Read Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station by Dorothy Gilman Online


Once again, Mrs. Pollifax, the cheerful little woman with the flyaway white hair and a penchant for old hats is plunged headfirst into another hair-raising CIA mission. Posing as a tourist in China, Emily Pollifax meets the sinister challenges of the Orient to safeguard a treasure for the CIA...and all but loses her life in the bargain....

Title : Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780449208403
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station Reviews

  • itchy
    2018-11-28 19:15

    karate is deadly this time, hi-yah!p173: up they went at a 90-degree angle, the crazed horse slowing a little but not, felt mrs. pollifax, from any change in his determination to destroy her, and certainly not from repentance, but due entirely to the steepness of the hillside.reminded me of the first batman filmp200: "...i found some and saoked them for a few hours in my bathroom sink and you wouldn't believe the hay and dung that floated off them...."

  • Jesse
    2018-11-27 02:24

    All of the books in the Mrs. Pollifax series are good, but Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station is one of the best.Mrs. Pollifax is off to China, this time - a country which has fascinated her ever since she was young. (That strikes a chord with me, and it is the first chord of many that this book strikes.) Mrs. P is to join a tour group for Americans, seeing many of the sights of China, as cover for her meeting with an informant who can supposedly pinpoint the location of a secret labor camp deep in the wilderness, where a man of great interest to the CIA (as well as other organizations) is being held. Mrs. P has to find the location of said camp, at which point another agent - also in the tour group, but at the outset unknown to Mrs. P - will then take over and get the secret man (referred to as "X" safely out of China).This book gets much deeper, on several levels, than the last two installments. There are a great many conversations about spirituality, and destiny, and it just hits home so well that it gave me an even greater appreciation of this book, even after reading it for what is the fourth time now. There are so many of those good sentences or phrases, the kind that come out of nowhere and pack a punch, the kind that make me put down the book in astonishment or appreciation for a moment and think "wow...she's so right." For they're not only Mrs. Pollifax's thoughts, but by extension Doroth Gilman's, as well, and I think part of why I love this book so much is because it reminds me a lot of my pwn philosphies in life: how things happen for a reason, and especially how people's lives cross path for a reason; how people rarely ever see the whole picture and therefore their inferences are flawed; how there are, to quote Dorothy Gilman " happy endings, just happy people." Excellent stuff, here.I sense a maturity to the prose here; Dorothy Gilman is really at the top of her game in this book. It's not just about adventure. It's not just about mystery. It's not just about people, or about new places, or about chance meetings and friendships; rather, it is about all of those things. The tour group dynamic is different, for a Mrs. Pollifax story; in the past, Mrs. P would aquire a companion or two along her adventures, but she starts out with a whole group, here, at the outset. And she is soon elected "group leader"...and while, as one character observes, she isn't really of the whole "group mentality", she still settles into her role as a leader quite nicely. It is some wonderful character development to look back at Mrs. Pollifax as she was on her first mission - bright and resourceful, yes, but also naive and sometimes oblivious - and here, she is really a pro. She provides advice, and assistance, to many of the characters, and I quite honestly found myself wishing I could be along on that tour to go on adventure with her.It was a nice touch, at the beginning, when Mrs. Pollifax took some of the cards and letters out of her desk, at home, and reflected on many of the friends she had made on her previous adventures. I love stuff like that, the connection with the past while looking forward to the future. Very cool, and very touching.The pacing of the plot was great. The scene was set, both with action and with suspense in equal amounts, and the ending was extremely satisfying. And each of the characters shines in her or his own way, because they, too, are so real. I think we all know somebody who is just like Jenny, for one. And Iris and Malcolm are just the type of people that you would like instantly, if you met.The settings are also fantastic. Dorothy Gilman was obviously as interested in geography and travel as I myself am, because it is a thrill to read about all of the places that Mrs. Pollifax travels to and explores...almost as good as being there myself.(view spoiler)[The character of Peter is one of my favorites, so far. Probably because I see a little of him in myself. And the dynamic of the relationship between Peter and Mrs. Pollifax was awesome. We are given a rare treat, here: to see Mrs. Pollifax through the eyes of a third party (Peter) in a very admiring way. It was one of the things I loved most about this book. There is something very satisfying about that cross-generational connection between two people who really are kindred souls, even if one is a 22 year-old guy and the other is a women in her sixties.And, of course, the scene where Mrs. Pollifax and Peter ride out into the desert together, and talk about their lives...that scene is one of my favorites from the entire series, because it is so realistic. Those brief moments, where you're away from whatever usually holds you back, and you're in an unforgettable place and you have a chance to really talk, soul to soul, with a person...we have all had a time like that in our life, somewhere along the way. I really felt like I was along for that ride, and there are very few other fictional characters that I have looked on with such fondness as these two. (hide spoiler)]The other interesting thing, for me, is that this installment in the series bridges the gap between what was relatively recent political history, and what was slightly older history. It was written in 1983, and the days of the Iron Curtain were numbered. Earlier books - especially the first few - still had echoes of events around World War II being fresh in the forefront of the international scene, as well as in the characters' minds and conversations. It worked well for the first few books, but now we're moving forward and the political situations are starting to sound more contemporary to us, the readers in present day. That may also be why I feel even more of a connection with this particular book - because it's from a time period that I can directly relate with more.As Mrs. Pollifax herself reflected, you never really stop learning, at any age. It is a joy to watch her as she has blossomed. It has been several (fictional) years since her first mission, now, and if anything, her spirit, her soul, her personality, haven't gotten older but younger. As her fellow agent remarks at one point, she's more flexible than people a third of her age, and it is so much fun to be along for the ride.

