If you have comments or questions specific to an episode, leave it on the blog post for that episode. That way, everyone can benefit from your wisdom and we can have more active discussions. I just ask that you keep comments civil and constructive. If there’s something you think I should do or do better, I’d love to hear your suggestion.

For general questions and comments, please e-mail 3kingdomspodcast[at] I will try to answer as many and as quickly as I can.

Also, if you are on Twitter, look me up at @RO3Kpodcast. We are also on Facebook and Google Plus.

63 thoughts on “Contact

  1. I have been interested in this period of Chinese history for a long time now. I finally got myself a copy of a translation and your podcasts are helping me make sense of it all. thank you so much! I eventually want to learn the language to read a version that isnt a translation. Cant wait for the newepisodes to download.

    1. Thanks for listening and commenting, Keith. And enjoy the translation. Even being someone who grew up reading Chinese, the Chinese version of the novel can be difficult to understand at times because it’s written in an archaic style. But there’s a beautifully efficient and poetic rhythm to it as well.

  2. Wow, this is absolutely fantastic. I’m a self-taught (for many years) lover of Chinese literature. I have read Xi You Ji and Shui Hu Zhuan, but I hadn’t read any Chinese for many years. Now I’m retired and wanted to get to the other big two novels, Hong Lou Meng and San Guo Yan Yi. I just started San Guo and your podcasts and maps and character lists are going to be very, very helpful. I’m really grateful that you are taking the time to do this – Chinese culture is so complex and inter-related that it’s tough for an outsider to see all the links, allusions, and connections without a guide. Thanks a million.


    1. Thanks Bill! I’m glad to hear my podcast and related materials are helpful. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never read Hong Lou Meng (was a bit too grown up for me when I lived in China). I want to get to it someday, but we’ll see how much Chinese I still remember by then. Thanks for listening and commenting.

  3. My boyfriend and I love Romance of the Three Kingdoms – we have read the novels countless times (English translations). We love your podcast, and can’t wait for more!

  4. Hey really appreciate making a podcast on trying to tell the story in your own way! I was interested in reading the story but never found a good foothold to actually start on. Hopefully with the podcast, I can get a better idea on what the novel is like. Going to start listening from the start and wondering how in-depth you are going to be with overall events.

    1. Hi Adam. Thanks for listening and commenting! To your question about how in-depth I’m going to be, I’ve been following the novel pretty closely. There are some tangential details that I’ve omitted, like places where the novel rattles off long lists of names of people who are mentioned once and never heard from again, just to help keep us from being bogged down by minutiae.

  5. thank you so much for putting these together. I understand it is a lot of effort and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you are doing. Listening to your podcast prior to reading has really helped me comprehend and retain information better. Your style and approach are well suited for a western audience and that is definitely filling a gap. THANK YOU!

  6. I really enjoy the podcast, it helps me get through a long day at work. I never thought I would have found a podcast on this period of Chinese history.

  7. Thank you, John, for this podcast. This is exactly what I was looking for. Since a long time I am interested in the book and the time period. However I was intimidated by the age and length of the book and the numerous characters, which are difficult to differentiate for non-Asians.
    I have just listened to the first four episodes and I like it a lot. It’s great!

  8. Thank you John for this awesome podcast of the ROTK story. I’ve watched the Chinese Movie version numerous times (both dubbed in Vietnamese and thru English subtitles). I’ve even brought the English Novel version but never had the chance to read it. Your podcast is perfect for my drives to and from work and I really enjoy your explanations and humor. I’m on episode 4 right now and can’t wait to listen to more. I will be really sad when I catch up to your latest episodes and will have to wait for more lol. Great work and thank you so much for your dedication and determination to make this podcast for us listeners.

  9. I have always been interested in this period and recently come across your podcast. I am so great full and think you are doing a wonderful job.

    1. Thanks Robert! If you haven’t already, you should also check out Laszlo Montgomery’s “The China History Podcast”. Among the things he has done is a chronological series of episodes examining in a fair amount of details each of China’s dynasties, so it would be a good way to learn more about this era.

