Guardian Newspaper 1000 Novels discussion

Empire of the Sun
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Longer Reads > August/September - Empire of the Sun

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Debbie This is our chosen book for August/September reads from the War and Travel category.


Leslie | 825 comments I picked this up at the library. Will start tomorrow...


Leslie | 825 comments Well, the group has gone ominously quiet...

I read this but haven't been posting as much recently due to some family issues.

I found the historical aspects of the Japanese invasion of China & Shanghai in particular the most interesting part of the book. I had a hard time relating to the main character Jim -- his admiration for the Japanese was understandable but still stuck in my throat a bit.


message 4: by Kaycie (last edited Sep 22, 2014 03:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kaycie | 455 comments Mod
Hi all! I actually just stumbled upon this thread after joining this month and reading the book.

I found the historical aspects of the Japanese invasion of China & Shanghai in particular the most interesting part of the book.

I absolutely agree! I didn't really know anything at all about this, so reading the book was extremely enlightening.

I had a hard time relating to the main character Jim

I also agree with this, and it was my biggest issues with the book. I read books like this over nonfiction to see what it would be like to be there, but I really felt like I was just reading a narrated historical textbook. Jim offers no insights as to what he might be feeling (besides hunger) at any given point, and those are the parts I wanted. I wanted to know things like how afraid one might be if their parents and all of their friends went missing. Or if that fear abates any after years in a war camp. But we got none of that from Jim. To him, it was just a recounting of facts. I have felt more moved by the feelings someone has had doing mundane everyday tasks than I did at any point listening to Jim's narrative, which (considering the subject matter) is quite a letdown for me.


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