Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Talk to me please, Mr. Sun" Song lyrics

"Empire of the Sun," is a semi-autobiographical novel of when J.G. Ballard was at the Lunghua Interment Camp, as a boy, during WWII.

The story opens when the protagonist, Jim, age eleven, is with his parents at an early Christmas event in Shanghai. It is held at the residence of the President of the British Resident's Association.

Chinese refugees and beggars are everywhere in Shanghai and the other residents become immune to their plight.  As Jim's family leaves their home to attend the Christmas festivities, their driver runs over the foot of an elderly beggar. The driver doesn't stop the car and it is as if the beggar was not a real person but an object of war.

That night, the Japanese attack both a U.S. and and English ship at the Shanghai harbor and war officially begins.

Jim becomes separated from his parents and observes life in a war zone with complete detachment. It is as if he has become separated from the events before him. He passes dead bodies left in the road and spends time at the vacated home of his parents and their friends enjoying his adventure until the food is used up.

He becomes somewhat concerned for himself and eventually surrenders to the Japanese, ending up at the Lunghua Interment Camp.

The story is written in an analytic style, the story does seem to be more of a memoir.

I did enjoy Jim's fascination with flying and his desire by the end of the war, to become a kamikaze pilot in Okinawa but felt his uncaring attitude toward his parents safety to be unlikely.

It did show a part of life with civilians during WWII that was interesting and I enjoyed that.

4 comments:

James E. Egolf said...

I sincerely appreciated your kind remarks re my review of the book titled KINGDOMS AND CONVERTS. You kind remark will be firmly placed in my memory banks.

James E. Egolf said...

I sincerely appreciated your kind remark re my Amazon.com review of the book titled KINGDOMS AND CONVERTS. Your kind remarkds will be firmly placed in my memory banks.

Adieu,
James E. Egolf

Michael Draper said...

Thank you, James. It was a pleasure to comment on your wonderful review.

Mike

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

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