• Coming to Canada

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    With sensitivity and tenderness, Starkie Mak has captured a tale of the immigrant experience, from the eyes of a child. Masterfully rendered with careful homage paid to the children’s books that have touched the hearts of so many, Mak’s brush strokes and calligraphy evoke the turbulent emotions and difficulties a child must surely experience when having their little world upended, only to have a much larger and foreign world unfold before them.

    In a heartbreaking parting, a child says goodbye to her family and is left with her imagination as guide. In search of a new life in a new land, a child retreats into the realm of fantasy. Through the devastating pain of childhood loss emerges the joy of a child’s triumph.

  • Destination Peking

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    New York Times bestselling author Paul French (Midnight in Peking, City of Devils) returns to the Chinese capital to tell 18 true stories of fascinating people who visited the city in the first half of the 20th century.

    From the ultra-wealthy Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton and her husband the Prince Mdivani, to the poor “American girl” Mona Monteith who worked in the city as a prostitute; from socialite Wallis Simpson and novelist JP Marquand, who held court on the rooftop of the Grand Hôtel de Pékin, to Hollywood screenwriter Harry Hervey, who sought inspiration walking atop the Tartar Wall; from Edgar and Helen Foster Snow – Peking's ‘It' couple of 1935 – to Martha Sawyers, who did so much to aid China against Japan in World War II; Destination Peking brings a lost pre-communist era back to life.

    Paul French resurrects a Peking that was filled with glitter as well as evil, but was never known for being dull.” The Economist

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    Contents & Introduction

    The Rooftop of the Grand Hôtel de Pékin: Wallis Spencer’s Peking World & Those Who Went Up on the Roof (1924)

  • Why Your CEO Failed in China: True tales of how not to do business in the People’s Republic

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    Previously published, in shorter form, as Business Republic of China

    Jack Leblanc arrived in China in 1989 intending to teach for just two years. He was to spend the next two decades on a very different learning curve as he became involved in a series of business ventures in almost every part of the Middle Kingdom.

    From farmyard to factory, boardroom to banquet, Leblanc witnessed (and occasionally assisted) the transformation of China from a socialist economy into the world's greatest experiment in capitalism. Over time it dawned upon him that the key to success is to manage the differences in Chinese and Western business behaviour. To do well in China you must carefully adapt your strategies – or face ruin faster than you can learn how to use chopsticks.

    This book is rich in practical detail. Leblanc’s experiences make for instructive reading for any foreign executive doing business in China.” China Economic Review

  • Ayo Gorkhali: The True Story of the Gurkhas

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    Ayo Gorkhali!” – “The Gurkhas are upon you!” – is the battle cry of one of the world’s most famous fighting forces. Yet the Gurkha story is not only about bravery in combat. It is also a story of tragedy.

    In WWI alone, 200,000 Gurkhas out of Nepal’s five million people took up arms for the British cause. A further 250,000 Gurkhas fought alongside the British in WWII. In their 200-year history, the Gurkhas have served in places such as Malaya, Singapore, Borneo, East Timor, Hong Kong, Cyprus, the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. Although the British Empire’s reign in Asia has ended, some 3,500 Gurkhas are currently serving in the British Army in the UK.

    Written by a Gurkha, this book tells the Gurkhas’ story from the very beginning to the present day. It deals with their history and its ramifications on the nation of Nepal.

  • Out of stock

    Hong Kong Volunteers in Battle: December 1941

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    On the same day as the assault on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese army attacked the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong. Among the colony’s garrison were regiments from Britain, Canada and India as well as men from the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, better known as ‘The Volunteers’.

    When the battle began on 8 December 1941, the HKVDC deployed a total fighting strength of 1,900 officers and men. These were mustered into seven infantry companies, five artillery batteries and a single armoured car platoon with a full range of support units.

    Over the next 17 days, until the surrender on Christmas Day 1941, the men of ‘The Volunteers’ saw action all over Hong Kong. This is the story of their battle.

  • Stories from the Royal Hong Kong Police: Fifty accounts from officers of Hong Kong’s colonial-era police force

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    Fighting to survive on a police patrol launch during a typhoon, and investigating a murder by a Vietnamese gangster in a refugee camp. Battling riots during the Cultural Revolution, countering drug smuggling and pimping by the triads, and dealing with bank robbers in a hostage situation. These are just some of the stories told in this riveting compilation of personal experiences of former Royal Hong Kong Police officers.

    In 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty after 156 years of British rule. This collection of no-holds-barred accounts by some 50 individual police officers, put together by three former colleagues, illustrates the last decades of the colony’s colourful history. This is what life was really like on the front line.