  10. I’m working as an oral English teacher in China and majored in literature so I’ve been working through some classics of Chinese lit (what little I learned before coming here was a few Li Bai poems). This podcast has been great for me as I’ve been reading through an English translation of the Three Kingdoms and sometimes get a little lost just reading on my own. Not to mention, all the references I have started to pick up on when I turn on the TV or my students pull out their history textbooks. Thank you so much for making this huge novel more accessible, which in turn has enriched my time in China!

    1. Hi Jamie. Glad to hear the podcast is helping you with reading the book. Hope you’re enjoying your time in China. Thanks for checking out the show!

  11. Thank you so much for doing this podcast. I tried to read the books (in English) a few times but I find it very hard to keep going after a few chapters. Your podcast is very enjoyable. I’m on episode 6 now and been listening on the way to and from work.

  12. Hi! Just want to tell you how much I love your podcast and website!!

    I live in Macao, and have been keen to read the Chinese classics… but always feel overwhelmed by how much I don’t know and don’t get. Your work has been invaluable in helping me wrap my arms around it.

    Thank you for bringing this to life!

  13. Hi I’m a big fan. I checked out your professional web site and just want to say I ( and I’m sure a lot of others) really appreciate the effort you put into this while juggling all your other endeavors. As a person who has been a fan of the dynasty warriors games since they started it’s an awesome thing to have the story behind it told in such an amazing way. I’ve recommended it to a couple people who have similar interests. Thank you so much and please keep it up

  14. Just started listening. This is really well done and gives me a chance to enjoy this book which is a rather rough read in English. Thanks

  15. More commentary please. Love the story telling but would love it if you could provide more commentary throughout the story. Also, it would be nice if we can get a complete list of characters with pictures because it’s so hard to keep track of who’s who (mainly the supporting characters) and on top of that they have very difficult names.

  16. I’d just like to say. Big fan of listening to your podcast. Really great work putting it together in such an excellent and even at times humourous and relateable way that is interesting and palletable for me as a Western listener. Great work.

    BP – Big respect from England

  17. just found your podcast while surfing for information about this novel. i have to say i am impressed. your style is really simple and having the transcript helps me focus and absorb more of what you are saying. so thank you for that.

    i have a question however. i decided to both listen to your podcast and read a translation of the novel (using the moss roberts translation now) but i cant help but notice the names are styled different and sometimes, dont look alike. so my question is, do you know of a translation that styles the names like you do? and more in general, which translation do yo think is best to get into the book? thanks for all your hard work. i know you have inspired and helped many of us to get more into this amazing novel, and Chinese culture in general.

  18. Hi!

    I have been meaning to ask whether you can recommend any adaptations (or even partial adaptations of just the most famous events) for kids? Hoping for a book that suits 8 – 12 yo range… but even a bunch of different picture books would work. I’ve been searching, but can’t find anything more than a single comic about Guan Yu. :-/

    Thank you again for this fab podcast!!

  19. Thank you for podcast,

    What is especially nice is the comparison of the true history vs novel. Nicer still are the commentaries/explainations of Chinese cultures/beliefs/ideas that are encountered in the novel.

    Not a critique, however, an enhancement: as another listener mentioned, it would be quite beneficial if there was more of that explaination. Especially for those listeners who are using this novel as a means to understand Chinese culture – vs direct interest in the story.

    Also – have you considered starting podcasts on the Water Margin or Journey to the West after R3K is completed?

    1. Thanks for the feedback, R3K. As for a podcast on the Water Margin, yeah, definitely have thought about it, but gotta get this podcast done first 🙂

  20. I just found this site and I’ve loved every episode so far. Thank you for taking time out of your day to do this. The way you present the novel is engaging and well thought out.

    This is probably one best presentations of RoTK that I’ve ever had.

    Keep up the hard work, John.

    1. Hi Susan. Yes, ROTK is quite bloody and sorely lacking in female characters. We actually discussed the latter aspect when I was interviewed on the Sinica Podcast. Given that it was written in the 1300s about events in the 200s, it’s not exactly a place to look for progressive values.

  21. hey man! just started listening and great stuff! Are you active in any forums that discuss 3 kingdoms stuff like Scholars of Shen Zhou?