  • Randee
    2018-12-08 02:23

    I haven't read a Mrs. Pollifax since I was a teenager. I vaguely remember liking the series and that she reminded me of my grandmother. My grandmother was the woman I admire most and if I had found out she was a CIA agent and had a brown belt in karate, I would not be surprised. The woman was a rip-snorter that had more energy in her 70's than I had at 5. I was privileged to have adventures with her up until I was 29, so even though we were grandmother/granddaughter, we also had a friendship and I spent many happy hours going to movies, malls, taking walks, playing cards, gossiping, hanging out and having all sorts of fun. She never lost her zest for life and her curiosity about people and the world. The same can be said of Mrs. Pollifax. I think I shall have to make my way through the entire series eventually. I picked this one (6th in the series) because I like all things Asian and I knew I would enjoy her trip to China. It reminded me to look for documentaries of the first emperor of China......the one that has that fabulous tomb where they found the terracotta soldiers and horses. I put the two I found on hold at my library and will enjoy learning more about this tomb that still has not really been excavated. Thanks Mrs. Pollifax!!!

  • Rebekah Morris
    2018-12-07 21:30

    Eccentric? How else would you describe an older grandmotherly woman who wears lovely hats, knows all about flowers and works for the CIA? And don't forget to add the fact that she's a brown belt too.As with the other books in the series, the lovable Mrs. Pollifax had me eager to see how she was going to complete her assignment and wonder who the "bad guys" were. This story wasn't as nerve wracking as some of the other books and my heart didn't pound with excitement as I read at top speed, frantically turning pages in hopes that it would help Mrs. Pollifax to safety. But there was excitement and unexpected events. I love the vast array or characters this author includes in her stories. Some you may not like at first grow on you, while others that you weren't sure about, turn into unexpected helpers. And the settings leave you feeling that you might have been there, without being too wordy or drawn out.There are language issues in this book (and in most of the others). Whiteout is highly recommended.

  • Andrea
    2018-11-18 19:21

    These stories are basically espionage tourism. They're usually fairly respectful of the culture being visited, but I'll add a warning of (highly unlikely) 'native' dress for this one.I really liked Iris.

  • Jean
    2018-12-08 21:34

    The sixth book in this cozy mystery series was written while the Cold War was ongoing and China was emerging from isolation. I liked the characters, the mystery behind the operation, and the descriptions. One situation was quite jarring for me, but then the series does have some dependence on Mrs. Pollifax's good luck. You'll need to have read the earlier books in the series to fully enjoy this one. I knocked it down a half star for the jarring situation. I'm rounding it down because of an unlikely coincidence.

  • Sara
    2018-11-28 21:33

    Yes, five stars. I love all these books. It's my second time reading them and I love them just as much the second time around.Here she is at the tomb of China's first emperor:"The sheer impact of what she saw stunned her: hundreds of life-sized men standing below her in the broad trenches that honeycombed the earth floor, men like gray ghosts waiting patiently at attention, hundreds of them in battle formation lined up in rows as far as the eye could see, each face different and individual with here and there a hand lifted or a head turned slightly as if to listen. Silent and waiting they filled the hall, so alive in gesture and stance that surely, she thought, they must be breathing as they stood there, liberated from the earth that had held them for nearly two thousand years."Damn, Dorothy Gilman could write! There's a gap of six years between #5 (Zambia) and #6 (China) and I can't help but think that Gilman went to China in those years. This book's descriptions leap off the page.Emily reflects:"He turned and looked at her as they gained the lobby, and she saw that his eyes were distant and cold, as opaque as they had been when she first met him in Hong Kong. He said curtly, 'I don't think that you ought to know.'She didn't take this as a rebuff, she merely nodded, understanding the need in him now to withdraw and to build up that lonely austere strength that was familiar to her from her own experience. One couldn't share, not in this business, not with other lives at stake, and perhaps, she reflected, it was this experience of altered selfness that was the meaning behind all of her own adventures: a sense of bringing to each moment every strength and resource hidden inside of herself as well as the discovery of new ones: a sense of life being so stripped to its essence that trivia and inconsequential fell away."She does not stay the same, she grows with each book, and that is one thing that makes these books so special.

