I read Empire of the Sun back in 2001 and I was impressed by this war story/coming of age novel. However as I re read I’m not quite as astounded as I was before.
The story of a young boy stranded in war torn shanghai is equally terrifying and enlightening. As Jim struggles to survive he matures and his worldview starts to change. J.G. Ballard depicts this wonderfully. Also I like the way he shows us how the respectable social classes which he grew up in have turned into nobodies.
In this respect the book succeeds , since it is autobiographical Ballard’ writing simply leaps off the page. You definitely know what he’s talking about. Saying that there are certain passages which are dull and repetitive. There were times where I said inwardly ‘ come on get on with it’. It does drag.
Fortunately it does pick up and ends triumphantly (well in a dour way) but ti is one of those reading experiences that you will not forget too soon.