.Z.C once again reminds us that s he is a seasoned connoisseur euse of the species homo sapiens You see, my friend he continued quietly, and the alarm bells grew deafening I have never been addressed as my friend by anyone who did not intend to insert a knife into my back at the first opportunity Or again at location 4,452, this quick exchange Drink She considered the prospect It s not as bad as it sounds Like Wagner Mark Twain Wagner s music is not nearly as bad as it sounds Even if the quip here is not D.Z.C s, s he knew of it Meanwhile, I did not and for D.Z.C s introduction to it, I m grateful This, at least to my way of thinking, is one of the many reasons we read books not only for entertainment, but also for instruction A well written story should be as much a teaching tool without being overly didactic no Bildingsroman, thank you very much as it is a source of entertainment.Further on at location 1,531 , D.Z.C pays tribute to no less a literary luminary than E L James These days, of course, it is even worse, now that E L James has made it entirely acceptable for women to announce that they are submissives at some point during the first three sentences you exchange Of course, what they actually mean is I expect you to know what I want before I want it and act accordingly my role in the proceedings will be to lie there like a fresh corpse, graciously allowing you to get on with it But I digress At location 2,199, D.Z.C waxes positively poetic I made myself a coffee and took it up to the roof to drink, where morning in the bowl of night was busy casting the stone that puts the stars to flight Damned good, methinks, for someone who makes no claims to being a poet But then at location 2754, D.Z.C is back to basics The girl jumped off my knee and grabbed her iPod from the dashboard Some of the small change vanished with it, I noticed wearily Chinese whores, even the expensive ones, always ruin their chances by adopting a Ryanair approach to customer relations And at location 3,208, D.Z.C reminds us, with the following Google Earth update, that fiction is just a stone s or a grenade s throw away from present day reality The road from Kabul to Gardez is long and boring, unless you get waylaid by the Taliban, in which case it is short and exciting Can D.Z.C describe settings I ll readily confess that a little Afghan village I d previously never heard of named Dushanbe now has be almost drooling to jump on a plane in order to see it with my own eyes But true to form, D.Z.C yanks the clover from under my feet, at location 3,822, when s he writes i t is possible to walk up to the falls and peer respectfully at the impressive but somewhat predictable sight of water descending from a high up spot to a slightly lower one And not to be outdone except by him or herself, D.Z.C signs off with typical D.Z.C fetish and flourish in the last line in the novel, at location 4,307 The sun is going down now, so I will sit here as long as my computer battery lasts, trying to make the most of this hasty and amateurish work the present manuscript, I mean, not my life I trust that these snippets will give a potential reader a fair idea of what he or she is in for with Xanadu. While I won t say any about the plot than I ve said here already which is virtually nothing , I hope to have conveyed to you that D.Z.C is a talented writer At the same time, I hope to have warned you with my own sprinkling of non English words onto this review stew that you re in for a multi cultural, polyglot ride with this novel If you find that challenge daunting, you might want to look elsewhere If you re up for the challenge, however, full speed ahead RRB04 04 14Brooklyn, NY

  4. says:

    Xanadu, by the mysterious D.Z.C., is not a book for casual readers looking for the instant gratification offered by a simple plot punctuated with bursts of gunfire that lead the way to a quick and insipid conclusion Instead, Xanadu is a complicated, lengthy, and humorous tale of adventure that must be read slowly and enjoyed at one s leisure Any reader who rushes through the text will miss the witty ironies that enhance many of the protagonist s statements, a fact anticipated by the title Xanadu is an imaginary place of marvelous beauty and magic However, this tale does not take place in a poet s dream It takes place in Afghanistan, and Kublai Khan is nowhere to be found.Nicolas Keszthelyi, a cynical Russian art dealer, narrates the tale in first person and often speaks directly to the reader, his words tainted with dark humor This point of view gives the story a personal feel It reads as if Keszthelyi is sitting next to the reader in some seedy bar, telling the story between sips of strong brew served in a fractured glass Neither the protagonist nor the other main characters are squeaky clean In fact, all of them are rather sleazy, flawed misanthropes mainly concerned with their own personal goals This might be too close to reality for some readers.Keszthelyi travels to Afghanistan in hopes of making a killing by whisking ancient ivory carvings out of the country so they can be sold at a great profit There he teams up with a motley crew bent on exhuming the carvings from their burial site in the floor of a remote copper mine As one would expect, their plan goes awry A mahjong aficionado controls access to the dig site Therefore, Keszthelyi must find a way to convince, or coerce, Zhao Jianguo to allow them passage into the mine where the carvings were discovered The team decides that the best way to procure his compliance is by conquering him in a mahjong tournament Thus, much of the drama is concerned with luring Zhao into mahjong hell.Nothing goes easy for the narrator s crew The odds are stacked against them One has a drug problem Another must survive chlorine gas poisoning, and another gets his hand crushed under a black market auto engine The members of the team inadvertently endanger each other than do the police or the Russian mafia Can Keszthelyi and his merry band of grave robbers mobilize the wherewithal to succeed Will they stumble and fumble their way to success, or will they all end up in jail or worse Remember, this is Afghanistan.In Xanadu, the author rebels against the rigid, traditional definitions of genre In true postmodern style, the novel includes elements of mystery, adventure, crime, history, comedy, intellectual repartee and the absurd, thus including something for everyone.Xanadu is the second book that boasts Keszthelyi as the main character It s predecessor is People Like Us However, this is not a problem Xanadu can be read and enjoyed on its own Perhaps, reading both would be the best bet for intellectual booklovers interested in quirky characters, dubious motives, and exotic settings.https rougeskireads.com

  5. says:

    This is a fascinating picaresque novel Everything else I ve read or seen about Afghanistan has been from the point of view of our the US s military I really enjoyed traveling through the streets of Kabul as a civilian, visiting the five star hotels as well as the seedier ones and going into the back rooms for high stakes mahjong with Chinese businessmen and grandmothers What all those Chinese grandmothers were doing in Afghanistan, I didn t ask I enjoyed the trips into the mountains to the villages too The book is well written, bringing all these fascinating places alive I was also intrigued by the many quotes, from Confucius, British travelers of the nineteen century, and various poets, especially Persian and French Zichao Deng doesn t seem to bother to translate the French The book is dense with a sense of the exotic.I enjoyed the snappy dialogue even though I doubt anyone speaks so cleverly I liked the assortment of wacky characters, including a Russian gangster and a woman mercenary whose nationality I never figured out This is the second book in a series, and I haven t read the first This didn t seem to interfere with my understanding of the plot, but I felt a bit lost with a few of the characters For instance, I didn t realize until some distance into the book that the main character, a charming rogue with his own twisted sense of ethics, was British but living in Moscow In all it s a fun romp, but definitely picaresque in all the meanings of the word The rascal narrator takes the reader from adventure to adventure Often there is much suspense Will he succeed Will he even survive Then once he does, we move on to the next adventure, which may or may not be related to the previous one and sometimes only loosely connected to the big caper that is the backbone of the novel I m going to try to avoid putting a spoiler in here, but I was less than satisfied at the end even though I told myself, hey, this is what picaresque novels do So enjoy the romp, the fascinating locale, the bits and pieces of exotic wisdom, but don t expect a fully unified plot or total closure.I was given a review copy in exchange for a non reciprocal review.

  6. says:

    This was a fabulous story that quickly brought me in and kept my interest throughout This is the second book in The Keszthelyi Chronicles and was written by Zichao Deng.In all honesty I had no idea this was a series until I finished reading the book Never was it an issue that I had not read the first book, so i tip my hat to the author for writing a book in a series that is able to standalone.I really enjoyed the main characters Nicolas Keszthelyi and his counterpart Estrade I think Estrade was truly my favorite character as I liked the no nonsense way he went about his business especially his plan for the company.The story is primarily set in Kabul Afghanistan I have never been to Afghanistan but the author does a wonderful job describing the landscapes and the people I could get a wonderful picture in my head.I will say I was a little hesitant about this book due to several of the names or titles in Chinese, but the author provided a wonderful blurb describing how to properly pronounce them, and it put my mind at ease I would also like to point out that I have never played mahjong before, and the author made this a non issue by giving the audience a quick run down on the basic rules so we as readers were not left saying huh.I will say while I think the character Bibi brought plenty of comic relief to the story, her language and manner of speaking began to wear on me by the end of the book I also felt like the ending was a little abrupt, and I felt like I wanted a little closure then again this is a series.For those who love stories of adventure in far off lands, this is the book for you I truly enjoyed the story and have given it 4 out of 5 stars Personally, I plan on going back and reading the first, and I look forward to future installments in this series.I was provided a copy of the book for free in exchange for a review

