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- Publisher: Penguin USA
- Format: Paperback | 352 pages
- Dimensions: 135mm x 201mm x 23mm | 272g
- Publication date: 1 September 2003
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 0142003379
- ISBN 13: 9780142003374
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 788,533
It is 1935, and Tom Stewart, a young Englishman with a longing for adventure, buys himself a cheap ticket aboard the "SS Darjeeling"-en route to the complex and corrupt world of Hong Kong. A shipboard wager leads to an unlikely friendship that spans seven decades as Hong Kong endures the savagery of the Japanese occupation, emerging as a crossroads of international finance and the nexus of a world of warlords, drug runners, and Chinese triads.
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John Lanchester is the author of The Debt to Pleasure (winner of the Whitbread and Hawthornden prizes) and Mr. Phillips. Raised in Hong Kong, he now lives in London with his wife and sons.
"An ambitious novel . . . Mr. Lanchester succeeds in fusing the epic with the individual." ("The New York Times") "A lovely, intelligent, and beguiling book." (Jonathan Yardley, "The Washington Post Book World") "Lanchester makes Hong Kong so fascinating. What he has to say about the city is complex and thoughtful and has all the makings of a great, epic story." ("San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle")