Kowloon Tong: A Novel (English and Spanish Edition)

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9780140266450: Kowloon Tong: A Novel (English and Spanish Edition)
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For Neville "Bunt" Mullard and his mother, Betty, Hong Kong is part of Britain - one of the pleasanter parts; it is also cozy, monotonous, profitable, and homely. Now ninety-nine years of colonial rule are about to end, and the British government is about to hand over Hong Kong to China. Betty and Bunt can see China from their parlor, but they have never been there. They detest Chinese food. "The Chinese take-away, " as they call the Hand-over, does not particularly concern them. When Bunt first meets Mr. Hung, a well-spoken gentleman from the Chinese mainland, he pays him little heed. And when Mr. Hung offers the Mullards a handsome sum for their family business - a fifty-year-old textile factory, Imperial Stitching, that was cofounded by Bunt's late father - Bunt refuses him out of hand. Yet it soon grows clear that Mr. Hung is different from the Chinese the Mullards have lived alongside for years. For Mr. Hung will accept no refusals. Then a young woman from the Mullards' factory vanishes, one of many disappearances. But this one is different. Ah Fu has last been seen in the company of Mr. Hung. And so Bunt is forced for the first time in his forty-three years to make decisions that matter. He even begins, maybe, to discover love. Yet against all of Bunt's good, if half-formed, intentions are pitted the will of Mr. Hung and the looming threat of the ultimate betrayal.

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Review:

Paul Theroux, whose inveterate globe-trotting marks him as one of the most restless writers working today, lands us in the Far East with this novel of personal lives swept up in the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. But the end of Colonial rule is perfectly unwelcome for Neville Mullard and his mother Betty, who run a textile factory that's been in the family for 50 years, and who have spent a lifetime insulating themselves from the Chinese culture that's all around them. Now, the shadowy and dangerous Mr. Hung wants to buy the business, and he won't take no for an answer--whether or not the Mullards want to sell. Theroux, the author of several travel books, has few equals when it comes to the portrayal of exotic cultures, a skill that makes this one of the first great novels of the Hong Kong handover of 1997.

About the Author:

Paul Theroux's highly acclaimed novels include Blinding Light, Hotel Honolulu, My Other Life, Kowloon Tong, and The Mosquito Coast. His renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Dark Star Safari, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express, and The Happy Isles of Oceania. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod.

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