Breaking the Tongue

Breaking the Tongue

4.5 4
by Vyvyane Loh
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0393326543

ISBN-13: 9780393326543

Pub. Date: 03/28/2005

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

"Dramatic....One of the most ambitious and accomplished debut novels in recent memory."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
"This masterly novel is not only bold and challenging but also beautifully written. The reader will be left breathless by the ending."—Library Journal"A moving accomplishment."—Publishers Weekly, starred review "Vyvyane Loh's

Overview

"Dramatic....One of the most ambitious and accomplished debut novels in recent memory."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
"This masterly novel is not only bold and challenging but also beautifully written. The reader will be left breathless by the ending."—Library Journal"A moving accomplishment."—Publishers Weekly, starred review "Vyvyane Loh's richly ambitious narrative weaves the personal and the political into an unforgettable novel."—Claire Messud "In the tradition of Rushdie or Ondaatje, this is one of the most accomplished first novels I've ever seen."—Andrea Barrett "A revelatory book that is both novel and history, written with splendid and intelligent humanity."—Shirley Hazzard, author ofThe Great Fire
This brilliant novel chronicles the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in World War II. Central to the story is one Chinese family: Claude, raised to be more British than the British and ashamed of his own heritage; his father, Humphrey, whose Anglophilia blinds him to possible defeat and his wife's dalliances; and the redoubtable Grandma Siok, whose sage advice falls on deaf ears. Expatriates, spies, fifth columnists, and nationalists—including the elusive young woman Ling-Li—mingle in this exotic culture as the Japanese threat looms. Beset by the horror of war and betrayal and, finally, torture, Claude must embrace his true heritage. In the extraordinary final paragraphs of the novel, the language itself breaks into Chinese. With penetrating observation, Vyvyane Loh unfolds the coming-of-age story of a young man and a nation, a story that deals with myth, race, and class, with the ways language shapes perceptions, and with the intrigue and suffering of war. Reading group guide included.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393326543
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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Breaking the Tongue 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. The most amazing and brilliant book I have read in a very long time. The kind of book that you keep thinking about long after you've finished it and changes the way you perceive the world forever after. It does move around a lot (which doesn't bother me, but it does some people) and I was initially confused sometimes at the beginning about who was speaking. But, well, wow, just wow. I rarely write reviews online, but saw it only had four reviews up here so it obviously isn't a best seller. But it should be! I got the book out of the library when it was on display for Asian-American month, but I am going to buy a copy in support the author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Breaking the Tongue, Vivyane Loh's chronicle of the downfall of Singapore during WWII, is excellent historic semi-fiction that chronicles much more than a troubled time. Dr. Loh explores the themes of colonialism, inequality, loyalty and coming of age in a book that is never slow moving and never preaching even with such weighty themes. The characters are very well developed there are no wide brush strokes of stereotypes here. The prose is lyrical the imagery vivid. And as an extra bonus the story is just darn very, very good. Is your book club interested in a topical, intelligent book? Read Breaking the Tongue. Are you an instructor looking for a multicultural book that goes beyond flat themes? Read Breaking the Tongue. If you are interested in just reading an excellent book, read Breaking the Tongue. I recommend it very highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was hard to understand who was talking at first, but by the end it all comes together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book jumps around a lot. But the Character development is outstanding