#69. Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard

Pages: 351
Finished: Sept. 8, 2007
Reason for Reading: this book was chosen for me in the Go Review That Book game thread at Library Thing, and it is a read for the Book Awards Challenge
First Published: 1984
Genre: historical fiction
Awards: Guardian Fiction Prize (shortlisted for the Booker Prize)
Rating: 3/5

First Sentence:

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.

Comments: On the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, all European and American persons in Japanese occupied China were herded into internment camps. This is the story of one boy's war, eleven-year-old Jim who is separated from his parents on that fateful day. First living by his wits on the streets, a foreigner in the country in which he was born, and then later joining other British and Americans in an internment camp where he is used by everyone. This is a story of war and is a dark story, which progressively gets darker and darker. It was a good read but not a page-turner nor did it particularly touch me. I wish we had been given deeper insight into the other characters feelings and I had hoped for more by the ending. Nevertheless, a good read and an interesting point of view of World War II.

As an aside, I have seen the movie though only the once way back when it came out. I think I may like to see it again, now that I've read the book.


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