©1962 James Clavell; (P)1999 Books on Tape
"Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Scintillating...vibrant...expert." (Washington Post)
"A dramatic, utterly engrossing novel...harsh and brutal in its revelations...James Clavell is a spellbinding storyteller, a brilliant observer, a man who understands much and forgives much." (New York Times)
I knew I liked King Rat, but after listening to the audiobook I seem to like it even more than I thought I did! The inclusion of the womens' chapters provides a striking improvement on the only version I knew about before looking up the audiobook. I never thought Clavell wrote particularly compelling female characters, but these go some way to dispelling that feeling. I'm surprised that they were left out of any version of the book.
I have mixed feelings about the reader. I very much like his voice when he's reading narration, or Marlowe or some of the other more educated English or Australian characters. I think I'd like to listen to him read non-fiction, if he's done any. When he reads character voices far removed from his own though, like the American or Japanese accents, or any of the women, sometimes it comes across as cartoonish, almost embarassing to listen to. In general I think it's perfectly acceptable not to try character voices, if the result would not be extremely good. There are many readers who can pull it off, but it's an extra; a poor character voice or accent is more detrimental to a reading more than a nonexistent one.
David Case does an excellent job narrating this book. There are some problems with the production and occasionally there is a substantial variation in volume. It is, nonetheless, easy to listen to.
This is a wonderful rendition of the horrors of the Japanese imprisonment of its prisoners of war during World War II. You will remember to hate to Japanese of that era after finishing this book. It is not just a book reminding us of the malevolence of Imperial Japan; it is a wonderful story of the ability of certain men to succeed in awful circumstances where they might otherwise not succeed in more normal circumstances.
I read his book 40 years ago as a teenager. It seems to be the case that my memory of books read many years ago is flawed, in general. I did not remember how "black" this book was.
After listing to this, I intend to purchase all of Mr. Clavell's books. Parenthetically, since the 2 other Clavell books available on Audible cost 3 credits, I will borrow them from my local library.
I highly recommend purchasing this book (2 credits).
I have already
The complex King Rat and Grey
Yes - he's consistent and a joy to listen to
Going back to read the entire Asian series
seldom listen to any book again because I know the storyline.
when the japs found the radio, and Marlow and his 2 pals were left in their hut instead of being taken away?????
adds to, rather than detracts from the story. Very fine dialects
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