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    Contents, preface and three stories

  • The Rise and Fall of the Hang Seng Index

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    “Every adult human being is an investment expert. Life is an investment exercise and you are your own best investment adviser.”

    Jake van der Kamp is a resident of Hong Kong for more than 40 years. He has enjoyed a varied career, working first as an Asian investment analyst and then as a financial columnist for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.

    In this book he offers a “how to” manual on investment. He argues that you are already your own best adviser on when and what investments to make – and you should rely on investment professionals only for advice on how and where to do so.

  • Hong Kong Beat: True Stories From One of the Last British Police Officers in Colonial Hong Kong

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    Sex, drugs, gambling, ghosts, drinking, rugby, overseas adventures – and even some police work.

    Hong Kong on the edge of empire was a place teeming with triads, smugglers, Chinese immigrants and Vietnamese refugees. Simon’s memoir of his time in the Hong Kong police force – from the 1970s until after the 1997 handover – is a fast-paced tale of his exploits. From the murky back streets of Kowloon to the open seas in the Marine division, his shocking and hilarious tales offer an alternative look back at what life was really like on the Hong Kong beat.

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    Chapters 1, 2 and 3

  • The Evergreen Tea House: A Hong Kong Novel

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    In the wake of the Hong Kong protests, memories of the colonial past are fading. This new edition of David T. K. Wong’s sweeping historical novel brings the past vividly to life.

    The Evergreen Tea House is a deftly crafted, provocative and poignant tale which blends mismatched love and twisted ambition with political intrigue and diplomatic mendacity. Set in Hong Kong during the twilight years of British rule, the characters live through tumultuous events – the Japanese occupation, the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution – and the emotional trauma associated with the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which precipitated Hong Kong's handover to China.

    The unique and noteworthy element of this novel, beyond its strong evocation of time and place and its careful melding of facts with fiction, is its interpretation of historical events through a Chinese perspective.

  • The Hong Kong Letters

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    In 1969, at the height of China’s Cultural Revolution, a yacht sails out of Hong Kong and disappears. The world’s press takes up the story of the crew who are presumed lost at sea. But Gill and her friends are very much alive, held captive in a Chinese fishing village by Communist militia. As she faces questioning by the People’s Liberation Army, there’s a lot that Gill would rather not tell – that her crew-mates are British soldiers; her flatmates are Japanese, old adversaries of the Chinese; or that her boss, the doyen of advertising in Hong Kong, is well known for ‘firing Reds’.

    In this spirited memoir, where Mad Men meets Han Suyin’s A Many Splendoured Thing, Gill recreates a Hong Kong of the imagination. Twenty-one, attractive and naïve, wined and dined by Hong Kong’s elite, Gill learns to stand her ground at her job in an advertising agency under the directive of the narcissistic Mrs Church. Her luck changes when Paddy O’Neil-Dunne joins the firm – he is just as eccentric but much more fun. After several visits to a casino in the nearby Portuguese enclave of Macau, Paddy embarks on the longest roulette game ever played and he insists Gill join in. But Gill finds the sparkling waters of Hong Kong’s seascape more seductive than the world of business and money; she takes up sailing and falls in love.

    The backdrop is a gift. The Colony is an anachronism, a last vestige of British colonialism. Yet as Communist ideology gathers pace in neighbouring China, Hong Kong seizes every new opportunity and so does the author. Unexpected twists and a host of funny, bizarre and whimsical events are captured in her lyrical memoir.

    Carefully bundled and tied together with ribbon, Gill’s letters from Hong Kong had remained untouched for nearly fifty years. When she untied them, she remembered her father’s words: “I think there’s a book in there.”

  • Destination Shanghai

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    18 true stories of those who went...

    For the privileged a cosmopolitan pleasure ground; for the desperate a port of last resort.

    A pot of gold at the end of an Oriental rainbow; a thick slice of hell denounced from the pulpit.

    The start of a journey for many; the end of the road for some.

    A place to find fame, or to seek anonymity; rogues, chancers, showgirls, criminals…

    For so many people from so many lands, there was one phrase that sent a tingle of hope or a shiver of anticipation down every spine:

    “DESTINATION SHANGHAI”

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    Contents and Introduction 

    Shanghai’s Most Charming Gangster: Elly ‘The Swiss’ Widler (1940)

  • Confessions of a Hong Kong Naturalist

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    by G. T. Reels

    Confessions of a Hong Kong Naturalist is a natural history memoir, tracing the journey from novice to expert of an aspiring naturalist, Graham Reels, as he follows a trail of discovery into the miraculously fascinating and diverse world of Hong Kong's wildlife.

