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The heartrending story of a British boy's four year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. Based on J. G. Ballard's own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy's life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai -- a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint. Rooted as it is in the author's own disturbing experience of war in own time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered but judged.