My favourite part is the one chapter that takes place on the night of Dec. 7, 1941, the night before the Japanese invasion.
In the The Singapore Grip we see Air Marshal Brooke-Popham trying to reach a decision whether to launch Operation Matador or not, Sir Shenton Thomas, the Governor of Singapore, sleeping quietly before the phone would shriek with news of the invasion; Lt. Gen. A. E. Percival, asleep too, trying to wrestle with his inner self; Lt. Sinclair watching the events in the Operations Room at GHQ; Maj. Gen. Gordon Bennett sitting quietly in his room in the Strand Hotel in Rangoon; a Private Kikuchi on one of the Japanese landing crafts heading for the Malay shores, and, ending the chapter; a young Malay fisherman starting to hear the drone of planes, heading south towards the mainland…
The story involves a host of engaging characters, both historical and fictional, and all related to each other in one way or another – set against the disastrous and fatal events that changed their lives, slowly at first, but quickly and furiously in the end. The situations are realistic, sad, complex, and, at times, surreal, which draws you in ever so closer to the characters and their actions, bringing them to life.
A fine story with Farrell at his best, he writes in his usual style with which many have become familiar with, it is sure not to disappoint fans of The Siege of Krishnapur. Full of sarcasm, brilliant wit, and tragic events, this is a classic that should be on every bookshelf in every home.