King Rat [James Clavell] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 1 SOFTCOVER BOOK (pocket size). King Rat has ratings and reviews. Agnieszka said: Changi was set like a pearl on the eastern tip of Singapore Island, iridescent under the b. Sep 12, KING RAT was my first Clavell novel and it was a fantastic It’s the main philosophical quandary James Clavell is playing with, through the.

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The King was a fairly obvious one to me.

Description Set in Changi, the most notorious prisoner of war camp in Asia, King Rat is an heroic story of survival told by a master story-teller who lived through those years as a young soldier.

Clothes have rotted away and sarongs and rags are all that’s available so rank is made known lcavell by arm bands and a slight difference in li The story takes place in an enclosed small wartime POW camp with imprisoned English, Australians, and some Americans.

Peter Marlowe meets the King by chance and they strike up an unlikely friendship. In the same way he asks how we would survive, what are the options we would choose, Clavell also asks as to clsvell kind of person we are.

When you’re alone with your own thoughts, can you still be King? Klng King is the operator around whom this novel revolves. 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’ pent-up desires. Marlowe comes to the attention of the “King” an American corporal jame has become the most successful trader and black marketeer in Changiwhen the King sees him conversing in Malay.


Officers from various parts of Britain’s Asian empire, accustomed to having native servants provide them with freshly laundered uniforms daily, are reduced to wearing rags and homemade shoes. The title character is an American with a true gift for survival in the underground economy of the camp, and the book raises many questions about what the most ethical road is to take in an impossible moral situation.

That said, he’s still a punctilious little prick and Courtenay delivered that in spades in the movie. The first is more obvious that the second and looks at how one survives when faced with an obstacle. When he meets the King he is almost delirious with pain and worry, but the King helps him pull himself together. Several days later Marlowe, the King, and several of the other men in the American Hut catch a male rat, and the King decides that they should find a female rat.

And yet, the book is mostly comedic — filled with the hopefu In King RatJames Clavell succeeds in doing what countless other authors usually fail at: As news of the war’s end reaches the camp, the King’s incredible network of power crumbles and his future looks grim.

King Rat (Clavell novel) – Wikipedia

My grandparents lived in China during the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and I remember them talking of a Japanese woman surviver that lived near them and took care of their children. The time is World War II. But I think Clavell finishes clqvell book with a very interesting thought. Oct 15, Jen from Quebec: Three weeks later, the first litter of rats is born. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews.

King Rat Asian Saga. Anyway, so glad we could once again come together on a book-film combo, especially a title we could attach to Memorial Day. Essentially, what role would we play. While there jzmes very rst action per-se in KING RAT, there is an ever-present threat of violence jmaes keeps the story on a knife edge. I had no idea about such things in the s. The King works hard in getting the deal, forging unholy alliances with villagers, Japanese and Korean guards as well as the allied prisoners.


Grey, who has heard from his informer about the deal, shows up. The place is a brutal prison camp deep in Japanese-occupied territory. Hierarchies emerge and a natural order takes over.

King Rat : The Fourth Novel of the Asian Saga

If you build your whole personality and worth using other people, what happens when those people turn their backs on you? Views Read Edit View history.

One fed off the other, and when the environment is upended, the symbiotic relationship utterly falls apart. I read this a long time ago before I was keeping my reading log, so sometime in the s.

Book ratings by Goodreads. There’s something universal about his description of camp life. Though set in particular time and place it’s a fictional account but I think Clavell did fine work here not only showing animosities between ordinary soldiers and officers, confrontation between the King and other prisoners, especially rivetingly is shown conflict with provost marshall Grey, but also indicating different attitudes and class differences of three main national groups of prisoners: We watch as jxmes cling to honor, duty and any semblance of structure for their own mental health and survival.

There is no easy explicitness here, no distinct line between that what you can accept and not feel irretrievably corrupted. View all 9 comments.