King Rat Hardcover – Large Print, Jun 1984
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|Hardcover, Large Print, Jun 1984||
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From Library Journal
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A magnificent novel.”—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
“Tension wound up to the snapping point.”—Christian Science Monitor
"Breathtaking....worth every word, every ounce, every penny."—Associated Press --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
- It was written first, with less connections to the rest of the series.
- It's the shortest of the lot.
- It's the most autobiographical, as Clavell spent time in that same prison.
- There is the least cross-cultural interaction.
Having said all of this, this WWII POW survival story is a compelling study of what people do to survive. In a sense, we all become rats, with one as king. Much of the book studies the manipulations between folks vying for power. There are the Americans trying to enforce prison standards. There are people living off of rank to hold a grasp of dignity. And then there is the King of the title, who finds a way to transcend above the problems, living off the black market and a network of informants.
We are introduced to the character that most closely resembles Clavell in this novel too. Though he reappears in Noble House, we first catch the author as the King's sidekick, a downed soldier who has to struggle with where his loyalties are.
I can not recommend the series enough. Whether you go through it chronologically as written, or in the order of time periods written about, you'll find this a deep addition to the series.
Mr clavel who actually went through all this, has written the book with an emotion (cant tell axactly is it anger or nostalgia)
The book is a must read for every book lover
It's a fantastic character study written in such a flat, Hemingwayesque prose that it cracked me up for being so alike sometimes. It felt almost like a parody. It's a strange feeling reading something so close in style and philosophy to ol Ernie,but KING RAT was my first Clavell and it sure won't be my last. He's too much fun not to read. What are you worth in a society that doesn't think, act and structures your life with meaningless titles and perceived value? It's the kind of fun questions James Clavell answers with KING RAT.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not an epic, despite this being his most personal story. However, Clavell fans will not be disappointed. The protagonist thinks two steps ahead of everyone else (I would hate to play chess with the author) and I would not be surprised if King's shrewdness was a precursor to Toranaga in Shogun. Any less qualified author would have made this story into glorified genre pulp. For those struggling for a visual reference, think Bridge on the River Kwai and Pappilon. A great read and highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
Not as good as the original King Rat. Too much sidetracking with the wives at home and such and not sticking to the story.Published 3 months ago by Harold Watkins
It is a historical novel. It is a powerful story of survival that unflolds within a Japanese war camp during WWII. It is an astonishing weave of raw emotions and motivation. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Karl_
Great book! This particular copy had a strange misprint resulting in about 100 pages to be slightly offset on the vertical ( e.g. Read morePublished 6 months ago by CanonSherpa
James Clavell's stunning book on the brutal life inside a Japanese prison war camp during WW2. Gritty and compelling, it the the story of how soldiers survive, the upper crust... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Carole P. Roman
Story was exciting, lots of plot. Excellent work creating real characters participating in believable war time actions. James Clavell is an excellent author.Published on Dec 9 2013 by t123