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Good for Malaysian History enthusiasts, but can I suggest some alternative reads!
on 7 October 2014
Good for malaysian History enthusiasts!
Hembry wrote this as a family history record - and the family then later published it. This is both its strength and weakness.
Those in search of the "spymaster" narrative don't want to hear the names of their house, dog, neighbours, car. Equally uninformative are the rubber planting arguments with business rivals etc. While for social historians and family memories I can appreciate that these are crucial.
Hembry's witness to the Malaysian occupation in WW2 and subsequent communist emergency is why readers will probably buy this book. So a more forceful editor could have turned this into a greater book.
Don't read this if this is your first search for the story of the occupation and emergency. Instead read the mesmerising account of hiding from the Japanese for 3 years in "The jungle is neutral" by Frederick Spencer Chapman and the page-turning "The War of the Running Dogs: Malaya 1948-1960" by Noel Barber, both six star reads by my rating!