  22. Hi John, New listener here, heard you talking with the boys at the Sinica podcast Kaiser & Jeremy so I thought to have a listen. It’s great! Love your style of story telling! Thanks so much for making this entertaining version of the historic story available to people like me.
    I’ve been living in China for close to 20 years now and enjoy hearing about it’s history and culture whenever I can. I’ve read about more modern history at the request of my wife when she was still my girlfriend back in 1997 in order to help my understand the culture a bit and since then enjoy trying to add to that understanding.
    Thanks again!

  23. I just want to thank you for your time in making this podcast. As someone with no background in Chinese history or literature, it was daunting to try to break into this story. I had hoped there was some reference that I could listen to as a primer before I start over and read the text myself — and I found something better than I could have hoped for!
    I am only on episode 7 but am thoroughly enjoying your retelling of the series and like your commentaries. It feels like an oral telling of the story which I think makes it more accessible. Keep up the amazing work!

  24. I heard your interview on Sinica and started listening with my 7th grader each morning as we drive to his school. It’s a ten minute drive, so I think we’ll finish your podcast about the time he graduates high school (but seriously, we are going to do full episodes this summer). He read War and Peace in sixth grade and is really excited thanks to you to take on Romance of the Three Kingdoms at some point soon. We aren’t daunted because we have this excellent website to check maps, names, connections, and legos. Thanks so much for this labor of love.

    1. Hi Charles. Thank you for checking out the show and for the nice comment. It’s wonderful to hear that you’re listening to this with your son. I hope my own child will get into this story one day (she’s still way too young right now).

  25. Hi John,

    I’ve just started listening to your podcasts and I’m truly enjoying them. I’ve read Moss Roberts abridge and unabridge version of the story. If you had to choose a favourite officer, who would it be?

    By the by, you need to ask your wife where she got those lego figures, i’ve searched high and low.

    Great work.

    Stephen, England

  26. Hi John,

    Exceptional work! I’ve just made it past the 100th episode and am enthralled so far. I grew up playing Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV and have played up to XI(that is when the English translations stop). I have also played Dynasty Warriors but it was too hack and slash for me. I couldn’t recommend playing the ROTK series enough. It is a strategy game that gives much background and insight to all of the characters. ROTK XI was made by KOEI and was only released in Japanese, though a dedicated group of gamers/coders translated it into English. I believe it is also the only PC version of the game. Fortunately/unfortunately the English version of the game can only be accessed by torrents so you are unable to support the developers.

    I would recommend anyone who is struggling to put names to faces to give this game a go.

    Keep up the amazing work John!


    1. Edit: After some research I discovered Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII is available for purchase on steam and is English.

  27. Hi, John.
    Thanks for your effort on making such wonderful retelling story! I am a Chinese guy who is not good at expressing things in English thinking. As one of fans of Three kingdoms stories, I love it deeply since I was very young. I can not help reading and thinking it through every piece that impressed me. your work on this episode helped me a lot in building up English thinking. Eventually, I hope that you can make new Chinese classic Novels such as red chamber dream, journey to the west etc. I am gonna make economic support for you by then.

  28. This is such an awesome podcast. I’ve always been a fan of all this since I can remember. By the way, where can I find the DVD set of Three Kingdoms from 2010. Referring to the TV Series.

  29. Hello John. I know it’s been a long time coming since you are about to come to an end of this awesome project but I want to say how grateful I am for you to have created this podcast and how the quality of each episode has always been terrific.

    As a Chinese person whose parents are very traditional but didn’t raise me in the same vein I grew up not learning how to read or write even speak proper Mandarin or Cantonese, your podcast has been the perfect way for me to experience the story of the 3 kingdoms. Being quite young,(19 this year) I learned of the story through video games and the fun I had playing those games at an early age led to many of the story’s famous characters such as Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Cao Cao being very nostalgic to me ironically enough.

    When i decided a year ago that I was going to try to experience the story myself one way or another I happened to stumble upon your podcast and incredible and makes me want to read the text myself someday. Again I’d just like to thank you for the dedicated work you’ve put in and I wanted you to know that your podcast has done wonders to allow to experience the story fully in an english medium. I actually feel somewhat proud to be able to recant some of the story to my Mom and older brother.

    Thanks for all the great work John!!

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