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Foreign Bodies

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Trouble often comes with a late-night phone call. So it comes to Mei, a twenty-something Singaporean lawyer about to face the greatest trial of her life. Her English boyfriend Andy, working in Singapore as a teacher, has been arrested, accused of masterminding an international betting ring. Under Singapore's draconian system of justice, he has but nine short days to prove ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Washington Square Press (first published 1997)
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Matt Ely
Feb 03, 2016 Matt Ely rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, fiction
This is a unique book.

That's not clear at first though. In the first hundred pages, I kept wondering what the relative fuss was about. It just seemed like a pretty boilerplate character study framed by a crime mystery. But stick with it, the book is so much more than that! The surface descriptions of life in Singapore or England are just window dressing for a chilling and powerful reflection on modern life. It allows for a lot of mystery, refusing to give the satisfying answers we want because
Jul 18, 2010 Joel rated it liked it
Snappy but full of feeling. A bit showy. Heavy theme -- basically an exploration of "vengeance is mine, saith the lord" from the perspective of the frustrated and wronged. Tan writes so eloquently about Christianity that I assume she must have been a Christian at some point. Now I hear she is some kind of Buddhist guru??!?
Lynn Lipinski
Jul 25, 2011 Lynn Lipinski rated it really liked it
Good, fast-paced GenX novel/mystery, surrounding three friends coping with one's arrest for gambling in Singapore. Unexpectedly good, almost Raymond Chandler-esque writing, interesting religious twists. A mystery novel not quite like any other I've read.
Suzanne Kelly
Jan 27, 2016 Suzanne Kelly rated it it was ok
At times very readable, at other times this book dragged. i did not like the ending at all.
Jun 13, 2014 Amber rated it liked it
Quite a good book if you're interested in Singaporean culture. OK book if you're just looking to read a book.
I REALLY disliked this book. It's a thin story about a young woman in Singapore and two good friends. But the message is heavily Christian as is the unlikely and unbelievable "climax." Of course the guy doesn't mind spending time in prison for a crime he didn't commit because now he has religion. What really bothered me was this book was not identified on the cover as Christian lit. Don't read it.
Feb 16, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
I read this in college and felt it worth mentioning because it's still on my bookshelf and I've re-read it many times. Certainly it's not the most well-written story, but it captured my thinking in a way that nothing else had. The two main characters work through a rocky relationship and salvation comes when they least expect it.
Aug 26, 2010 Becca rated it liked it
I read this in college & really enjoyed it ... but am having trouble remembering much about it now. I remember enjoying the multinational expatriate context. It seemed young, modern & fresh.
May 01, 2011 stevenallenmay rated it did not like it
I didn't like it. The backstories dominated the book and the actual main thread wasn't terribly long - i won't recommend it.
Apr 25, 2010 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: once-owned
I really enjoyed this novel, even though sometimes I got pretty frustrated with the characters. But that's real. :P
Bo White
Mar 05, 2011 Bo White rated it really liked it

I liked it....and have been thinking about it again recently, so will likely re-read it soon.
Dan Piette
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Hwee Hwee Tan grew up in Singapore and the Netherlands. She studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She published her first novel, Foreign Bodies (Penguin), at age twenty-two, while still a graduate student at the University of Oxford. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at New York University, where she won the New York Times Fellowship for Fiction. She now lives in Singap ...more
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