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A murderer’s confession - devastating, unblinking, poignant, unforgettable - which reveals a story of class, education and the inescapable workings of destiny.
Ah Hock is an ordinary, uneducated man born in a Malaysian fishing village and now trying to make his way in a country that promises riches and security to everyone but delivers them to only a chosen few. With Asian society changing around him, like many he remains trapped in a world of poorly paid jobs that just about allow him to keep his head above water but ultimately lead him to murder a migrant worker from Bangladesh.
In the tradition of Camus and Houellebecq, Ah Hock’s vivid and compelling description of the years building up to this appalling act of violence - told over several days to a local journalist whose life has taken a different course - is a portrait of an outsider like no other, an anti-nostalgic view of human life and the ravages of hope. It is the work of a writer at the peak of his powers.
"What a storyteller Tash Aw is." (Doris Lessing)
"Aw is a writer of great power and delicacy, as able to conjure stampeding crowds as the glow of fireflies." (Daily Mail)
"[Aw] is unmatched at evoking the smells and sounds of the land and cityscapes, the figures of speech and shifting cultural mores of that finger-like peninsula that pokes into the South China Sea." (Independent on Sunday)
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A book that immerses the reader in a world of almost a different dimension from our western familiarity. It is absorbing and disturbing. The Audible version is superbly read and the Asian accent of the narrator adds conviction that I don't think I would have enjoyed reading myself. I wholeheartedly recommend this amazing book. It is not a cozy experience!