Top positive review
6 of 6 people found this helpful
A beguiling trip to a backwater of Britain's colonial past.
on 29 April 2013
For a short period in 1956 and 1957, Anthony Burgess and my father were friends and regular drinking partners, when Burgess was a lecturer in a Malayan teacher training college. I know these novels well, of course, and bought the trilogy as a gift. It is very much a period piece now, describing a world that is long, long gone. However, Burgess captures brilliantly - and extremely acurately - the atmosphere of the late colonial community - the hot, steamy climate, (meteoroligically, that is), the odd balls and their soured or failing ambitions, the whole strange existence with its almost surreal elements of unreality. I lived through it as a teenager and can vouch for that personally. The first two books are, maybe, more skilfully written than the final volume, partly because of things that were going on in Burgess's own life. But the trilogy is a fine nostalgia trip for anyone who knew the setting, and an entertaining adventure in reading for anyone who doesn't.