    The memoir falls naturally into two parts, the first covering the seven-year period 1988-1995 in which Reels gained the knowledge and experience that qualified him to undertake the Hong Kong Biodiversity Survey in 1995-1998. Early chapters include descriptions of work as a research assistant at Hong Kong University, an M.Phil. study from a hut at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, a survey of Hong Kong's freshwater wetlands, and work at Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden. The territory-wide Biodiversity Survey is covered in the second half of the book.

    Throughout the memoir, different animal species that Reels encountered (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects) are named and described, and their ecological or behavioural attributes discussed in a lively and informal manner. Similarly, a range of fascinating human characters whose lives intersected with the author's in his study of Hong Kong's wildlife are introduced and engagingly portrayed.

  • Tin Hats and Rice: A Diary of Life as a Hong Kong Prisoner of War, 1941-1945

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    “I can’t visualise us getting out of this, but I want to TRY to believe in a future,” wrote 23-year-old Barbara Anslow (then Redwood) in her diary on 8th December 1941, a few hours after Japan first attacked Hong Kong.

    Barbara's 1941-1945 diaries (with post-war explanations where necessary) are an invaluable source of information on the civilian experience in British Hong Kong during the second world war. The diaries record her thoughts and experiences through the fighting, the surrender, three-and-a-half years of internment, then liberation and adjustment to normal life.

    The diaries have been quoted by leading historians on the subject. Now they are available in print for the first time, making them available to a wider audience.

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    Foreword and introduction

  • Other Voices, Other Eyes: Expatriate Lives in Hong Kong

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    The stories of expatriates in Hong Kong – the most dynamic, dramatic and diverse city in the Asia-Pacific region – come to life in this book.

    Why did they come? Why do they stay? How did Hong Kong change them and their view of the world? What did they gain and what did they lose?

    Human beings are on the move, driven by economic globalisation, political persecution, love or simple curiosity; and this global flow defines the age in which we live. From these expat stories, larger themes loom: identities transformed; racism, naked and clothed; blended relationships; and the tensions and tolerance engendered through peoples, languages and cultures in contact.

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  • The Dictionary of the Asian Language

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    with cartoons by Ming

    Of course there is no single Asian language. But plenty of vogue words from this booming continent are entering English.

    Did you know there is a flower named after former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il? The Chinese have a word – shengnu, literally leftover – for the new phenomenon of unmarried women over thirty. Can you tell your jeepney from your jilbab, or yakuza from the yellowshirts?

    These are just some of the hundreds of words that illuminate little corners of life and culture in a pan-Asian selection of keywords from the zeitgeist.

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    aaiiiyah! to Ayutthaya

  • Chinese Ghosts Revisited: A Study of Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences

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    Do the Hong Kong Chinese experience ghosts, hauntings, spirit mediumship, ESP and other paranormal phenomena just like people in the West? Or is their culture so different that the ghost accounts in this book will seem bizarre to anyone else?

    This classic presentation of cases is based on 3,600 interviews, questionnaires and observations in Hong Kong in 1980/81, updated by recent materials over 30 years later. Interestingly, in spite of clear influences from ancestor worship and Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist culture, parapsychological theories of apparitions from the West also apply to the Chinese cases.

    For this 2017 edition, Charles Emmons has revisited his earlier conclusions and added new material that has come to light in the intervening years. This book remains the only major cross-cultural study comparing Chinese with Western ghost experiences.

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    Strange Cases on Exhibit

  • Hong Kong on the Brink: An American diplomat relives 1967’s darkest days

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    Syd Goldsmith’s first taste of China’s Cultural Revolution is blood on his tongue. It’s 1967. Hong Kong is simmering, plagued by communist-led riots and strikes, crippled transport, punishing water-rationing, takeover threats from Beijing and roadside bombs. And Syd — the only Caucasian Foreign Service Officer at the American Consulate General who speaks Cantonese — is made responsible for reporting and analysis of the Hong Kong government’s ability to survive.

    The CIA station chief and the head of Macau’s gold syndicate play major roles in Syd’s story, along with Newsweeks Sydney Liu and Maynard Parker, and a steady stream of inquiring foreign correspondents and China-watchers. Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance — to talk football with Syd since the consul general won’t see him — in this riveting memoir of a year when Hong Kong’s “borrowed time” seemed about to expire.

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    Chapters 1 to 3

  • Dateline Mongolia: An American journalist in nomad’s land

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    Michael Kohn, former editor of the Mongol Messenger newspaper, is one steppe ahead of the journalistic posse in this epic Western set in the Far East.

