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Empire of the Sun Hardcover – December 1, 1997
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Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. 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 dramatic and realistic portrayal of life and events in China during World War II. This book details the danger and realism of inhumanity and survival despite adverse conditions. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Larri Avilla
My old paperback was loosing pages. I like to reread good books, so I replaced it with a kindle version.Published 27 days ago by blueskys
Some what depressing even though everything turns out ok.Published 29 days ago by Micki A. Antinone
The book was very informative, revealing the mindset of British imperialism, Chinese attitude although repressed, toward the British, ethnic and national prejudices on the part of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carol Sue Heitkemper
A great read and an insightful story about war and its effects on human beings.Published 2 months 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 2 months ago by Emily
The movie does justice to the book Empire of the Sun (Keepcase)Published 3 months ago by Fels Naptha