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This review is from: The Singapore Grip (Paperback)
15 August 2000
I SIMPLY CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS WONDERFUL STORY HIGHLY ENOUGH. I bought it purely on 'spec' as I was hunting around Amazon for any book on Singapore or the Far East (I was in a nostalgic mood for the exotic orient - probably our lousy summer weather here in the Uk did it). This book turned out to be an absolute treasure - Singapore in the last months before the fall to the Japanese is brought to life with remarkable vividness and the most loving detail. This is a truly compelling tale, by turns deeply poignant, hilarious, slap-stick, and bitterly ironic. Draped everywhere are succulent vignettes of colonial life and English eccentricity, all set against the dramatic, vast, dark tableau of the looming war in South-east Asia. It is a very clever and cleverly told story too. But the characters are the real strength here - it is a real ensemble piece, with a large and varied cast of 'players', and they are all so fascinating and three-dimensional you will find yourself completely captivated as you follow their progress and adventures, and watch them interact. An atmospheric, evocative, pungent, compelling, spell-binding book, perfect for tucking up in bed with on a cold rainy night, which will utterly absorb you into its streets and settings. I EXHORT YOU to order this book. J.G. Farrell was unknown to me before I stumbled across this book here at Amazon, and now I shall be ordering a couple more of his books next. The Singapore Grip is supposedly one of three books by Farrell referred to by critics as Farrell's 'Empire Trilogy' - guess what I'm ordering next!