Ocean Devil : The Life and Legend of George Hogg, Paperback

Ocean Devil : The Life and Legend of George Hogg Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The dramatic true-life story of George Hogg, a young Oxford graduate who is caught up in the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 and the Chinese Civil war, and who leads a group of Chinese children hundreds of miles across 15,000-foot mountains to safety - only to die tragically in early 1945.

The author, James MacManus, was working as a reporter in Shanghai in 1980s when he heard talk of a statue being up in the remote town of Shandon on the Mongolian border in memory of an Englishman called George Hogg.

This book is the result of his investigations - and the basis for a major feature film called 'The Children of Huang Shi', directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Jonathan Rhys Myers, to be released in spring 2008.

One westerner who lived in China throughout the Cultural Revolution described Hogg as "an outstanding young Englishman who fell in love with foreign people and devoted his life to their betterment.

What he did made him deeply and widely loved." MacManus has been back to China to interview the surviving old boys of Hogg's school.

Hogg's reputation is kept alive by their loyalty to this day. The dramatic trajectory of Hogg's life took him within a few months from a privileged existence at Oxford to life on the run from Japanese secret police in China.




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A biography of a young English man, initially a journalist and later a school principal in pre-war and wartime China. Hogg is perhaps the most innocent character in a milleau of warlords, gangsters, socialist, fascists, and highly politicised journalists and aid workers. That innocence, good nature and faith in God doesn't grate at all on the reader. There is a sense that he is not at all out of place in a world where people are living and dying for ideas. The author does an excellent job of telling Hogg's story, illustrated by a passing cavalcade of fascinating western and Chinese personalities. This is an extraordinary well done portrait of China under the threat of Japanese invasion and civil war, and on the verge of the foundation of the Communist State.

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