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Publisher's Summary

Jim is separated from his parents in a world at war. To survive, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him.

Shanghai, 1941 -- a city aflame from the fateful torch of Pearl Harbor. In streets full of chaos and corpses, a young British boy searches in vain for his parents. Imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp, he is witness to the fierce white flash of Nagasaki, as the bomb bellows the end of the war...and the dawn of a blighted world.

Ballard's enduring novel of war and deprivation, internment camps and death marches, and starvation and survival is an honest coming-of-age tale set in a world thrown utterly out of joint.

©1987 J. G. Ballard (P)1987 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"An outstanding novel...a classic adventure story." (The New York Times)
"A profound and moving work of the imagination." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"An incredible literary achievement....Brilliant." (Anthony Burgess)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    30
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    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    35
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    7
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    3
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    2
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    1

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    27
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    16
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Abridged version kind of ruins it.

I love this book and found the abridged version sort of disappointing. I wish there was an unabridged one. The narration by Jeremy Irons is great though. Consequently I would recommended reading the book rather that listening to abridged version. I added it to my library because it was inexpensive and I had a $10 credit. Wish I had not.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

empire of the sun

Only giving it 4/5 because it's abridged. Why do they do this?
This is one that you will listen to a couple of times. Well done.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amber
  • Fort Collins, CO, United States
  • 09-02-11

A nice surprise

I will admit, I bought this book just because Jeremy Irons was narrating. He doesn't disappoint, but as well as being treated to hours of Jeremy Irons I found a fantastic little story about how war looks through the eyes of a child. It's an incredible look into how adaptable children are, and how quickly something that would leave an adult quaking can become just another every day thing. It's scary, but leaves you with a lot to think about.

Great story, I'm very glad I downloaded this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

never again abridged

Jeremy Irons is the best, but it was tough keeping up with the abridge jumps

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Nate
  • Eagle Mountain, UT, United States
  • 03-22-16

Wish it was unabridged

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I wouldn't recommend any abridged book to a friend, that's just not nice.

What did you like best about this story?

The story.

Which scene was your favorite?

There were a lot of them I liked, they were just too short.

Do you think Empire of the Sun needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, but the unabridged version would be nice.

Any additional comments?

I like the story a lot, just not the abridged version. You might as well just watch the movie. It has young batman in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Well done

I grew up on this story. Listening to the audiobook made it new somehow. Wonderful narration.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

great story and narration

remember this is the abridged edition, some parts of story are missing. great narration with emotion and " English " intelligence