“A magnificent novel.”—Washington Post “A dramatic, utterly engrossing novel harsh and brutal in its revelations James Clavell is a spellbinding storyteller. King Rat by James Clavell, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. It should be noted that this was James Clavell’s first book. It was also the first book (though not chronologically) in a series he wrote which.

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Several days later there is another surprise inspection and this time Captain Yoshima, the Japanese officer in charge, finds the wireless radio he has been searching for in the hut Peter Marlowe shares with a number of other officers.

Review of James Clavell’s King Rat

He doesn’t try and draw any moral, and there are no obvious symbolic associations, but at the end I It’s not cool to praise James Clavell – and indeed, Shogun is extremely silly. Review quote “A magnificent novel. One fed off the other, and when the environment is upended, the symbiotic relationship utterly falls apart.

Regardless of how autobiographical the novel is, it’s undeniable that his experience in the prison camp brings this book to life in a way that is at once searing and disturbing. Despite clzvell fearsome reputation, Changi was among the better-run Japanese camps, with only deaths among the 87, prisoners who passed through. In a strange way, I’m going to miss reading about bedbugs, heat, rice, fried eggs, rats, cockroaches, fences, boreholes, sweat, cards, Sarongs, diamonds, Kooa cigarettes, wireless radios, and of course, friendship.

He doesn’t try and draw any moral, and there are no obvious symbolic associations, but at the end I found myself wondering what it was that I wasn’t thinking about because I was so desperate to get enough food to stay alive. It is based in part on the author’s own experiences while being held as a prisoner of war by raf Japanese during World War II. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

A few days later the men are still under hut arrest, and Mac hears that the Japanese have surrendered. It’s the complete flip side to the jaunty and fun “The Great Escape” the screenplay of which, oddly enough, was penned by Clavell. As they are heading back to the village the King notices the radio and becomes angry, telling Marlowe that a radio is the most dangerous thing a prisoner can have and demanding he get rid of it, but Marlowe refuses.


Then he died, food for a stronger. The author was clearly aware of the bad taste left behind when character and morality are tested by suffering, death and uncertainty. Chronological Order 4Asian Saga: Most are fearful of the future, not sure if wives and children survived or waited for them as letters are almost never sent or received through the Japanese.

I suppose the King is a figure of rugged, predatory individualism, traits that are praised in theory but become bad characteristics when the tables get turned and the prey feels empowered. Some might find that James Clavell writes grotesque Hemingwayesque overakills, I thought it was fun. Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. I’m not sure how much is fact or fiction, but think there’s kung fact to put it on my ‘sort-of-nonfiction’ shelf.

The Americans are under the thumb of a superb entrepreneur who manages to have nice clothes, lots of iing and Japanese money through great risk-taking in black market knig of food, soap and medicine. Nor would he think of himself as any of the adjectives I used above. I’m aware it’s a first clxvell and that James Clavell probably evolved afterwards, but holy shit.

The creation of Changi Prison Museum”. Some people on Goodreads mostly men didn’t like having those parts added; they felt it broke the spell. The King was a fairly obvious one to me. Email Facebook Twitter Tumblr Reddit. Clavell’s writing is very good. The extra material are chapters covering the story of some of the women whose men are in the prison camp.

A short time later Captain Yoshima arrives at the bungalow with a squad of guards while Mac, Larkin, and Marlowe are listening to the news from Calcutta and places them fat arrest, but leaves the men — and the radio — there with only a single guard after another guard arrives and whispers something in his ear. Other books in this series.


During his incarceration, he neither sent nor received any. Because of the surrender, all of the Japanese dollars the King was paid for the diamond are worthless, and suddenly men who had always wanted to do business with him, and who had been on his payroll, want nothing to do with him.

Did the camp need the King? Officers from various parts of Britain’s Asian empire, accustomed to having native servants provide them with freshly laundered uniforms daily, are reduced to wearing rags and homemade shoes. The novel opens in early Also, though, I speculate that many soldiers who were gay but unable to be open about it could explore it here.

James Clavell, who passed away inwas the author of many novels including Noble House, Shogun, and Whirlwind — all international bestsellers.

When I read the last few pages, as the POW were being taken away, each of them nursing their own private fears about returning to a home they didn’t know anymore and probably wouldn’t know them, I was deeply moved and those last pages were what makes this book great and not just good. James Clavell is a teller of stories. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. It’s not pleasant, but really good. He could not adapt his skills or his ideas to the new environment.

View the Lesson Plans. Just before he and the King are to meet with Shagata, Marlowe sees the doctor again and is told that the arm has turned gangrenous and will have to come off soon.

Clavell was a prisoner in the Changi Claveell camp that this book centers around. At least I already know they are not set in a prison camp.

King Rat (Clavell novel) – Wikipedia

Ling Post Older Post Home. Follow Us on Facebook. The main question I had at the end of the book was: Of rats and men.

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