    Kohn’s memoir of his time in Mongolia is an irresistible account of a nation where falcon poachers, cattle rustlers, exiled Buddhist leaders, death-defying child jockeys and political assassins vie for page one. A turf war between lamas, shamans, Mormon elders and ministers provides the spiritual backdrop in this nation which had only just been liberated from Soviet rule. From the reincarnated Bogd Khaan and his press spokesman to vodka-fuelled racing entrepreneurs and political leaders unclear on the concept of freedom of the press, Kohn explores one of Asia’s most fascinating, mysterious and misunderstood lands.

    “Genghis Khan may have stormed across the steppes seven centuries ago but Michael Kohn has probably covered nearly as many miles around one of the world’s most remote and untamed nations.” — Tony Wheeler, founder, Lonely Planet

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    Chapter 1 - The Frozen Capital

  • Out of stock

    Sheriff of Wan Chai: How an Englishman helped govern Hong Kong in its last decades as a British colony

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    In 1976, Peter Mann left a gloomy England for the last corner of the British empire: Hong Kong.

    As a police inspector, he commanded a sub-unit and led a district vice squad in Kowloon, before joining the colonial government’s Administrative Service and working in the fields of transport, housing, security, environment and tourism. He also served as District Officer, Wan Chai. From raids on gambling dens to organising Governors' visits, his work involved him in all levels of Hong Kong society.

    Mann’s memoir is an anecdotal, historical and racy account of Hong Kong’s last decades as a British colony and the colourful story of a young Englishman in the twilight of empire.

    Hong Kong is one of the most intriguing places in the world and its modern history is endlessly fascinating. This book is a highly readable addition to the canon of memoirs which illuminate the period.” – Rachel Cartland, author of Paper Tigress

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  • Getting Along with the Chinese: For Fun and Profit

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    Are the Chinese really so inscrutable?

    China Hand Fred Schneiter delves into the lighter side of Chinese psychology, and in doing so demystifies one of the toughest markets in the world. With an unfailing sense of humor, he offers insights for Sinophiles, Sinophobes and everyone in between. On the Hong Kong bestsellers list for twelve months, this book is now back in a new edition — the essential item to pack in your China survival kit.

    "Everyone working with Chinese, in or out of China, should read this and send a copy to their boss." -- Daniel Ng, managing director, McDonald's Hong Kong/South China

    "Should be required reading for everyone setting out for China for the first time. Lighthearted and highly readable." -- Donald M. Anderson, president, US-China Business Council

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    Prologue and Chapters 1 & 2

  • The Mercenary Mandarin: How a British adventurer became a general in Qing-dynasty China

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    Jersey-born William Mesny ran off to sea as a boy and jumped ship at Shanghai in 1860 when he was just 18. Amid the chaos of foreign intrigue and civil war in 19th-century China, he became a smuggler, a prisoner of the Taiping rebels, a gun-runner and finally enlisted in the Chinese military.

    After five years of fierce campaigning against the Miao in remote Guizhou province, Mesny rose to the rank of general and used this privileged position to travel around China – to the borders with Burma, Tibet and Vietnam – writing opinionated newspaper articles, collecting plants and advising government officials on the development of railways, telegraphs and other modern reforms.

    Mesny eventually settled in Shanghai with a 16-year-old concubine and published Mesny's Chinese Miscellany, a weekly magazine about his experiences. But his story was not to end well. After his implication in an illicit arms deal, his fortunes never recovered, and when he died in 1919 he was working as a desk clerk.

    David Leffman has spent over 15 years footstepping Mesny’s travels across China, interviewing locals and piecing together his life story from contemporary journals, private letters and newspaper articles.

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    It Won’t Be Long Now: The Diary of a Hong Kong Prisoner of War

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    Japan marched into Hong Kong at the outbreak of the Pacific War on December 8, 1941. On the same day, Graham Heywood was captured by the invading Japanese near the border while carrying out duties for the Royal Observatory. He was held at various places in the New Territories before being transported to the military Prisoner-of-War camp in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. The Japanese refused to allow Heywood and his colleague Leonard Starbuck to join the civilians at the Stanley internment camp.

    Heywood’s illustrated diary records his three-and-a-half years of internment, telling a story of hardship, adversity, and survival of malnutrition and disease; as well as repeated hopes of liberation and disappointment. As he awaits the end of the war, his reflections upon freedom and imprisonment bring realisations about life and how to live it.

