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Group Reads > Empire of the Sun *Spoilers*

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
So what did you think? I think there is a lot to discuss for this one. Look forward to seeing what everyone thought of it!

message 2: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) My mind wasn't really set in reading it but I did very much enjoyed it. I thin kthat if I would have read it when Iw as more in the mood I would have given it a higher rating.

message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I felt the same although war stories aren't really my thing. Some parts i found boring but overall i did enjoy it quite a bit.

message 4: by Stuart (new)

Stuart (asfus) | 103 comments I think it comes across as quite tame compared to some of his other novels such as "Crash".

message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I haven't read any of his other novels. I've got Cocaine Nights at home. Have you read that?

message 6: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments Hi sorry I finished it a couple of days ago but haven`t been online...
As you know Jo I had to take a break from this book due to the guilt I was feeling.
I have to say I did enjoy this book much more than I expected to,yes there was areas of tedium in the story but it was based mainly in POW camps so what else could we expect??
I liked the fact that it was written from a childs perspective and I will put more about that in my review....
I will say that I do not think this book showed much of the fighting spirit of the British,maybe it was different if you were fighting the war from home???

message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Am i right in thinking that Jim had never lived in England? Or if he did then it was at such a young age that he had no memory of it. I liked that it portrayed his confusion over which side to be loyal too. He didn't at all feel british. I think that had a lot to do with how he portrayed the british with it being semi autobiographical (if thats even a word!). I guess he just didn't get the whole british fighting spirit thing and just wrote it how he experienced it himself. I'm not sure how much of it actually happened to him. I might be wrong. It's like me for example, i don't know much about the war and being born in the 80's and never knowing anyone that was a part of the war makes me very ignorant to how british people dealt with it.

message 8: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments Hi yeah it is a word Jo,thats an excellent reminder about him never having lived in England but it still does not excuse some of his attitudes but maybe I should be holding his parents more accountable?
It was terrible the way he was left to fend for himself.I do not think that this book is a good representation at all of how we British coped through the War and I would love to read a book baseed on a Homeland British Experience...

message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
No i agree it doesn't show the british in a good light but its very honest. I don't think he intentionally tried to make us all look bad but he told it how it was for him and i respect him for that. I agree though that his parents are a lot to blame for that. You would expect them to try and make him feel proud of being british but he ended up feeling more japanese than anything. It was awful that he had to fend for himself and everyone that he came across either used him or threw him to one side and didn't care about him. I thought the part where he shared a room with that family and they put up a wall so that they could pretend he wasn't there was horrible!

message 10: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments No I do not believe he was intentionally trying to make anyone look bad,he was just telling it as he remmbered and after the experience of the attitude in that room you cannot blame him for wondering who he is supposed to support.I think that that is one of the benefits to this being told from the childs perspective as he has not learnt the art of social lies to attempt to protect himself with.....And at the same point he is unable to see it from other peoples points of view....

message 11: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Yeah exactly. Thats another way that it is so different from other war stories. I guess the british did nothing for him really so he felt no obligation to be one of them. I read that The Kindness of Women is about him going to england and struggling to fit in. I guess that will be the part where his parents try to make him british again. I thought it was sad at the end when he finally got back to his parents after all that time and they were like strangers. At points in the book he said that he wanted to show his parents various things and for him to get back to them and it be so anti climatic was very sad.

message 12: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments Yes it was very sad but what you have to remmber is that that would have been a perfectly normal attitude to a child of that class back then.Children were definately seen and not heard.
I think the distance would probably have gotten worse when they reached England as they probably packed him off to Prep School!!!

message 13: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Yeah thats true. Its weird to think that it used to be like that. My childhood was definitely not like that no matter how much my parents would have liked it! It makes you wonder how differently he would have turned out if he hadnt had that experience. Would he have become a writer and if so would he have been such a good writer? He obviously wouldn't have written Empire of the Sun or The Kindness of Women which i assume were his most sucessful books. Maybe i am wrong there.

message 14: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments I do not know what his most succesful books were...
I think he was probably made much nore independent through his experiences,and I have to say I do not think that he would have been easy to have a relationship with as he would have been left deeply affected and mistrustful of his fellow Humans(I do not blame him).We are all products of our own childhoods and backgrounds....Personally I know it cannot be easy for Husband to live with me....
This is why I am so pleased that we are going to read the sequel,I want to know how it all worked out in the wash !!!!

message 15: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Yeah a childhood like that must have had a massive impact on the person he became. I am also looking forward to the sequel. The book ended a bit suddenly and didn't go into any of the aftermath so it will be interesting to see how he coped with life after war. I am tempted to start it now but i want it fresh in my mind for the discussion.

message 16: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments Ditto to that.....
Can you remind me when we are reading it?
I`ve got 1984 down for the last week of April but nothing for TKOW,maybe there wasn`t a time decided????
Sorry to be a pain.
I think maybe it cut off suddenly as he had perhaps already decided at this point to write the sequel and wanted a clear and total delination between the two parts????Just my theory....

message 17: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Yeah we set it for the middle of april. So not too far away. Yeah i think he purposely did that too. It certainly made me want to read the next one!

message 18: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments Ditto,it was a canny move on his part for sales I think...LOL!!!!!!
I`ll go and put it in for the middle of April,Thank You.

message 19: by Dean (new)

Dean (cowboys86) | 122 comments It was sad how everyone just saw Jim as a means to an end, but I suppose in times like that you have to think of yourself first and foremost. I also like how Jim knew they were using him... but he didn't care because it was to his benefit as well, and I kind of cheered him on when he used the people that were trying to use him and they got their comeuppance. The book was brutally honest and well written, it gave a very good incite to what it was probably like for civilian POW's during the war. It was a bit depressing when Jim was cycling about looking for his family and friends, especially when he got to his house and there was no one there.

The book ended fairly quickly, luckily there is a sequel to sink my teeth into.

message 20: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Indeed lol. He might have also wanted to leave it like that to leave your mind lingering on that part of the story and not on how it wound up. It will make the next book all the more interesting after having the wait in between to find out what happens next.

message 21: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I'm glad you joined us Dean! I was worrying out long convo had scared everyone off lol! The cycling part was very sad. I can't imagine being in that situation at any age never mind as a child.

message 22: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments LOL...that didn`t dawn on me!!!

message 23: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Lol i don't think many people were reading it anyway!

message 24: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments MMM well we have had a grand discussion anyways!!!!
Shucks to those who miss a good and informative read!!! LOL!!!

message 25: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Indeed! We have had a great discussion with out them anyway!

message 26: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments Second that Comment!!!
Their loss our gain,and all that Jazz!!

message 27: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Exactly! Well i am off to read. Maybe some others will add to what we have written but if not then we will pick back up when we read the sequel. Looking forward to it! Good night!

message 28: by DJ (new)

DJ  (djdivaofjava) | 659 comments Happy Reading!

message 29: by Stuart (new)

Stuart (asfus) | 103 comments Jo wrote: "I haven't read any of his other novels. I've got Cocaine Nights at home. Have you read that?"

I still need to read that book. In fact I need to get back to reading his novels. A few years ago I found my local library had most of his novels and I read the ones they had. I can't remember what stopped me reading his books, it was probably that I could not find one his books and tried another writer...

message 30: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Let me know if you like it. I'm not sure when i will get time to read it. Hopefully in a couple of months.

message 31: by Stuart (new)

Stuart (asfus) | 103 comments Jo wrote: "Let me know if you like it. I'm not sure when i will get time to read it. Hopefully in a couple of months."

I will let you know.

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