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Incident at Badamya

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  614 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
1950 Burma: Gen Ferris, 16, must flee after her missionary father commits suicide. Her knapsack holds $100 US, a slingshot, a magical Burmese puppet, and the New York City, USA address of an unknown aunt. Imprisoned with six other lost travelers by Red Chinese, she vows to escape; never dreaming who will come to her aid.
Paperback, 1st Ballantine Books edition, 224 pages
Published February 28th 1990 by Fawcett Publishing (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

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May 04, 2011 Ryan rated it it was amazing
This is one of my regular re-reads - I was surprised it hadn't already been added because I read it 3 or 4 times per year. Its a great story about a young American girl, raised in Burma during WWII, and who is now an orphan, trying to leave. I have no idea how accurate it is about Burma, but I don't think that accuracy is important to me - it is plausible and I love it because it is full of magic, discovery, and reminds me that God has not abandoned me simply because my life feels out of my cont ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this to all Dorothy Gilman fans - who, of course, should read everything she's ever written. This isn't her typical mystery or spy thriller - if that's how you think of the Mrs. Pollifax books. This does have the exotic setting and an unlikely hero with great survival skills. It also has a touch of mysticism and a great supporting cast of interesting characters.
Diane Lynn
What a wonderful story. A seemingly disparate group of travelers come together at a remote temple on the Irrawaddy River in Burma. It's 1950 and they aren't there because they want to be. Very well done!
Jan 22, 2011 Kyrie rated it it was amazing
This book is my absolute favorite Dorothy Gilman. A 16 year old girl's father kills himself in Thailand and now she has to get herself out of the country and to her American aunt (who she's never met). She's captured by the Red Chinese, along with other tourists, and how they survive and eventually escape is just great fiction, with a bit of paranormal wonder thrown in. Like most of my favorite books, I'm not doing the story justice. It's really good, though.
Sheryl Tribble
Mar 07, 2014 Sheryl Tribble rated it liked it
I was in the mood for a mystery and it was not a mystery (nor did I think it would be), but it was quite satisfying because it gave me a similar feeling of closure -- which some of Dorothy Gilman's non-Pollifax mysteries don't always accomplish, actually, so rather unexpected.

I generally enjoy Gilman's books and this one was no exception. I don't share Gilman's view of reality or theological opinions, but I share her mood somehow and so am comfortable in her world. Nothing in her books is ever s
Sherrill Watson
Dec 16, 2015 Sherrill Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I only went to the "Dorothy Gilman" area in the library looking for any Mrs. Pollifax that I'd mIssed, and came home with this. Am I glad I did! Wonderful writer! Incidentally, Burma became Myanmar in 1984.

How she manages to isolate the VERY disparate characters, retain their personalities, and have them go back into their former lives at the end of the book, changed, is completely masterful. Loved the touch of paranormal (which MIGHT have been possible --- have you ever seen a thamma diva?) in
Sep 16, 2015 LobsterQuadrille rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: suspense/mystery fans
I nearly ended up setting this book aside altogether because it was so slow in the beginning, but after Gen was captured by Burmese insurgents and met the six other prisoners, the story really took off! All seven of them were interesting, complex characters with their own hidden strengths and struggles. Their interactions, even if they were just arguing or telling stories, were fascinating to read, and I enjoyed seeing how their relationships evolved. I liked the magic and suspense elements of ...more
Shannon Duane
Jun 22, 2016 Shannon Duane rated it it was amazing
I've read this many times and just bought myself another copy because it's not on kindle (boo!) so I could read it again. I started with the mrs. Pollifax books, of course, and somehow picked this one up at some point in my teens in the mid 90's.

It is, very simply, a magical and beautiful book. If you are open to mysticism and accepting of karma and supernatural elements, you will like this book. If you don't like those types of things, I don't think this is the book for you.

And on my most rec
Mar 16, 2016 Teri-k rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
This is a difficult book to describe. It is, indeed, a story set in the 1950's of a 16 year-old American girl, born and raised in Burma, who must make her way to American after her father dies. And she is captured and held, along with others, in the Burmese countryside. But it's also the story of each of her fellow captives, and how the time they spend together reveals and changes them.

Probably most readers of this book will be fans of the author's Mrs. Pollifax series, and they should understan
Sep 22, 2012 Lois rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story... sticks in the corners of your mind and heart.

Dorothy Gilman is especially known for her Mrs. Pollifax novels. When she broke out into other stories, she was a wonderful writer. I love her international outlook on life.
Mark Oppenlander
Jul 31, 2016 Mark Oppenlander rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure
Gen Ferris is a 16-year-old American living in a remote village in Burma with her widowed missionary father. When her Dad commits suicide, Gen must take her sparse belongings - a knapsack, a slingshot, $100 and a magical Burmese puppet - and try to make her way out of the country. But the year is 1950, and there is a Civil War going on; travel through the countryside is difficult and dangerous. Gen finds herself a captive of Red Chinese forces, along with several other Americans and Europeans. T ...more
Jun 10, 2011 Kristine rated it liked it
Fun and unexpected ending. I enjoyed learning a bit more about Burma. I liked how the characters developed through the book.
Apr 20, 2016 Melinda rated it really liked it
This was so enthralling that I wish I was just starting it. I will be reading this again.
Zodama Bug
Jun 02, 2010 Zodama Bug rated it it was amazing
unique storyline and excellent assortment of characters
May 15, 2009 Em7ar7 rated it it was amazing
One of my most favorite books!
Sep 20, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
This is a hard book to review because I read it when I was not feeling well and did nothing else but read the book most of the day. I was captivated. There is a simplicity about the story and a long-used device of bringing together a group of people with disparate backgrounds and secrets who all manage to grow from the experience. The ending is handled beautifully.

