This is likely the most exciting thriller to appear this year. The vivid imagery of a story-teller takes the reader to an alien land they can only imagine, as the author weaves his tale of strong, believable characters in their life and death struggles. A book you can't put down. Tom Johnson, editor, Detective Mystery Stories.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 5.7" Height: 1" Weight: 1 lbs.
Publisher Durban House
ISBN 1930754299 ISBN13 9781930754294
Availability 0 units.
More About John Lewis
John Lewis is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Villanova University. Prof. Lewis is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the IEEE Computer Society, and Sigma Xi, the scientific research society. He has won numerous teaching awards, and is active in the ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE).
"Samsara _n. Hinduism and Buddhism_. The eternal cycle of birth, suffering, death and rebirth." - American Heritage Dictionary
Author John Hamilton Lewis has lived and worked in the Middle East and Far East for over fifteen years; experiences he puts to good use in his new novel, _Samsara_. Though the story opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp late in the Second World War, most of the action takes place in postwar Hong Kong, a city Lewis shows by his writing that he knows intimately. Situated precariously on the edge of a newly-Communist China, Hong Kong in 1950 was just emerging as an economic powerhouse. As such, it is the perfect backdrop for a tale of suspense and intrigue.
The book opens with Royal Air Force pilot Nick Ridley locked in a fierce battle of nerves with the POW camp's commandant, the sadistic Tetsuro Matashima. Try as he does, Matashima is unable to break Ridley's indomitable spirit despite his use of physical and mental torture. Increasingly distraught as the defeat of the Japanese Empire becomes more and more inevitable, Matashima challenges Ridley to a sword duel. Ridley is badly wounded in the engagement before rallying to chop off the commandant's leg. Sent to a Philippine hospital for recuperation after the war, Ridley does not learn of his tormentor's fate.
Flashing forward five years, former POW Ridley has become the successful head of Cathay Airlines, which is about to win recognition from the British colonial government as Hong Kong's official airline. Despite his success, however, all is not well in Nick Ridley's world. The woman he left behind before the war mysteriously disappeared just before his release from the POW camp. Worse yet, his old enemy from before the war, Thomas Gradek, has become the colony's most powerful businessman and is determined to prevent Cathay from winning the airline concession. When a vicious heroin-fueled gang war breaks out, Ridley is asked by the colonial government to help with the investigation, much to his eventual regret. He finds himself drawn deeper into the intrigue; unaware that he has also become the target of Matashima as the crippled former commandant plots his revenge. When an old face from his past suddenly reappears in Ridley's life, it sets in motion a violent series of events.
Lewis is also very knowledgeable about history, using real events to spice up his narrative. The story is as richly textured as Hong Kong itself, and is peppered with colorful minor characters with names like Formidable Fung, Charlie Sing Sing and Terrible Wu. Lewis weaves in numerous subplots, bringing them all together in an explosive climax. At 244 pages, the book is fast-paced and lively. Lovers of historical mysteries will find themselves right at home with "Samsara".
A Futures Magazine book review.
A Great Read! Nov 16, 2003
I read this book recently during a series of long flights on Delta Airlines. One of Delta's music features available on their headset selection at the time was "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" which I listened to while reading "Samsara." It was a perfect match to the text. Lewis is great at both characterization and suspense.
I'm personally preoccupied with the concept of joss and write about it myself in a somewhat different sense than Lewis does. So, if you don't know your joss, then you need read this book to find out what it is. Highly recommended.
A very highly recommended work of suspense Aug 11, 2003
Set in Hong Kong after World War II, Samsara is a superbly crafted novel of love and conflict. Nick Ridley is a war veteran who suffered horrific treatment when taken prisoner by Japanese forces attempts to rebuild his life, yet demons from the past encroach upon him and kidnap the love of his life. Nick must confront a monster and engage in a life and death struggle to survive in body and spirit both in this gripping and tautly written thriller. A very highly recommended work of suspense, Samsara showcases the considerable literary skills and storytelling originality of author John Hamilton Lewis.
Samsara May 19, 2003
I purchased a copy of Samsara at the Los Angeles Festival of Books and highly recommend for anyone who appreciates great writing. It is a thrilling tale of love, hate, and revenge that kept me turning pages all night. I loved all of the characters, the good, bad, and ugly. And, I loved the beauty of the read, even with the underlying violence. I think that's what impressed me the most, being transported to an exotic land populated by memorable characters. I've read Lewis' other books (Basha, Opal Eye Devil), and his writing lives on in my mind.