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Empire of the Sun Hardcover – December 1, 1997
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A girl with loyalty to both sides in a war—and the dangerous opportunity to save lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
Years later, I encountered the original story--J.G. Ballard's novel that served as Spielberg's inspiration. Just as the newsreels and magazines that tell of the war fascinate Jim in the book because they describe a war so different than the one he knows, so does Spielberg's movie tell a different tale from Ballard's book. The events are by and large the same, but the tone of the story, the horrors experienced by Jim, and the lessons and impressions instilled by the novel are on a different order of magnitude from the movie. I enjoyed the movie on its own merits, but I imagine the order in which you encounter them colors your impression--for people like me who saw the movie first, it was easy to appreciate the movie, and then be blown away by the power of the book. For those who read the book first, I would imagine the movie would be a disappointing, sanitized version of the original work.
The novel overpowers the reader from start to finish by Ballard's stark account of Jim's survival against all odds, in conditions stacked heavily against him.Read more ›
The story, based on J.G. Ballard's actual experiences, is about a young British teenager who lives with his parents in Shangai at the eve of Pearl Harbor and is then interned by the Japanese from 1942-1945 in the Lunghua prison camp near Shanghai. It is truly mesmerizing, in the negative sense unfortunately, because of the countless moments of inherent evil that arose as a result of war. The places-airfield runways made of bones of dead Chinese, a make-shift cemetery full of corpses with extremities sticking out, canals full of dead bodies, floating flower coffins with Chinese babies-the people-an opportunistic American soldier who profits from death, Japanese soldiers bent on brutality, an American doctor who does everything to save the sick and dying, the indifference of a British woman to a sick boy-and events-the killing of a Chinese coolie, the never-ending deaths of sick prisoners, the death march to Nantao-exemplify that evil and are described with such incredible detail and clarity as to be almost permanently engraved in the mind of the reader.
Through all the death and destruction, of which almost every chapter of the book is filled with, lives a young British teenager (the author himself, but written in 3rd person) who has an incredible will to survive. The question of his morality is ever-present if we judge his thoughts and actions solely; yet in the face of starvation and omnipresent death, his story is one of a smart young boy who is trying his best to survive.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great read and an insightful story about war and its effects on human beings.Published 14 days ago by John Carey
I came here to buy this book and simply cannot convince myself to purchase an object titled in Papyrus. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Emily
The movie does justice to the book Empire of the Sun (Keepcase)Published 1 month ago by Fels Naptha
Gritty and authentic account of a 10 yr. old precocious boy plucked from a privileged life at the twilight of the British Empire and transformed by his years in a prison camp... Read morePublished 2 months ago by cleo
I had to read this novel along with an 11th grade student who had been assigned it. The story is certainly a good story about survival, and it does give the reader a feel of the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by makeway4ducklings
Why I've bothered to read this book last of all J. G. Ballards books I can't tell you . I have all his books now and this has given me so much insight to his world view. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wendy Busby
I loved Empire of the Sun. It's an amazing firsthand account about the horrors of what happened in China during WWII. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mark Brown
great story for those young people who perhaps didn't know the USA fought a war with Japan, and what happened to Americans who were interned after the Japs overran their... Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. J. Singer