Thursday, June 28, 2012
TIME FOR A TIGER - Anthony Burgess
This the first novel by Burgess written after he had been a school teacher in Malaya and he thought he was soon to be dead of a brain tumour - he was writing to leave some money for his wife.
It has a wide selection of characters, English school teachers, alcoholic policemen, muslim policemen and Indians. The novel is about how complex a country Malaya was after WWII when the communists were beginning their infiltration. This is best exemplified in the novel where there is a notice in bar written in four different languages asking patrons not to spit on the floor.
It has humour, usually due to the exaggerated arrogance of the British and equally sad due to the fact that these 'tin pot 'generals are all rather pathetic.
I enjoyed it much more than Orwells's "Burmese Days" similar themes ,but George can be very intense at times.
If you were reading this as an editor in 1956 you would say that young Burgess has a future as a novelist. (1956)