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The Stone of Heaven Reviews


Powerfully evocative… A remarkable history… brisk and very readable… The full story of jade – commercial, historical, political and human – has been woven compellingly into Levy and Scott-Clark’s narrative. By the end Jade has taken its place with “blood diamonds” among the stones most tarnished by callous avarice and human suffering.

Barbara Crossette, New York Times.

The Stone of Heaven is a curious blend of history, detective story and journalistic expose… The authors tramp through steamy jungles, auction houses, and archives all over the world to create a lively tale of the bewitching power of the rock.

Michael J. Ybarra, Wall Street Journal.

Levy and Scott-Clark are superb investigative journalists and story-tellers. Their book expertly blends historical research with a riveting travelogue… The writers were lucky to escape alive but thanks to them we know the bloody secret of this beautiful gem.

Simon Reeve, Focus.

This is the most engrossing travel book I have read in a long time. Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy have highlighted a scandal… Human degradation like something out of Hieronymus Bosch.

David Freeman, Relax with a Book.

This book, part detective story played out in musty Indian archives, part investigative journalism, travelogue and chronicle, is riveting. The tale moves from the imperial courts in China to those of New York society hostesses, from Shanghai 1930s gangster-land, to the auction houses of London, from the opulent lifestyle of the trader Sir Victor Sassoon to the poverty of 105-year-old Tutu, the last survivor of the Burmese monarchy who lives on a rubbish tip in Ratnagiri. To read it is to be thrilled, fascinated, and abominated by what a man will do for a piece of exquisite green stone.

Martin Booth, The Sunday Times, London.

A glittering tale of a precious stone and its dark secret… Outstanding history.

Culture, The Sunday Times, London.

Jadeite’s beauty is tainted with brutality, greed and theft. The Stone of Heaven skilfully taps a rich vein of hidden history and modern misery to tell jadeite’s secret story.

Jay Currie, Christian Science Monitor.

Initially thrilling and ultimately horrifying history of a precious and pernicious stone… Levy and Scott-Clark carry a compelling story backs from the depths of a true circle of hell.

Kirkus Review.

It’s exciting when you learn that authors had to lie, bribe – even risk their lives – to discover the truth later penned on their pages. That the same book is fastidiously researched through foreign archives and written in a language that glitters as brightly as its topic increases the value of this story of beauty, greed, war and slavery.

Leslie Yazel, American-Statesman.

You almost can’t believe what you are reading…

Morning News, Dallas.

The jade lie. Dreams of riches lure the naive to Burmese mines where they are trapped in a grim cycle of inhuman work, disease and death…

Arts and Letters Daily.

The research is combined into a colourful melange, and the book is fast-paced, compulsive reading… the author’s research of primary historical texts is particularly admirable.

Edmond Chin, Arts of Asia.

This scoop is expanded into the most damning chapters I have yet to read about Myanmar’s criminal government…

The Independent, London.

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