State of emergency by Jeremy Tiang

043CDA27-D989-4692-97A7-DDA52B67479FBook set in Singapore. Reviewed on 2020/02:

My obsession with finishing all the books I start whether they entice me right away or not has finally paid off. If you are unfamiliar with people, events and issues pertaining to #singaporean history, this book will be a struggle to delve into. At least to me, the first few hundred pages or so were difficult to understand and follow. On the other hand, the later chapters: #stella and #namteck specifically were gems to read. #jeremytiang seemed to have found a more universal tone which allows the characters to touch humanity the deeper they go into their weaknesses and idealism. My wish would have been for #tiang to have arranged the chapters/characters differently. To future readers, my very humble advice is to concentrate on the actual title of the book. #stateofemergency is the state either internally, externally or both that all these characters need to navigate and get used to. The “emergency” and need to combat a “catastrophe” affecting everyone is usually a call to suppress individual rights, dissent, and whoever doesn’t follow the rules for the “good” of the group. Keeping this in mind might be the key to unlock this book for everyone to immerse themselves in. #recommended #singaporeanliterature #singapore #malaya #britishcolonialism #sabah #sarawak #indonesia #epigrambooks #tiang #chinesediaspora #london #debutnovel #insurgency

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