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The Jade Pavilion

The Jade Pavilion

(1987)
A novel by

 
Publisher's Weekly
Booth, an English author with extensive knowledge of the Far East, who made a good impression with Hiroshima Joe , offers a tale set in prewar and wartime Hong Kong and Macao that for all its exotic color and authentic atmosphere never really takes hold of the reader. Sean Mulrenan is an Irish exile cocktail pianist who becomes a gunrunner and shady dealer in precious stones, sustained by greed and an abiding hatred of the English. The beautiful Anglo-Chinese Alice Soon has been a prostitute in a fancy brothel but when Sean takes up with her she gradually leaves the life. The novel is the account of their melancholy and not too convincing relationship, as Sean flees to India after a rather mistily plotted assassination of a Japanese official and Alice endures the war back in Macao, achieving near saintly qualities as she does so. There is a believable quarrel scene on Sean's postwar return, followed by a melodramatic conclusion in which he gets his deserts and Alice becomes cozy with the nuns. But despite some effective writing from time to time, there is almost no narrative tension, and the characters are never brought to more than sporadic life. As a result, this is neither a serious novel nor an exotic pleasure read, but falls uneasily and glumly between the two.

Library Journal
Sean Mulrenan is an Anglo-Irish piano player and adventurer in Hong Kong. His mistress is Alice Soon, half-Chinese, ex-prostitute. It is 1937, and war is about to upset the complex rituals of the colonials. Sean becomes rich in the black market and flees to India. Alice retreats to neutral Macao and waits out the war. Although events intrude on both, Booth is concerned with the factors by which they measure themselves. Alice uses adversity to become strong; Sean's Anglophobia and self-hatred eventually bring about his spectacular fall. This vivid picture of social expectations and self-realization should be an essential purchase for its penetrating visions of Europeans and Chinese. Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Tralinet Ctr., Fort Monroe, Va.

 
Used availability for Martin Booth's The Jade Pavilion


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

September 1988 : USA Hardback
Title: The Jade Pavilion
Author(s): Martin Booth
ISBN: 0-87113-239-7 / 978-0-87113-239-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1987 : UK Hardback
Title: The Jade Pavilion
Author(s): Martin Booth
ISBN: 0-09-168090-5 / 978-0-09-168090-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Hutchinson
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

November 1988 : UK Paperback
Title: Jade Pavilion
Author(s): Martin Booth
ISBN: 0-09-952650-6 / 978-0-09-952650-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 1988 : UK Paperback
Title: The Jade Pavilion
Author(s): Martin Booth
ISBN: 0-09-953030-9 / 978-0-09-953030-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Arrow
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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