Tales From the Fragrant Harbour – Garry Kilworth (PS Publishing)
This book promises more than just the pungent smells of the mysterious Orient. It hints at pleasures untold and unknown to the Western mind. Set in Hong Kong, these tales are meant to instill a certain sense of the history and culture of the native people. In my mind, it fails.
Even though all of the tales are based in Hong Kong, very little of the culture permeates any of the stories. Since they’re written by a Westerner about Westerners they failed to capture the delight and mystery Garry Kilworth intended to fill them with. The endings are mostly weak and the characters are soft and never seem like real people. I didn’t care for this book, it’s safe to say.
Jim Dodge Jnr.