Sunday, 12 April 2009

Empire of the Sun

Title: Empire of the Sun

Author: JG Ballard

Number of pages: 351

Started: 5 April 2009

Finished: 12 April 2009

Opening words:

Wars came early to Shanghai, overtaking each other like the tides that raced up the Yangtze and returned to this gaudy city all the coffins cast adrift from the funeral piers of the Chinese Bund.

Plot summary:

The heartrending story of a British boy's four-year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. Based on J. G. Ballard's own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy's life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai - a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint. Rooted as it is in the author's own disturbing experience of war in own time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered but judged.

Read an interview with JG Ballard and some background on the book here.

What I thought:

This book was ok, but not one that I really got into. It was a fairly good story, but I don’t think I particularly liked the style in which the story was told. Perhaps it was more of a "boys story”.

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