|Submitted by Anonymous |
(Oct 12, 2010)
I heard the audio book version, some 31 hours while driving the car (I am a busy profssional and dont have time to read). Great story, great historical backdrop and lovely characterisations. The story illustrates the Korean War friendship of Jacko, the Aussie, Negro 'Jim' in a POW camp, and then (post war), of the 'Countess', who has an extraordinary (and otherwise hidden) Russian/Chinese heritage.
Incredibly diverse and unlikely combination of friends, none the less brought together with great depth and clarity. Great humanistic themes, including a different view of polemic (war) heroism (ie compared to the usual war heroes paradigm portrayed in most contemporary stories). Interesting discriminatory parallels between Aboriginal struggle in Australia, negroes in USA, and white Russians in Shanghai. Bryce Courtney is a wonderful Australian writer, (a friend of mine mentioned he lives nearby in Bondi?). I thoroughly enjoyed it and will endeavour to read/listen to more of his writings.