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We, The Survivors By Tash Aw : A Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Blurb: A murderer’s confession – devastating, unblinking, poignant, unforgettable – which reveals a story of class, education and the inescapable workings of destiny.

Ah Hock is an ordinary, uneducated man born in a Malaysian fishing village and now trying to make his way in a country that promises riches and security to everyone, but delivers them only to a chosen few. With Asian society changing around him, like many he remains trapped in a world of poorly paid jobs that just about allow him to keep his head above water but ultimately lead him to murder a migrant worker from Bangladesh.

My thoughts:

I was sceptical of reading this book as I found a previous Tash Aw book difficult to get through, but I am glad I did read We, The Survivors.
I couldn’t put the book down and ended up reading it over the weekend, the fastest I’ve read a book in a very long while.

The book is written from the view of Ah Hock (Lee) as he tells his story to a student / book writer. The story of a murder he committed.

He talks about his childhood, his jobs, his wife, and about his friend, Keong. At first, I thought that all this information about his childhood and his jobs etc were not really relevant to the story, but it was written in a way that kept me continuously interested and wanting to turn each page. It turned out that in fact, nearly everything Ah Hock talks about WAS relevant to the story and it is beautifully brought together.

The author, Tash Aw, has managed to write a great story here about one gentleman’s life, and how his life led to him committing murder. Aw has managed to develop important characters that you become to know and understand.

It’s definitely a book that I would recommend to you and once you do, I hope that you can agree with me on this…

Ah Hock should never have been friends with Keong!

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