Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
poingnant account of 1950's Hong Kong family still relevant
on 25 October 2001
I first found this funny, sad, poignant book while living in Hong Kong and highly recommend it to anyone interested in the place, or simply looking for a cracking good read. It's set around an eccentric chinese family living in an old, atmospheric and crumbling house (of the kind, alas, that has been completely eliminated from Hong Kong's neighborhoods) and describes their personalities and eccentricities in clean, clear prose. I was surprised by how many of the details (people's actions, attitudes) were still relevant to the Hong Kong of the late nineties (and probably today). I feel I saw and met many members of Timothy Mo's fictional family in and about the city during my residence. This book is also good because it does not sentimentalize or pull any punches in its description of Hong Kong, and gives quite a true picture of the place, at least to this expat. If you like this book, try Austin Coates' Myself a Mandarin and Paul Theroux's Kowloon Tong, both excellent, insightful, accurate and, like Timothy Mo, just a plain good read.