Cold Harbor

Fragrant Harbour, John Lanchester's new novel of Hong Kong, begins with a map; two actually. Unless the book in question is Treasure Island, this is rarely a good sign. A map sends a warning signal that what lies ahead may be so complicated that readers will be unable to keep their bearings without graphic aids. But this is a book that seeks to map the heart of a city. In its geography lies its spirit. Stretching over seven decades, and narrated by three different characters, Lanchester's novel tells the story of Hong Kong: its murky past, its riotous rise, its uncertain...

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