Vincent Lam’s latest book is a great read. Set in Saigon during the lead-up to the Vietnam War, it’s not an easy book – some of the details of the torture and atrocities during this time are quite harrowing, as are the main character’s memories of events that happened during the years of Japanese occupation in World War 2. The book’s protagonist, Percival Chen, is headmaster of a respected English school in Saigon. He enjoys the city’s pleasures, gambling and visiting the local brothels. Despite his flaws, he’s a compelling character, and caring about what happens to Percival makes the reader keep reading, despite the difficulty of some of the events in the book. I found the description of the details of the politics and culture of the time fascinating, and it helps me to understand better those who lived through these and similar events. While a work of fiction, it was inspired by the experience of Vincent Lam’s own family, who were members of the Chinese community in Vietnam; the character of Percival is based partly on Lam’s grandfather. For those that love political thrillers, and learning of the history and culture of other lands, I can highly recommend this book. (submitted by DK)
Upcoming Author Event! Vincent Lam will be at City Centre Library on Wednesday, August 14 from 7:30-8:30pm! Click here for details.