7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
a Writer's Autobiography,
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This review is from: Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton: An Autobiography (Hardcover)
after viewing the film, EMPIRE OF THE SUN once again on DVD, i was sufficiently inspired to read the true life account of the novelist responsible. after just finishing MIRACLES OF LIFE, the first thoughts entering my mind are, heart-felt, sincere, and touching. the most engaging gripping sections of the autobiography were (for me) found at the beginning chapters...his carefree freckless youth spent growing up in pre-war Shanghai and subsequent civilian internment by the Japanese at Lunghua Camp. the descriptions through the haze of time, of the International Settlement, social life amongst the Brit and other foreign ex-pats, his formative years as a young growing curious teenager in a Japanese Civilian internment camp, and the ending of WW2 in occupied China, were perhaps the crux of his autobio...essentially an unique life experience that determined his future direction and mind set. of mild interest were the follow-up chapters of adjusting to a drab post-war Britain still under rationing (not only food...but optimistic hope)...but unfortunately his narrative of his adult years dissolves into a personal aesthetic exposition of literature cum cinema cum modern art, all tinged with the political upheavals of post-50's decades, and includes a rather pedestrian marriage with single parenthood after the death of his spouse. for those wishing a first hand account (albeit european eyes) glimpse into pre-war Shanghai...this is an invaluable resource. the concluding chapter of his return to childhood Shanghai (after four decades)...now a post-Maoist New Order metropolitian city....was much too short, not as dramatic as expected and proof that 'you can't ever go home again'.