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The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw
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The Harmony Silk Factory (2005)

by Tash Aw

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6982413,611 (3.21)48
Recently added byprivate library, literarytech, jomajime, curlyseashell, cctesttc1, sunqueen, AngieKuh

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Story about Johnny Lim, told from the viewpoint of 3 unreliable narrators: his son (or is he?) - Jasper, his wife, Snow Soong, and his supposed best friend, Peter Wormwood. Tash Aw weaves a complex and involving tale set in Malaysia at the outset of WW11, and the invasion by the Japanese. Nothing is as it seems. While engrossing perhaps there are too many loose ends in this first novel by Aw. Nonetheless, a great story. ( )
  sianpr | Dec 28, 2016 |
No rating for this book, because after one week of reading/trying to read I didn't get any further than page 27.
It doesn't grab me, I'm not interested in the story, so I quit now.
  BoekenTrol71 | Oct 30, 2016 |
ebook
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Malaysia.

Aw's first novel is an extended study of one man, Johnny Lim. Stories about Johnny are told by three narrators in three sections. Each has a complex emotional relationship with Johnny. His disaffected son, eager to expose his father's crimes; his wife Snow, whose diary reveals a more tentative and vulnerable man; and Peter, a British friend who has fled to Malaysia but finds he cannot escape himself. Aw does a good job of differentiating each narrator's voice and preoccupations. There isn't a lot of action here, or even resolution. Rather, the pleasure of the story is in the reader's accretion of knowledge about Johnny, and the somewhat voyeuristic satisfaction of seeing more perspectives than each narrator. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
6
  WelcomeBlueValkyrie | Aug 7, 2011 |
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For my parents
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The Harmony Silk factory is the name of the shophouse my father bought in 1942 as a front for his illegal businesses.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Life interpreted
In Malaysian wilderness
Love and betrayal
(julienne_preacher)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007204515, Paperback)

A landmark work of fiction from one of Britain's most exciting new writers: The Harmony Silk Factory is a devastating love story set against the turmoil of mid-twentieth century Malaysia. Set in Malaysia in the 1930s and 40s, with the rumbling of the Second World War in the background and the Japanese about to invade, The Harmony Silk Factory is the story of four people: Johnny, an infamous Chinaman -- a salesman, a fraudster, possibly a murderer -- whose shop house, The Harmony Silk Factory, he uses as a front for his illegal businesses; Snow Soong, the beautiful daughter of one of the Kinta Valley's most prominent families, who dies giving birth to one of the novel's narrators; Kunichika, a Japanese officer who loves Snow too; and an Englishman, Peter Wormwood, who went to Malaysia like many English but never came back, who also loved Snow to the end of his life. A journey the four of them take into the jungle has a devastating effect on all of them, and brilliantly exposes the cultural tensions of the era. Haunting, highly original, The Harmony Silk Factory is suspenseful to the last page.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:12 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

This is the story of Johnny Lim - textile merchant, petty crook, and inventor of the Amazing Toddy Machine - and his marriage to Snow Soong, the most beautiful woman in the Kinta Valley. In 1940, with the Japanese threatening to invade, Johnny and Snow embark upon their honeymoon to the mysterious Seven Maiden Islands, accompanied by a mercurial Japanese professor and Peter Wormwood, an Englishman adrift. Many years later, Wormwood looks back on this defining journey, while Snow's only son goes in search of the truth of his mother and the infamous Chinaman she married.… (more)

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