Daomu Biji

Daomu Biji (simplified Chinese: 盗墓笔记; traditional Chinese: 盜墓筆記; pinyin: Dàomù bǐjì) variously translated as Grave Robbers’ Chronicles,[nb 1] Grave Robbery Note[nb 2] and The Lost Tomb,[nb 3] is a novel series about the grave-robbing adventures of Wu Xie, a young man hailing from a family that had been tomb-raiders for centuries. Written by Xu Lei (Chinese: 徐磊) who is better known by his pen-name Nan Pai San Shu (Chinese: 南派三叔), it was first serialized online at Qidian China (simplified Chinese: 起点中文网; traditional Chinese: 起點中文網; literally: 'Starting Point Chinese Net'), a Chinese website for publishing, writing and reading novels. Written over a span of five years and published as nine separate novels, it is one of the most popular novel series in China from 2007 with several million fans and over 20 million copies sold.[1] The author has also written two sequels, Zang Hai Hua (Chinese: 藏海花) and Sha Hai (Chinese: 沙海) which continued the leading character's story, neither of which were finished at the time of the author's announcement to retire from writing on March 22, 2013.[2]

Daomu Biji
AuthorXu Lei
Original title盗墓笔记
CountryChina
LanguageChinese
Subjecttomb adventure
Genrehistorical fiction, science fiction

Along with Ghost Blows Out the Light, Daomu has contributed greatly to creating a craze and subsequent market in the Greater China area for novels focusing on grave-robbing that also deal with the supernatural.

Plot

50 years ago, a group of Changsha grave robbers dug out manuscripts of the location of treasures from Warring states, but an encounter with an undead rendered almost the whole group dead. In the present, the young grandchild of the sole survivor, Wu Xie, discovers a secret within his grandfather's notes. Together with his third uncle, Wu Sanxing, and a few other experienced tomb robbers, to search for the treasure. But what no one expected to find the intriguing mysteries that accompanied their tomb robbing adventure - just who was the owner of that tomb? Will they be able to find the real coffin? And just where will these puzzle lead the group? [3]

Embarking on eight-volume's worth of adventures, as Wu Xie slowly unravels millennium-old mysteries, he sees the deterioration of his naive world as he discovers the people around him are not what they seem and that he could trust no one in this tomb robbing world of deceit and lies.

Main characters

Xie Wu (Chinese: 吳邪): The point-of-view character and primary protagonist. He is from the Hangzhou Wu family, one of the Changsha Old Nine, a group of families who have been grave-robbing for centuries. At the beginning of the first book he joins his uncle Wu Sanxing to experience grave-robbing for the first time, setting off the series of events to come in later books. His name is a homophone with "innocent" (無邪, also pronounced "Wu Xie"), indicating his gullible nature.

Kylin Zhang (Chinese: 張起靈): A man with a mysterious past whose story leads the last few volumes of the chronicles. He is often hired as an assistant to many grave-robbing endeavors and is highly competent at it; very little is known about him, even his real name.

Fatty Wang(Chinese: 胖子): Nicknamed "Gold Getting Xiao Wei", he is a northern grave-robber (as opposed to Wu Xie, from the south) and teams up with both Wu and Zhang throughout the books; together they are referred to as the "Iron Triangle."

Sanxing Wu (Chinese: 吳三省): Wu Xie's third uncle. An experienced grave-robber with a few well-kept secrets.

Pan Zi(Chinese: 潘子): Sansheng's right-hand man, who had served in the Sino-Vietnamese War prior to becoming a grave-robber.

A'ning(Chinese: 阿寧): A grave-robber and the first major female introduced in the series, her motives are unclear but seems to be working against the protagonists.

Yun Cai: A Yao girl who helps Fat Wang and Wu Xie during their adventures in Yunnan.

Publication

In 2011, a serialized manhua, drawn by Dongdong and Yuelu, was published. After the fifth volume, the author of Daomu Biji had an argument with Dongdong and Yuelu. This, unfortunately ended the manhua series. There is also an American serialized graphic novel.[4] There are currently 8 novels.

In 2014, it was announced that the series would be made into eight seasons (though only one season has been made as of 2017), with the first season to be scheduled for 2015. It would cover the events of the first book, and was titled The Lost Tomb in English.[5]

In 2016, the novel series was adapted into an action adventure movie which also called Daomu Biji. The movie finally won 1 billion 4 million yuan at the box office. The movie ranked the ninth largest box office in mainland China in 2016, and it won the fifth place in Chinese movie box office ranking.[6]

In 2019, the second season of the 2015 adaptation began airing with an all-new cast. It covers the events of the second book.

Notes

  1. Title of the English translation of the book.
  2. Title seen on manhua edition of the story.
  3. Title seen on serial edition of the story.

References

  1. Brzeski, Patrick (May 11, 2016). "Cannes: LeVision CEO Goes Behind Hollywood-China Co-Production 'Great Wall' Starring Matt Damon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  2. "Sina Visitor System". weibo.com. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  3. Lei, Xu (2007-01-01). Grave Robbers' Chronicle (in Chinese). ZHE JIANG PUBLISHING UNITED GROUP.
  4. "Image Comics Bringing Daomu Stateside ~ Omnicomic". www.omnicomic.com. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  5. "《盗墓笔记》将拍8部电影 三叔看好影视化". ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  6. "盗墓笔记_剧情_1905电影网". www.1905.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-08-11.
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