Witty, wise, and deeply moving, this is a remarkable novel, a story of the fall of Singapore and life as a POW, and of a young boy making sense of his future while old men try to live with their past
David is 13 and confused. His mother has left with her lover and dumped David on his grandparents. David's grandfather, Jimmy, is 70. He spends his days at the social club grumbling with his three best friends, all of them Jewish-Australian survivors of the enforced labor camps of the WWII Thai-Burma Railroad. But behind their playful backbiting and irresistible wit, Jimmy and his friends are haunted by the ghosts of long-dead comrades, and the only person Jimmy can confide in is a 13-year-old from a different world.
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Mark Dapin has served as an editor of a number of magazines, and is the author of Sex and Money.Review:
A bittersweet story of Burma, Bondi beach and broken lives... A literary cocktail of rare originality Sunday Telegraph The rewards are all over Spirit House, a little masterpiece of comedy and torment that mines new life from the well-told legend of the Thai-Burma railway of World War II The Australian 'Books of the Year' Every other week, it seems, a fine new Australian novel is published. Few, however, can equal the vernacular flair, the originality of treatment of matters that we had thought overly familiar and the narrative drive of Mark Dapin's Spirit House... Dapin is funny, poignant, vibrantly witty and his novel is a treat from its elegiac opening to its bitter, unexpected close. Canberra Times This is a book destined for classic status in every sense of the word. It is powerful, poignant, moving, tragic and intensely distressing. It is a feast of a story which will almost simultaneously move you to tears and bring a smile to your face. ABC News
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