Wednesday, 10 February 2010

After all the media hype promoting Shanghai Girls, I have say I was quite disappointed. While the author, Lisa See, definitely did her research on the historical fiction novel, the plot and subplots were unbelievable and predictable. The ending has no resolution and leaves readers hanging. A sequel has been rumored. In my opinion, the Lee had better start a new novel.
It is 1937 and Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, especially for Chinese sisters, Pearl and May. The sisters are well-educated and sophisticated, but their affluent life quickly crumbles, when there fathers sells them to Chinese-Americans as wives to cover his gambling debts.
The roller coaster novel explores the pains of Chinese immigrants and Angel Island, prejudice of Chinese in America and the role of Chinese wives. If the author had spent more time showing readers through character and plot development, rather than telling them, the shallow book would have been better. Instead the novel is a series of horrible events leading up to nothing, except survival by two superficial characters.
Do yourself a favor and leave this book on the shelf. If you really want to understand Chinese culture and traditions, treat yourself to a novel by Amy Tan.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Lone Survivor

In the summer of 2005, Mark Luttrell and three Navy SEALS were given the task of locating allies of Osama bin Laden in the rugged terrain of the Afghanistan mountains. When two shepherds appeared, the SEALS debated as to whether or not to kill them. Feeling merciful and obeying the rules of engagement, they let the Afghans go. Within an hour, the SEALS were surrounded by at least 100 Taliban warriors pointing AK-47s down their throats. After a violent firefight, Luttrell survived only to see his buddies perish.

This is the true account of Luttrell's harrowing five-day nightmare to escape the relentless Taliban. Dehydrated and severely wounded, Luttrell crawled up and down precipices until a village elder took mercy on him. With the help of an entire village, Luttrell was rescued by the United States military and awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism by President George W. Bush.

In the Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, Luttrell and contributor Patrick Robinson tell the story of four gallant Navy SEALS and their valiant fight to protect our country. If you want an action packed story and a true insight into becoming a Navy SEAL, read the Lone Survivor.