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The Singapore Grip (New York Review Books Classics) (original 1978; edition 2005)
by J.G. Farrell, Derek Mahon (Introduction)
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 000616014X, Paperback)
Singapore, 1939: life on the eve of World War II just isn't what it used to be for Walter Blackett, head of British Singapore's oldest and most powerful firm. No matter how forcefully the police break one strike, the natives go on strike somewhere else. His daughter keeps entangling herself with the most unsuitable beaus, while her intended match, the son of Blackett's partner, is an idealistic sympathizer with the League of Nations and a vegetarian. Business may be booming—what with the war in Europe, the Allies are desperate for rubber and helpless to resist Blackett's price-fixing and market manipulation—but something is wrong. No one suspects that the world of the British Empire, of fixed boundaries between classes and nations, is about to come to a terrible end.
A love story and a war story, a tragicomic tale of a city under siege and a dying way of life, The Singapore Grip completes the “Empire Trilogy” that began with Troubles and the Booker prize-winning Siege of Krishnapur.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 03 Jan 2013 06:11:34 -0500)
The Blackett family's prosperous world of tennis parties, cocktails and deferential servants seems unchanging. But it is poised on the edge of the abyss. This is the eve of the Fall of Singapore, and of much else besides.
(summary from another edition)
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