Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Lonestar Swordsman - Gu Long

The story in this book (first published in 1960) started and developed well, but there were too many twists in the end, which I think didn't quite make sense a bit... or perhaps I was just irritated because things didn't go as I had guessed.

Little Hui Giok lost his father and uncle, both murdered by a mysterious masked man who robbed the Jade Frog they had been guarded. [They were from a shipping expedition.] At this time many shipping companies's owners were murdered by the masked man, leaving only Tham Beng. As a sole surviver, Tham Beng's shipping company prospered quickly, for he was the only one they could hire. A dead masked man was later found dead that they thought the dead man was the mysterious murderer. Case closed.

Tham Beng took Hui Giok - and other children from murdered shipping companies' owners - to his home and raised them. He separated them and 'intimidated' them. Hui Giok, for example, was told that he was stupid. He was taught fighting skill but he didn't even could defeat a servant. He spent his days lamenting his stupidity. Too bad he fell in love with Tham Beng's daughter, Tham Bun-ki.

Knowing he would never win her hand with his current situation, Hui Giok ran away from Tham Beng's house. He hoped he could become a successful man so Tham Bun-ki could admire him. In his journey, he met interesting people with high skilled kungfu, made a couple of friends, but also became deaf and mute for a while. Due to his good luck, he became the leader of people's union from the south, and became Tham Beng's main rival. Hui Giok gradually learned that he was actually not as stupid as he had believed and his confidence grew. He realized that he was basically very talented and smart and Tham Beng had been afraid of him that Tham Beng had not taught him anything.

Readers could guess that Tham Beng was the masked murderer and he had murdered all his rivals, but had it been really the case? If Hui Giok avenged his father and uncle by killing Tham Beng, how could he face Tham Bun-ki, whom he always loved? Tham Beng was not all guilty for all he had been accused. In the end he got what he deserved and Hui Giok could live happily and peacefully with Tham Bun-ki.

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