Well its Paul Theroux so: well written, unsparing, and somewhat bizarre. Also, now, years after Britain’s “handover” of Hong Kong to China, and in light of the 2019 protests it’s quite relevant.
The story of the Handover plays out in the domestic and business dynamics of a Factory owning family, a middle aged mamma’s boy and his horrible controlling widowed mother. She’s bigoted, lower class, British; She uses her colonist privilege among the Hong Kong Chinese to effect the trappings of a repulsively genteel lifestyle. He is a repressed bachelor who uses his position as factory owner (he owns half the factory with a Chinese Hong Kong man) to seduce women who work at the factory. The mother wants to sell the factory to the Chinese and he wants to keep it in the family. And keep his lifestyle.
It’s a dramatic tale and an enjoyable read.