John Denton lands in famed Shanghai in 1903, a young customs officer newly assigned. A "griffin," green and inexperienced, he struggles to adapt to the roiling city. Tailors live and sleep on the floor of their employers' shops, and onlookers dip money in the blood of freshly beheaded pirates to make the bills lucky. The life teeming in the city's narrow streets and grand boulevards is beyond exotic. Shanghai's fascinations are of another world. Denton, the expatriate, thrives in China and remains, acquiring wealth and power, children, a mistress. Shanghai claims him, body and soul. This epic novel spans the most volatile decades of China's existence and reveals to us its amazingly cosmopolitan heart. Shanghai was an international bestseller and is available again for the first time in a decade.