The book is set in Burma after WW II and, typical of most Americans, I have very little knowledge of that time and place. The chaos i
Jan 28, 2016 Tricia rated it liked it
Quotes / sections I want to keep track of:

[Hamlin asks Gen if she's ever seen a deva, p 33:] She decided that she didn't dare to talk about this, she knew very well what he had seen at the cave but a person didn't speak of these matters without offending the devas or courting the ill will of the nats. In an offhand voice she said "My father used to say how different time is here, it used to make him angry, it moves so slowly here, you see. But I think when times moves slowly --" She hesitated. "
Jan 18, 2015 Jacquie rated it liked it
This has been in my book library since it came out in 1989, but I found I did not remember the story at all. I was so into the Mrs. Pollifax series (living in DC made the setting of those books a bonus), that when her "other" books came out I bought and read them but quickly I am sure. I was surprised today to find out this is a good read all on it's own, and having certain Mrs. Pollifax type characters in the book made it that much more enjoyable.
Jenn Estepp
Sep 27, 2015 Jenn Estepp rated it really liked it
It's a very different sort of Gilman tale, but one in which it's easy to see the threads of her other work. Very affecting. I loved that, rather than being a sort of rip-roaring adventure story, it was more a tale of a group of people who come together and make connections under incredibly trying circumstances.
May 05, 2014 Viji rated it really liked it

An enjoyable story of a resourceful young girl's travel from a remote village in Burma to Rangoon on her way to her American aunt. She is kidnapped with a group of Europeans and Americans by the insurgents. How she rescues everyone and go to Rangoon is very nicely narrated with a bit of fantasy thrown in.
Jan 02, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who enjoy adventure but not drama
Recommended to Jennifer by: Cathy
This is an adventure story about a young missionary's daughter who grew up in Burma. Her parents now dead, she is coming of age and trying to travel to America, but the country is in a state of civil war and she, along with a group of other Americans, gets kidnapped along the way by insurgents. There is a fantasy subplot that involves puppeteering and Buddhism, but mostly the book focuses on the relationships everyone develops while kept hostage.

Despite the dramatic plot line, the book was not
Mar 29, 2015 Charlene rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
In the 1950s, several different factions are fighting over Burma. Sixteen year old Gen is alone after her father dies, and is trying to get to an aunt in America when she is captured and held prisoner along with others.
Jan 04, 2012 Priscilla rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, owned, lent
A delightful little book. I've only read Mrs. Pollifax books by this author before, and there's the same focus on characters, who are developed better than a still-not-so-bad plot. While the humour of Mrs. Pollifax is slightly missing, it's more than made up by the novelty of seeing people and situations through Gen's eyes -- one minute innocent, childish and even naive, and then the next mature, perceptive and matter-of-fact. A major bonus are the descriptions of scenery and mystical elements t ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Janice rated it really liked it
Young Gen must get out of Burma during a time of great unrest and she needs to help several people captured for ransom along the way. Excellent character study, with a touch of mysticism thrown in.
Love all books by this author and I have read all but 1 or 2 of them, but the best are her Mrs. Pollifax series.
Kenneth Cook
Feb 20, 2014 Kenneth Cook rated it it was amazing
I love her books-have read all the Pollifax books as well as Nun in the Closet, Thales Folly and now this excellent book. Great stories with fascinating characters.
Stephanie Curran
Jan 02, 2016 Stephanie Curran rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I loved the Mrs. Pollifax books, but this book was magical! Wisdom, kan (destiny), and resurrection all conveyed in a beautifully written story.
Candice Mckinney
Dec 31, 2012 Candice Mckinney rated it really liked it
Gen has been living in Burma with her missionary father. When she is 16 he commits suicide and leaves her all alone in a foreign country. She has never meet an Aunt that lives in New York. Gen has her address and 100 dollars to get her there. She sets off and is soon captured along with some Americans from a ship by Red Chinese soldiers. The group has to learn to survive. At first none of them like each other but as they slowly get to know each other things change.

I was interested in reading thi
May 25, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
I was skeptical about reading this because I don't want to get on an author kick as I call it-when I read every book written by one author. I usually get sick of the books halfway through and then the rest of the books are spoiled for me. I decided to read this while my next two Mrs. Pollifax books are on their way through the library coop.

This book takes place in SE Asia in around 1950. A young girl needs to get to New York and has been kidnapped by Communist rebels. The book is basically how
Dec 17, 2015 Angie rated it it was ok
I could not finish this book. It was too weird for me.
Sheryl Rose
Light and escapist, nothing more
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Dorothy Gilman started writing when she was 9. At 11, she competed against 10 to 16-year-olds in a story contest and won first place. Dorothy worked as an art teacher and telephone operator before becoming an author. She wrote children’s stories for more than ten years under the name Dorothy Gilman Butters and then began writing adult novels about Mrs. Pollifax–a retired grandmother who becomes a ...more
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“I wasn't offering her pity," Mrs. Caswell said impatiently. "Tragedies don't interest me, tragedies and heartbreaks are all alike, what matters is how a person meets them, how they survive them. Given the inevitability of losses and disappointments in life, that's where the challenge is and the uniqueness. I was offering her sympathy.” 8 likes
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