This is a magnificent book. It details the horrors of war and the inhumane conditions POWs were forced to face, but it also is a carefully crafted tale of friendship, and how people can thrive in the most unlikely places. I disagree with the reviewer who thinks it is a depressing book - it is a novel of the human spirit, with a dash of good old capitalism thrown in for good measure.
Again, it is a wonderful book. It will stay with you for a long time.
Over the years I have reread this one several times and continue to be fastinated with this particular work. I, myself, feel this has gained "classic" status and eventhough I hate the term "a must read," but certainly feel this book falls into that category. The work graphically shows just what people will do when faced with circumstances completely out of their control. Recommend this read for any serious student of literature, history, miliary or otherwise, or psychology as well as those simply … more
This book is lumped into the "Asian Saga" series of James Clavell, and yes, it takes place in Asia, but bears no other true resemblance to the rest of the saga. It's shorter, of course, but it's also not an epic...it takes place in a POW camp almost entirely.The character of King, the American trader who lives high-on-the-hog through his wheeling and dealing, is fascinating in the feelings of hatred & envy he generates. Everyone wants to be close to him, not because they like him, but because he … more
If I think of World War II I think of King Rat - a novel of suffering and misery, but also a novel of man's triumph over insurmountable odds, and how life can be good when it really shouldn't be. It is both graphic and wittty, poignant and savage, and it leaves you wishing there was more to the story than you are given. But then that's war isn't it - many of these men lived their lives together and then went home to different lives. It is a great book - read it.
King Rat is named after the central character in Clavell's spellbinding masterpiece about the brutality of prison camp life in Japanese-occupied, World War II Malaya. The King, an American corporal, seeks to dominate both captives and captors by his courage, profound insight into human frailties, and pragmatic American business techniques in a class-ridden society where Japanese and British actions are bound by bankrupt codes of "honor." The novel, originally published in 1962, is made more engrossing by flashbacks to the home front. Reader David Chase superbly transfers Clavell's genius as a writer to this superb audio. His skill lies in communicating the author's uproarious black humor and in his fabulous timing and phraseology. Highly recommended. -James Dudley, Westhampton Beach, NY Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to theAudio Cassetteedition.