    Accounts of life in the internment camp differed widely. One friend, an enthusiastic biologist, was full of his doings; he had grown champion vegetables, had seen all sort of rare birds (including vultures, after the corpses) and had run a successful yeast brewery. Altogether, he said, it had been a great experience ... a bit too long, perhaps, but not bad fun at all. Another ended up her account by saying ‘Oh, Mr. Heywood, it was hell on earth’. It all depended on their point of view.”

    Heywood’s highly positive attitude to life is food for thought for all of us today, in the midst of increasing consumerism but decreasing spiritual satisfaction. We have enjoyed freedom and an abundance of material wealth in the 70 years since the end of the Pacific War, but we may not always recognise our true good fortune.

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  • Chinese Gods: An introduction to Chinese folk religion

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    with a foreword by John Blofeld

    Chinese gods: Who are they? Where did they come from? What do they do?

    Chinese folk religion is the underlying belief system of more than a billion Chinese people. Go into any Chinese home, office or restaurant and you will see altars, statues or paper ‘good luck’ images. And wherever there is a Chinese community there are temples and Earth God shrines. But what is the religion that makes sense of all these expressions of belief? How do these beliefs connect to Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism?

    Chinese Gods helps us understand the building blocks of this religion for which even the Chinese have no name – because the beliefs are so intertwined with language and culture they have no independent existence – and provides an in-depth analysis of 19 of the major gods of the Chinese pantheon.

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    Contents & Preface  Kuan Ti

  • King Hui: The Man Who Owned All the Opium in Hong Kong

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    with a foreword by Sir David Tang

    From the start of the Korean war to the end of the Vietnam war, Hong Kong was a major R&R centre for soldiers and sailors. And there were thousands of local people who made their money making sure these visitors had a good time and got the suits and the girls they wanted. In fact they didn’t just wait for their customers to arrive – they sailed out in a flotilla of small boats to greet the ships as they entered the harbour. And then, when the ships had anchored, they shimmied up the anchor chain to be the first to get the orders for shirts and trousers. These were the tailor shop order men. Peter Hui was one of them.

    But who was Peter? What was his story?

    Well, before he took to being a tailor he had been a famous kung fu fighter; a rich playboy, a frequenter of the pleasure houses of Macau; a gambler (he had run three gambling joints in Canton when the Communists walked in); the brains behind a gang of armed robbers (he alone escaped arrest when their third robbery went wrong); an associate of triads – and, before all that, he had been the owner of the biggest string of Mongolian ponies at the Hong Kong Jockey Club – that was during the war years when he was a leading collaborator of the Japanese. He had once, for a very short time, owned all the opium in Hong Kong!

    Later, after his tailoring days had gone flat, he was paid by a CIA officer to report on events in China. This was during the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution, when Red Guard factions fought amongst each other.

    Some periods in history are best illuminated by the stories of men and women who lived through them. This is one of those stories. As we follow Peter’s life – his ups, his downs – we see in sharp focus what it was like to be a Chinese man in the British colony of Hong Kong through most of the years of the 20th century. This is the true, bizarre story of a man who knew everybody and saw everything. He wasn’t a wicked man. He was just trying to get by, like everyone else. This is his truly fascinating story.

    And yet this book is not just one man’s story. It is the story of a time and place – colonial Hong Kong, Portuguese Macau and the south China hinterland between Hong Kong and Canton – seen from the unique point of view of a man who was at home at all levels of society. There are, for example, no other published accounts of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong as seen from the non-combatant Chinese perspective.

    The World of Suzie Wong was a best-selling novel in the 1960s – and this story is its background. If Suzie had been a real girl, Peter would have known her.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to view sample pages from King Hui. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. 

    Introduction

  • With Bare Hands: The true story of Alain Robert, the real-life Spiderman

    HK$138.00
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    Overcoming vertigo — and countless injuries which have left him officially disabled — the 'Human Spider' has scaled nearly 100 skyscrapers worldwide: from the Petronas Towers in Malaysia to Taipei 101, from Chicago's Sears Tower to the Golden Gate Bridge. Reward and punishment have been received in equal measure — the flamboyant Frenchman has gained international fame and raised thousands of dollars for charity, but has also been arrested, beaten and prosecuted.

    Many people ask whether it is madness to undertake such perilous ascents without the use of safety equipment. But in Alain's view, it is madness not to follow your dreams! This is the inspiring story of a man who has conquered fear and exceeded his own limits: the world's greatest urban climber.

    "For Robert, tall buildings are his mountains. He eulogises the views from their summits and (police permitting) revels in the freedom." — The Guardian

    Look inside this book
    Click on the links below to view sample pages from With Bare Hands. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Prologue  The Hatchling