  • An Odd1
    2018-12-16 02:29

    Full marks for only fulfillment of life-wish holiday on China Silk Road protected by wonderful irreplaceable Emily Pollifax, despite outlandish CIA inferior planning by superiors, worried Bishop and far-off Carstairs. Recent friend's photos show same vast land as on the pages here. Being away from her boyfriend Cyrus decides Emily's feelings like a trip did for me. I like the "cheerful, cozy little woman with fly-away white hair and a penchant for odd hats and growing geraniums". Her karate brown belt defends ("crown and ..") country and self, adds to plausibility of one of my favorite heroes I love to follow around the world. Not best of series. Like real tour groups, society in micro-cosm, factions form. Childrens' writer Malcom and klutzy Iris have unbelievable "electric" connection, "explosive" foolish love-hungry Jenny and small-minded George are typical members. Lots makes no sense. Why the hard way, send non-speaking wrong-looking outsiders to extract a weakened labor camp prisoner, better done by Chinese agents who know the language and the land? Or is the assumption that Americans do everything better? The premise, Emily cannot know who will guide Wang Shen, seems ridiculous. Maps are left to an accidental miracle, mistaken by the clerk for the garish book cover beside. Meeting Wang is another lucky shot in the dark, but does emphasize the need to think on ones' feet and seize opportunity, whether on a mission or in a life. Distracting feelings "we've known each other before" p 117, possible re-incarnations are tedious. Do not forward plot or character. "Voices wailing in despair .. from the past" p 137 incapacitate Malcolm here and at Auschwitz. Extraneous. The tension builds gradually after Emily's luggage is searched. When the sleeper Russian agent "amiable .. pleasant .. seasoned traveler" p16 shows a gun, danger is safely fictional, still feels real through adrenaline-fueled broken wrist. Why does Emily insist on so much blood? They could have pushed him over with the horse. Injuries from rocks could cover up fatal wound. Again, luck, (view spoiler)[ a memory of a beloved wife with the same air of "innocence",(hide spoiler)] saves Emily from a very smart brown-belt Chinese cop.

  • Sally
    2018-12-10 21:34

    Following Mrs. Pollifax through her adventures around the world takes me to China in this book #6. I like her. Dorothy Gilman has created a character that I'd like to know as a real person. There are several things that appeal to me about this series - the wide-eyed interest in people and culture that Emily Pollifax has, her optimism, her analytical mind that helps her work through difficult situations, and the experience of traveling to places I've never visited while experiencing a time when world politics was somewhat different than it is today. I really lived through those times, but I was a naive 20-something who was oblivious to much of what went on in foreign countries. So, in a way, these stories have been dipping into history lessons.As these books progressed, I have seen Mrs. Pollifax become a much more self-confident world traveler. She is not so clueless about spying activities as she was when the series began. Yet, she still gets herself into unimaginable and unbelievable situations and I can still enjoy and accept the implausible events without incredulity. However, it IS starting to feel a little darker and more risky for her physical safety. Also, in this book, she encounters more difficulty with language barriers; that is, there are not quite so many English-speaking foreigners around.

  • Karol
    2018-11-30 18:27

    This was a re-read for me. That's kind of unusual, but after having read a few of the books quite out of sequence, and loving this series as much as I do, I decided to read them all from the beginning. The first time I read "China Station" I thought it was OK . . . but this time I thoroughly enjoyed it. The difference is likely the context of understanding everything that came before.Mrs. Pollifax is one of those endearing characters . . . in situations that might not otherwise be believable, I'm drawn in because given who she is the story becomes very plausible. There's plenty of humor, and I'm glad that Mrs. P has a fairly good intuition about people. She is usually correct in who she trusts. This particular novel, I thought, was very interesting from the perspective of western ideas examined in the light of eastern ones.

  • Cherie
    2018-12-12 20:11

    This is the 2nd Mrs. Polifax novel that I have read. I enjoy these because the heroine is a sweet, mature lady who has been recruited by the CIA to work undercover for them. She is given work that they think she can handle; that is not too terribly dangerous; that she can easily blend into the background so no one would ever suspect her of anything. In this novel, she poses as a tourist in China in order to find and help extract a Chinese seeking asylum. Of course, to make the novels more exciting, her adventures turn into hair-raising events that completely baffle the CIA and Mrs. Polifax herself. She always saves the day, as well as whoever else she finds herself working with. When I was young, I dreamed about being a CIA operative. These novels show a somewhat "lighter side" of the adventures of a CIA agent!

