Fragrant Harbor

Fragrant Harbor

Book - 2002
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Penguin Putnam
It is 1935 and Tom Stewart, a young Englishman with an almost visceral longing for adventure, has bought himself a cheap ticket to the complex, corrupt, and corrupting world of Hong Kong. Aboard ship, he becomes the pawn in a wager between a bluff businessman and a Chinese missionary nun, who bets she can teach him Cantonese on the six-week voyage out. What begins as friendship turns into solace and then a passion that only individual vows can remit.

Fragrant Harbor takes the reader from the intrigue and double-dealing of the 1930s through the savagery of the Japanese occupation to contemporary Hong Kong, crossroads of international trade and finance and waystation for laundering the dirty money of warlords, drug runners, and Chinese triads. The novel ends three years after the Mainland takeover, with Hong Kong as greedy, corrupt, and corrupting as when Stewart first landed there.

Writing with the same fine style and observant eye that distinguished his previous novels, John Lanchester depicts a tumultuous time and place and then peoples it with extraordinary characters. The result is a novel that proves he is amongour most versatile and talented contemporary novelists-indeed, as The New York Times wrote, "Lanchester is a commanding writer."

Baker & Taylor
Follows Tom Stewart, a young Englishman, as he arrives in Hong Kong in 1935 from the intrigue of the 1930s through the Japanese occupation to the present day, sharing a story of forbidden love and ultimate redemption.

Blackwell North Amer
It is 1935 and Tom Stewart, a young Englishman with an almost visceral longing for adventure, has bought himself a cheap ticket to the complex, corrupt, and corrupting world of Hong Kong. Aboard the SS Darjeeling, he becomes the pawn in a wager between a bluff Yorkshire businessman and a Chinese missionary nun who bets she can teach Stewart Cantonese on the six-week voyage out. What begins as a shipboard contest evolves into friendship, then turns into solace and a passion only individual vows can stanch.
Spanning seven decades, Fragrant Harbor moves from the intrigue and double-dealing of the 1930s, through the savagery of the Japanese occupation, to end in contemporary Hong Kong, crossroads of international trade and finance, and way station for laundering the dirty money of warlords, drug runners, and Chinese triads. John Lanchester depicts a tumultuous time and place, then peoples it with memorable characters. Digging deep into the wellsprings of human emotion, he tells the story of a forbidden love whose repercussions echo across the years, surviving war, taboos, and even death.

Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2002]
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9780399148668
0399148663
Branch Call Number: FICTION LANCH...J
Notes: "A Marian Wood book."

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m
megaculpa
Jun 05, 2015

A stylishly written, distinctive novel by John Lanchester, one the best contemporary British novelists. Anyone familiar with Hong Kong or wanting to learn more about the 20th century history of the colony will enjoy this book.

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