Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I had always wanted to read this series of books by James Clavell but somehow or other, though I had bought a couple of the books years ago, I hadn't gotten around to reading them until recently. I started with Taipan as I found Shogun somewhat intimidating to start with, and I found it engrossing reading. The book painted a fabulous picture of HongKong's start as a colony, a lonely, forsaken outcrop of rock in the North China Sea, a place that the Chinese couldn't see why the British wanted and the British couldn't see why they had accepted, to start with.

The book was action-packed and it was hard to put it down. The characters particularly of Dirk and Culum Struan and Brock stay with you after the book is finished. I found it an interesting technique by the author, wherein there is so much of back-history to each character and relationship but it is revealed almost as if he is merely reminding you of what you already know. The nature of each character also comes to light more through their actions than through a description of what they are thinking or planning.

Interestingly, the sequel doesn't pick up immediately where the previous book left off but twenty years later, so I am actually finding it hard to get as enthused since I was so keen to find out what happens immediately after the events concluding Taipan...But ecventually I will finish the series...