Non-fiction: August 2008 Archives

Mahjong is a popular Chinese game, which was a huge fad in the Western world in 1920s and has since lived through waves of popularity. Currently the game is on the rise again. This handbook is from 1960's, but still very much worth reading. The copy I have says it's first printing from 1964, but I believe 2007 is the correct year.

Whitney covers a form of mahjong that was current in the 1960's, the Japanese classical mahjong. The game isn't played that way in Japan anymore, the more modern riichi mahjong is much more popular there, but it doesn't make this book obsolete (unless you're looking for information on mahjong as played in Japan today), because classical Japanese mahjong is a good mahjong rule set for beginners.

This handbook is a good choice for beginners: the rules explained in the book are simple and sensible, the presentation is excellent and the new edition looks really smart. Whitney covers the basic rules, scoring, offers plenty of alternative and optional rules to spice up the game and the book even has a pretty strong section on beginner mahjong strategy.

So, if you've got a mahjong set and want to learn how to play (perhaps your set came with rules you can't understand), getting Whitney's handbook is a good idea. [ Mah Jong Handbook at ]A Mah Jong Handbook at LibraryThing ]

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