  • Tricia
    2018-11-30 00:14

    This book has beautiful descriptions of remote parts of China that left me wanting to travel somewhere off the beaten path. The travel components - both the descriptions of lanscapes and the insights into other ways of life - are a big part of the appeal of this series for me.I spent too much of the book trying to figure out who was the person from 'across the boundary' - I over-analyzed every interpersonal interaction. Also, because I misremembered something from book #13, I was expecting a plot twist that never showed up (my fault, not the author's!). The ending is a strange mix of abrupt and drawn-out.

  • Ryan
    2018-11-18 21:36

    Mrs Pollifax heads off to China for a four-week tour with only two tasks for Carstairs - meet an unknown man at a barbershop for information, and if anything goes wrong, get everyone out of the country. In most Pollifax books, the story is told from her perspective; in this, there is another agent - unknown at first - who helps move the plot along. Mrs Pollifax loves life and adventure and people, and so its an enjoyable adventure.

  • Ann
    2018-12-14 02:31

    Another fun adventure with the adventurous Mrs. Pollifax ... this time in China. Sent to the Orient by the CIA to help set free a dissident from a labor camp, Mrs. Pollifax poses as a tourist and once again must sort out who to trust and who not ! Her adventures always have an element of the outlandish but this is part of what makes this series so appealing !

  • Nicola
    2018-12-14 02:37

    I didn't enjoy this quite as much as the previous 5 but still enough to rate it as a 3 star. The characters and setup are rather less realistic in this offering so that provided a bit of a jarring note. Still, it was an enjoyable listen.

  • Linda
    2018-12-15 22:41

    I like this series because it is light reading but still a "who done it". Mrs. Pollifax reminds me of "Miss Marple", American style. Mrs. Pollifax has a lot more zip. Hope eternal for the young at heart. Could not wait to see what she would get into (and out of) next.

  • Marlene
    2018-12-06 00:28

    I really enjoy these.

  • Karen Finch
    2018-11-21 19:27

    Mrs. Pollifax is an older / middle aged woman who became a CIA operative. She is such an unlikely operative that she is never suspected. This is my first of her books, but won't be my last. It's a quick read and fun. In this book she is sent to the People's Republic of China with a tour group. Her operation is to help support another tour group participant in finding and freeing a Chinese engineer who has been put into a labor camp, without raising suspicions of the Chinese government. There are some fun twists and turns and nice relationships in the story.

  • Amara
    2018-12-09 22:30

    I was disappointed in this. It gave a view of China in the 80's which isn't that interesting to me. I would rather see it now, or during a culturally significant event. Then, the author introduced such a large cast of characters at once right near the beginning that I had trouble keeping them straight for the first half of the book. Mrs. Pollifax herself was fun, and I did get invested before the end.

  • Lartemis
    2018-11-28 00:16

    China has changed in the years since Dorothy Gilman wrote Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station, but my love of Mrs. Pollifax will never change. If anything, I love her more now that she and I are both gray-haired grandmothers. Listening to this book was a delightful escape! The writing is nothing spectacular, the plot is weak in places, but Mrs. Pollifax's courage and cleverness prevails.

  • Susan
    2018-12-09 22:13

    This series keeps getting better. Mrs. Pollifax is a likable character, and though the stories are good, what drives the series is her personality, her observations and the relationships she forms. I found this one was incredibly easy to get into and hard to put down.

  • Michele Benson
    2018-12-15 19:22

    Mrs. Pollifax rescues a Chinese dissident from an internment camp, uses Karate to escape death and charms her interrogator with wit and humor. I am always sad when these stories end. There is just something special about Mrs. Pollifax.

  • Ben Andrews
    2018-12-05 19:24

    I decided to read this because I enjoyed the series so much as a child. This series about an elderly and disarming CIA agent wasn't nearly as good as I remembered but was still enjoyable. Though, I doubt I will read another in the series. I guess you can't go home again

  • Loy
    2018-11-24 00:36

    another wonderful installment in the Mrs Pollifax series. These are written in the 70 and are timeless.this time She is off to China to help Mr X escape.this one was one of the best in the series.

  • Jillian Moreno
    2018-12-04 19:25

    I couldn't get over the dated-ness of this one. Also, I've read too many in a row.

  • Susan
    2018-12-03 02:25

    Another fun adventure in the life of Mrs. Pollifax.

  • Shirley
    2018-12-09 02:35

    Started off slow, but really enjoyed it. The ending really made the book for me. Characters are great especially Iris. Storyline was excellent and heartwarming. Favorite so far.

  • Colleen
    2018-11-27 18:11

    Liked this one a lot better than anticipate. Will comment more later.

  • Melissa
    2018-11-28 02:12

    Actually, I was a little disappointed with the end. I expected more adventure or maybe a plot twist.

  • Katherine
    2018-12-02 00:37

    An interesting story! I liked it. I found this book at the little free library near our house. I googled all the locations in the book. So, this book was educational too. :)