Empire of the Sun (Paperback)

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Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard is a work of historic fiction inspired by the author’s war time experiences. In 1941 Shanghai the streets are chaos as everyone attempts to flee the advancing Japanese after Pearl Harbor. Jim is separated from his parents in the melee. At first he goes back to the place he knows, the home his parents fled, and camps out. Eventually he ends up a prisoner in a Japanese concentration camp. Jim spends the rest of the war years a prisoner, witness to the harshness of wartime, growing from an 11 year old boy to a teenager. The loyalties within the camp are confusing to the young British boy, he admires the Japanese pilots although they are the enemy. Ballard was not separated from his parents, they were also interred by the Japanese, but his experiences inform the story, giving it a feeling of reality. Steven Spielberg filmed the story to much acclaim.

— Deon Stonehouse


The classic, award-winning novel, made famous by Steven Spielberg’s film, tells of a young boy’s struggle to survive World War II in China.

Jim is separated from his parents in a world at war. To survive, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him.

Shanghai, 1941—a city aflame from the fateful torch of Pearl Harbor. In streets full of chaos and corpses, a young British boy searches in vain for his parents. Imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp, he is witness to the fierce white flash of Nagasaki, as the bomb bellows the end of the war...and the dawn of a blighted world.

Ballard’s enduring novel of war and deprivation, internment camps and death marches, and starvation and survival is an honest coming-of-age tale set in a world thrown utterly out of joint.

About the Author

J.G. Ballard is the author of numerous books, including Concrete Island, The Kindness of Women, and Crash. He is revered as one of the most important writers of fiction to address the consequences of twentieth-century technology. He lives in England.

Praise For…

"An outstanding novel...a classic adventure story."
-- The New York Times

"A profound and moving work of the imagination."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"An incredible literary achievement....Brilliant."
-- Anthony Burgess
Product Details
ISBN: 9780743265232
ISBN-10: 0743265238
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 7th, 2005
Pages: 288
Language: English