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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former library book with all the bumps and bruises that a library book would have. No dust jacket. Book is in overall good condition. May contain slight marks, minor creases, and the occasional highlight. The library name will most likely be stamped on inside cover and may contain a sign-out card pocket (for those of us old enough to remember them : -) Ships direct from Amazon. Satisfaction 100% guaranteed.

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The Harmony Silk Factory Hardcover – March 31, 2005

2.6 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Aw slices his first novel into three segments, wherein three characters dissect the nature of Johnny Lim, a controversial figure in 1940s Malaysia. Depending on the teller, Johnny was a Communist leader, an informer for the Japanese, a dangerous black-market trader, a working-class Chinese man too in awe of his aristocratic wife to have sex with her, or a loyal friend. Long after Johnny's death, we hear these conflicting accounts from his grown son, Jasper; his wife, Snow (through the lens of her 1941 diary); and his English expatriate friend, Peter Wormwood. The chief benefit of this structural trick is to make palpable the limitations of each character's perspective, and that's no mean feat. But Aw's prose, though often witty and taut, is not equally convincing in all its guises. Jasper is the typical alienated son who burns to discover all the crimes his father committed; this also makes him the typical unreliable narrator (when his father kills a mosquito that had bitten him, Jasper cites this as proof of an innate "streak of malice"). When Snow takes over, Johnny suddenly resembles a more ordinary man, while she—adored by her son, whose birth caused her death—reveals herself to be a fallible character and an unfaithful wife. The most boisterous and enjoyable thread of this story belongs to Peter, with whose chipper English patter Aw, oddly enough, seems most at home.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Malaysian-British Aw makes an impressive contribution to a literature for which Conrad and Maugham are famous in the story of an audacious, successful Malaysian businessman during World War II. In 1940, Lim Seng Chin, 20-year-old descendant of poor, illiterate southern Chinese laborers transported as mine workers by the British in the late nineteenth century, renames himself Johnny Lim after the local film industry's Tarzan. He has an admirable aptitude for machinery but is blamed for mechanical failures, after which, as a shop clerk, he boldly unloads a lot of cheap Chinese gauze and unsellable batik onto a wealthy white customer by convincing her of its (dubious) value. Thereby he launches himself in the Tiger Brand Trading Company, which he buys in 1942 and renames the Harmony Silk Factory. Via Aw's fast-moving prose and shimmering dialogue, which has an odd, affecting noirish manner, three different accounts of Johnny Lim and varying views of historic and personal reality unfold while the Japanese invade, the Communist Party gathers momentum, and alliances are made and broken. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
  • Hardcover : 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 157322300X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1573223003
  • Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Reading level : 18 and up
  • Publisher : Riverhead Hardcover; First Edition (March 31, 2005)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    2.6 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

Jesse Eisenberg's latest fiction
"When You Finish Saving the World" Listen free with trial

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2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2005
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Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2005
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