Three Kingdoms: A Somewhat Less Than Critical Commentary
The first time I read Three Kingdoms, I read it straight through as one might read an ordinary novel. While I enjoyed parts of it, by the time I finished it, most of it had blurred in my mind as an indistinguishable account of military actions. For this reason, I much preferred other Classical Chinese Novels, such as Outlaws of the Marsh and Creation of the Gods. However, I got the impression that my Chinese friends regarded Three Kingdoms as superior to these other novels. It wasn't until I reread Three Kingdoms, taking the meticulous notes contained in the character lists and the chapter-by-chapter outline that I was able to see through the military actions with a finer resolution, and recognize the individual stories and relationships that were unfolding. Upon this second, much more careful reading, I found an entirely different and much more enjoyable novel than I had seen the first time. This stands in contrast to the other novels, like Outlaws of the Marsh, which could be very much enjoyed the time through, without the extremely slow pace required by taking these notes. That said, if anyone else finds these notes to be of use for their personal enjoyment of Three Kingdoms, then please use them.