The Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P’ing Mei, Volume 3 The Aphrodisiac, is the third book of the Chin P’ing Mei series written by David Tod Roy and Xiaoxiaosheng. This book revolves around the protagonist Hsi-men Ch’ing and his insatiable desire for pleasure, wealth, and power. The story is set in 12th century China, during the Song Dynasty. In this book, Hsi-men Ch’ing’s character is explored in depth, and his relationships with various women are also discussed.
The story begins with Hsi-men Ch’ing meeting a Taoist master, who teaches him the art of creating an aphrodisiac that enhances sexual pleasure. Hsi-men Ch’ing uses this aphrodisiac on his concubines, which leads to various sexual encounters and affairs. Meanwhile, his wife, Lady Wang, tries to keep her husband’s desires in check by involving herself in religious practices. However, Hsi-men Ch’ing’s obsession with pleasure leads him to neglect his business affairs, causing financial difficulties.
The characters in this book are well-developed and have distinct personalities. Hsi-men Ch’ing, the protagonist, is portrayed as a complex character, who is driven by his desire for pleasure, power, and wealth. Lady Wang, his wife, is shown as a devout Buddhist, who tries to keep her husband’s desires in check. The other characters in the book, such as Hsi-men’s concubines, mistresses, and business associates, are also well-developed and add depth to the story.
The book explores various themes such as desire, power, wealth, and morality. The protagonist’s insatiable desire for pleasure is a major theme of the book, and it is shown how his obsession leads to neglect of his responsibilities and financial difficulties. The theme of power is also explored, as Hsi-men Ch’ing uses his wealth and influence to manipulate and control others. The book also explores the theme of morality, as the characters struggle with their actions and the consequences of their behavior.
The writing style of the book is engaging and descriptive. The authors have done an excellent job of creating a vivid and detailed picture of life in 12th century China. The book is also well-researched, and the historical context is accurate and well-presented. The dialogue between the characters is well-written and adds depth to their personalities.
The Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P’ing Mei, Volume 3 The Aphrodisiac, is a well-written book that explores various themes and presents a vivid picture of life in 12th century China. The characters are well-developed, and the writing style is engaging and descriptive. However, the book may not be suitable for all readers due to its explicit sexual content. Some readers may find the sexual encounters and affairs of the characters uncomfortable or offensive.
In conclusion, The Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P’ing Mei, Volume 3 The Aphrodisiac, is a well-written book that explores various themes and presents a vivid picture of life in 12th century China. The characters are well-developed, and the writing style is engaging and descriptive. However, the book’s explicit sexual content may not be suitable for all readers. Overall, it is a fascinating read for those interested in Chinese literature and history.