Cantonese Literature – The many (free) books of Hong Kong Golden

One of the biggest misconceptions with Cantonese that I always hear is that Cantonese is a spoken only language and it is never written down. While standard Chinese is used for almost all serious documents and books, the fact that Cantonese is never written down is just outright wrong, and if you do some digging there is quite a lot out there.

If you are not at an advanced level yet, then I recommend you check out my resources page for Cantonese. If however, you are past the intermediate stage and looking for some interesting books to sink your teeth into, then keep reading.


Men Can't be Poor (男人唔可以窮) by 薛可正.

There are two volumes to this book, men can't be poor and men can't be poor 2. The first book was so successful it later got adapted into a movie. What's more is a free audio book is avaliable in podcast form from itunes. This book follows the story of 薛可正 (sit3 ho2 zing3), who is unemployed and desperate to join the London Gold company as a broker. The story revolves around the themes of affection, career, love and brotherhood, and reflects many peoples frustrations with life.

To Survive, I have to kill myself first (要生存先要殺死自己) by 孔明

An interesting change from the romance centered books on this list, to survive, I have to kill myself first, revolves around two university students participating in rowing club activities. One day they get caught in a big storm. After drifting for nearly six hours the two end up stranded on an uninhabited island. Further events unfold and after the protaganist witnesses the murder of his female friend, he is now being hunted down on the run for his life.

The Diary of the post Hong Kong Little Man (後香港小男人網上日記) by 栢原太賀

The Diary of the post Hong Kong Little Man revolves around a 30 year old Hong Kong male 阿賓 (aa3 ban1). 阿賓 was a member of the Hong Kong chamber of commerce and industry, he is timid, cowerdly and in a girlfriend forced maraige.

Later in the story he manages to escape the job of junior staff member but encounters setbacks in love when he is forced to choose between two women.

My Fiancee (我老母話我有未婚妻) by 八輩子的約定

My Fiancee is a true story based of off the authur's (八輩子/baat3 biu3 zi2) first love that started four years ago when  Lu Lu's (露露/lou6 lou6) mother passed away.

Most of the stories are actually real events, however to avoid completely exposing the real people, some parts have had to be changed. 

A journey was spoiled by a Kong Gal (個旅程, 俾個港女搞到玩得唔係咁開心) by 張飛人

A journey was spoiled by a Kong gal, is not a story of travel, but a story of love, faith and conflict and follows he story of host 張飛 (zeung1 fei1),  in order to get married to his Christian girlfriend

If you know of any other books in spoken Cantonese please let me know in the comments below, and remember to check out more books and resources on my Cantonese page!