  7. says:

    In this fast breaking story, Nicolas Kesztheli is not exactly searching out pleasure domes in war torn Afghanistan The sophisticated anti hero is digging up ancient ivory artifacts for the purpose of smuggling them out of the country and making himself and his international conspirators filthy rich He is in and out of the hands of the law, and makes an escape that is terrifying, exhilarating and head spinning The ending has a weird but absorbing psychological impact the reader hangs in a moment of repose, but fully expects another wild ride as the narrator eyes his next international border Is this guy getting out in one piece The fun of D.Z.C lies not only in the story line but the interesting quotations from Chinese and Middle Eastern verse Overturning the academic convention of dumping boring corroboration into footnotes, D.Z.C save some of his funniest lines for these mercurial notes Tales of strange feasts and wild gambling in the nightspots of Kabul diversify the narrative, as does Nicolas s love life waking up between two naked Chinese girls, after claiming to lack any interest in middle eastern fleshpots, he declares wouldn t you like to say this in your autobiography The dialogue is witty and fast paced, the many forms of vernacular are fun for literary tourists, and the adventure is full of good humor Don t miss this exciting read.

  8. says:

    Who doesn t like a story with a good rogue Or two Those characters are always such fun to read and Xanadu has some great ones.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book It s an adventure heist story set in modern Afghanistan, filled with colorful characters and vibrant writing I ve never been to Afghanistan I ve never played high stakes Mahjongg, and I ve certainly never attempted to smuggle ancient artifacts, but the story had just enough to it to make it both believable and entertaining The consistency of the characters pulled me in Even when a character did something unexpected, it was in line with that character s motivation and history Even though this is technically the second book with the same characters, it s a self contained adventure and so I never really felt I had missed something important Instead, the relationships and banter between the characters felt honest I had a couple of very minor nits after a while the main character s asides to the reader did get a tiny bit old, and I tired very quickly of the Bibi character s hip hop dialect But even then, these were incredibly minor asides that did not pull me out of the story much at all.Yes, read this book You will be happy you did.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. says:

    I was a little unsure about the story and characters to begin with but as I had challenged myself to read outside of my comfort zone, I knuckled down to go on the journey that the author took us upon.Taking us into modern day Kabul, chasing the potential of ancient ivory treasures, we are introduced to a mix of characters, mostly shady as the plot unfolds around us Mix in the Russian Mafia and Chinese Mahjong a game that I now want to learn , and you have varied interesting sideplots keeping you on your toes.If I had realised that this was a sequel, or at least that there was a previous book that introduced the characters, I would have enjoyed it better as there were times were the interaction between characters was based on previous plotlines However, that shouldn t detract from the overall enjoyment.Overall, for me personally, it was a challenging read but one that I am pleased that I have completed.I received a review copy of this book for my honest opinion.

  10. says:

    Felt like I was hanging with the cool crowd.Xanadu is an adventure that takes you veering off into a serious romp with some stand out characters The writing style is gritty, fun, humorous, edgy Although it s not science fiction in any way, for me Zichao Deng s work is reminiscent of cyberpunk authors like William Gibson Bruce Sterling Neal Stephenson Lots of witty observations on the state of everything that make you say, yeah, I know exactly what you re talking about.Xanadu takes it time, wending its way through mahjong parlors, hospitals, and various wonderfully seedy venues The writing is well done and the characters were fun to hang out with so I was happy to go along for the ride.On a side note, I love to travel but have never even considered what it might be like to visit Afghanistan This provided a memorable window into a fascinating place.

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