King Rat Paperback
Part of the The Asian Saga series
Set in Changi, the most notorious prisoner of war camp in Asia, King Rat is an heroic story of survival told by a master story-teller who lived through those years as a young soldier.
Only one man in fifteen had the strength, the luck, and the cleverness simply to survive Changi. And then there was King.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 01/07/1999
- Category: War & combat fiction
- ISBN: 9780340750681
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by uryjm
A belter of a novel, wrung from the author's own experience of life in a Japanese POW camp. The book is concerned with how men interact with one another in such a pressure cooker, and how moralism and character wilt in extremis. The book pulls few punches, and there is very little redemption in the end for any of the characters, and a lot of venom about the unfairness of war (captured in the small vignettes of life at home for the loved ones left behind). This is a classic piece of high tension writing, the pace never flags and the impact is considerable. How did men come through the experience? By being men, with all their faults, strengths and frailty, and they did prevail despite it all.
Review by DRFP
Perhaps it was this book's brevity, compared to the "epic" nature of Clavell's other novels, that left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed.This is definitely a good book but Clavell, and an interesting look at life inside a Japanese POW camp, but the book didn't have the lasting impact I expected it to.
Review by agdturner
It is hard to imagine the true horror of life under Japanese occupation as a foreigner in the second world war, but this story does a good job at helping to understand that horror. The story is about more than survival in an inhumane prisoner of war (POW) camp, it is about capital, class, military hierarchy, rules and regulation, friendship and social organisations. The story is told through the lens of the fictional yet personal stories of the characters and the relationships they have between them and the situation and suffering of their loved ones. Survival is king! Amongst any group of survivors there are those that are better off because they are lucky. It is a warning and an education to learn of the rat eat rat reduction of humanity in Japanese POW camps.