It’s always Tiger Time

10 09 2008

The Malayan Trilogy by Anthony Burgess:

Time for a Tiger
The Enemy in the Blanket
Beds in the East

Malayan Trilogy

Malayan Trilogy

Burgess’s trilogy dissects the racial and social prejudices of post-war Malaya during the chaotic upheaval of independence. He uses a range of characters, from all races, to explore the tensions of the end of empire and the move to the new republic. A powerful and thoroughly entertaining set of novels in which Burgess demonstrates real insight:

Leaning back in his armchair high above the jungle, lulled by the engine noises, Crabbe tried to take stock of himself.He felt very much alone. Malaya did not want him.The romantic dream he had entertained, the dream that had driven Raffles to an early death, was no longer appropriate to an age in which sleep was impossible. The whole East was awake, building dams and canals, power-houses and car factories, forming committees, drawing up constitutions, having selected from the West the few tricks it could understand and use. The age of Raffles was also the age of Keats and Shelley, the East attractively misty, apt for the muffled clang of the romantic image – Cathay all golden dragons, Japan the edge of the world. Liberalism, itself a romantic dream, had long gone under, and there was no longer any room for the individual, there was nothing now that any one man could build.

Quality stuff.

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