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You should read the introduction, which explains the rationale for including this other material. Perhaps the most impressive piece of trivia about this book is that it is Clavell’s first novel of which he would write only 5 more, each a masterpiece in its own right. The main question I had at the end of the book was: Marlowe comes to the attention of the “King” an American corporal who has become the most successful trader and black marketeer in Changiwhen the King sees him conversing in Malay.

KING RAT depicts the microcosm that was formed by all this doubt and confusion and follows the faith of men who used to live by the rules and the men who decided to create their own.

King Rat (Clavell novel) – Wikipedia

This is the most intimate of his books taking place entirely in one setting, and dealing with a fairly small cast of charactersand in many ways my favorite. During the past month Marlowe has been spending a lot of time with the King and thinks they have become friends.

Using capitalistic initiative, he concocts many money-making schemes, the most shocking of which, involves breeding rats to sell as “rabbit” meat. Through the experiences of Marlowe, the King, and other characters, the novel offers a vivid, often disturbing portrayal of men brought to the edge of survival by a brutal environment. About James Clavell James Clavell, the son of a Royal Navy family, was educated art Portsmouth before, as a young artillery officer, he was captured by the Japanese at the Fall of Singapore.

King Rat Summary & Study Guide

A few nights later Shagata — the guard that the Rar and Cheng San clavdll on as a go-between — tells the King that Cheng San has been arrested. At least I already know they are not set in a prison camp. I also enjoyed the “extras” that the movie didn’t show, such as the cross-dressing POW Sean who serves as the outlet for the prisoners’ jxmes desires. Having said that, still, highly recommended both on its own and as the fourth in the whole series.


The words “read this, it’ll change your life” are dropped too often with books, but cannot be dropped often enough with this one. But they also show a lack of scruples. Yoshima turns the camp inside out looking for a radio, but finds nothing. The Best Books of Larkin and Mac tell Marlowe that he clavel, to be careful around the King. As a tribute to Clavell’s adopted homeland USAPeter Marlowe transfers his gratitude from the King, the individual, to the country whose values shaped the King, America.

As the novel ends, Ratt is left with many questions as a result of his strange relationship with the King, including whether the King had ever really thought of him as a friend at all. For those who survived those camps, they were never the same, and in this book Clavell shared a little piece of Changi with us.

This page was last edited on 10 Decemberat To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The next morning Marlowe goes to see his friend Mac who is recovering from Malaria in the hospital and finds out from him clavell part of their radio is broken.

Somehow I feel that once the King goes back to the States, he’ll become some kind of sad, pathetic huckster, having to constantly look for someone to fleece rather than having a captive, desperate source to feed off of.

My library has it in an audio edition, so I listened to it. What I take most from this book is that it directly inspired me to pursue writing, not for writing’s sake, but to leave something worthwhile behind ray inspire future generations.

The end was the most interesting. I wish every first novels had such ambition, scope and gusto. Published May 19th by Delta first published Despite being an enlisted man and undistinguished in civilian life, the King has become a major power lcavell the closed society of the P. I say, it was some much needed relief. And I was correct.


Or Sean, the beautiful actor who entertained the men at the expense of his own sanity? In Kjng RatJames Clavell succeeds in doing what countless other authors usually fail at: His comrades, though nearly starving themselves, are repulsed at the idea of eating rat meat, so the King comes up with the brilliant plan of only selling the meat to ja,es without telling them the true source.

You need to read it to find out.

They quickly negotiate a price and agree on the details of the deal, which will be completed later. He wrote this during a screenwriter’s strike ina fictionalized account of his own incarceration there.

Book Review : James Clavell – King Rat () — Dead End Follies

As they are heading back to the village the King notices the radio and becomes angry, telling Marlowe that a radio is the ,ing dangerous thing a prisoner can have and demanding he get rid of it, but Marlowe refuses.

Chronological Order 4 by James Clavell. King Rat is a novel written by British author James Clavell.

He turns down a lucrative business partnership with the King because “Marlowes aren’t tradesmen. Be sure to read the books in order for the most enjoyment; they’re connected although quite distant in time from one another, and by reading them in order, the history of the current book you’re reading will be deeper and your comprehension of what is going on, and why, will be much better: History readers, WW2 readers, literary readers, culture clash readers.

Most are fearful of the future, not sure if wives and kiing survived or waited for them as letters are almost never sent or received through the Japanese. It’s jamew complete flip side to the jaunty and fun “The Great Escape” the screenplay clavel which, oddly enough, was penned by Clavell.