Empire of the Sun

J. G. Ballard

Based on J. G. Ballard’s own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy’s life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai – a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint. Rooted as it is in the author’s own disturbing experience of war in our time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered but judged.

Reviews of Empire of the Sun

  • ‘An extraordinary achievement.’ Angela Carter

    ‘A remarkable journey into the mind of a growing boy…horror and humanity are blended into a unique and unforgettable fiction.’ Sunday Times

    ‘An immensely powerful novel – in a class of its own for sheer imaginative force.’ Daily Telegraph

    ‘Remarkable…form, content and style fuse with complete success…one of the great war novels of the 20th century.’ William Boyd

    ‘Gripping and remarkable…I have never read a novel which gave me a stronger sense of the blind helplessness of war…unforgettable.’ Observer

    ‘Ranks with the greatest British writing on the Second World War.’ The Times

    ‘A brilliant fusion of history, autobiography and imaginative speculation. An incredible literary achievement and almost intolerably moving.’ Anthony Burgess

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