Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun

John Lanchester and J. G. Ballard

The heartrending story of a British boy’s four year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War.

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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