Empire of the Sun is a American epic coming-of-age war film based on J. Ballard 's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. The film tells the story of Jamie "Jim" Graham, a young boy who goes from living in a wealthy British family in Shanghai , to becoming a prisoner of war in a Japanese internment camp , during World War II. Harold Becker and David Lean were originally to direct before Spielberg came on board, initially as a producer for Lean. He considers it to be his most profound work on "the loss of innocence". After the attack on Pearl Harbor , the Japanese begin occupying the settlement.
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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — El Imperio del Sol by J. Ballard ,. Carlos Peralta Translator. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. Published January 19th by Alianza Editorial first published More Details Original Title.
Empire of the Sun 1. Jamie Graham , Dr. Ransome , Mary Graham , John Graham. Shanghai China. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about El Imperio del Sol , please sign up. Advice please - I haven't read this since I was a teenager so I would be grateful if anyone could advise me as to whether an eleven year old would be OK with the content. My son is a very good reader and has managed some fairly grown up books but will this book traumatise him?
Tamsin Elsey This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ The content is quite stark, there are a few oblique references to sex between the prisoners and the descriptions of the living conditions in camp are …more The content is quite stark, there are a few oblique references to sex between the prisoners and the descriptions of the living conditions in camp are shocking for many children of that age. I'm a teacher of primary school age children and I would only suggest this be read as a guided text.
If you choose to introduce these themes, it's important to be there to discuss them too, especially in the world today where children do get exposure through the new to more brutal topics. I think it needs to be one you reread to decide though, as you know your child best!
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Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of El Imperio del Sol. Even the corpses in the gutters seemed livelier. I thought to abandon it so many and to forget about its existence. Every page was a chore to read, thank god for the short chapters because sometimes I could not stomach more than one.
Why, you might wonder I gave four stars to a novel that caused me so much pain? The thing with good books is that I do not have to enjoy reading them to appreciate "Wars always invigorated Shanghai, quickened the pulse of its congested streets. The thing with good books is that I do not have to enjoy reading them to appreciate art.
They liked to be cruel for the same reason, to remind themselves of the vanity of thinking that the world was anything else. Ballard is better known as a post-apocalyptic SF writer but this book is non of that.
The account is not completely true but the events he added the Death March, the separation from his parents helped to make the story more dramatic and more understandable for the reader.
Ballard's war experience influenced his whole life and work and his fans will probably better understand his source of inspiration reading this book. Although the prose is simple, sterile at some points, with lots of repetitions swarms of flies were mentioned over and over again the result is powerful and multilayered. The tone of the narrator was matter of fact, like the ordeal of the war was no big deal and in a way I believe this is the massage the author tried to convey.
Humans can adapt to anything to survive, they can overlook crimes and change their moral compass in order to get ahead, even only to get a bit more food. It is especially true for Jim, a pre-adolescent boy that is still building his personality.
Moreover, the boy developed an admiration for the Japanese, a sort of Stockholm syndrome which separated even more from his co-nationals which he considered weak. View all 21 comments. A few days ago, I learned a new Japanese word. Nijuuhibakusha means literally "twice radiation-sick individual", and refers to the few people who, through staggering bad luck, managed to be present both at Hiroshima on August 6, , and then at Nagasaki three days later.
The article I read was an obituary for Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the last surviving nijuuhibakusha. I was not surprised to discover that Mr. Yamaguchi was strongly opposed to nuclear weapons, and had spent a substantial part of his l A few days ago, I learned a new Japanese word. Yamaguchi was strongly opposed to nuclear weapons, and had spent a substantial part of his life campaigning against them. But it's funny how everything has a flipside; after reading the article, I also thought of this book.
He grew up in a POW camp; his descriptions of life there are horrifying, more than anything else, because of the matter-of-fact way in which he presents them. This is simply how it was: inadequate food, arbitrary punishments and killings. Nothing to get excited about, after the first few months. The war is going badly for the Japanese, and it's becoming clear that they will lose. There is even less to eat than before. One day, the inmates are told that they are going on a long march to a different location.
They don't have the strength for this. Jim realizes, without much emotion, that he's going to die. But a miracle happens. Over the dark waters of the bay, he sees a flash.
It's a long way off, but he suddenly knows that he's been saved. The atom-bomb will make Japan surrender now, not months in the future, and he'll get out. After this, Ballard always has warm, fuzzy feelings for nuclear weapons. In the sequel, he describes the Vulcan bombers he sees at the Cambridgeshire base near where he then lives. He imagines the megatons they're carrying, and gives them a little pat on the head. There are few authors who can make me quite as disoriented as Ballard.
View all 11 comments. Apr 30, J. Really fantastic storytelling! Not sure I was prepared for the power of this book. It's both understated and profound in its insights. I ended up reading 4 JG Ballard novels this April. I will probably continue to think of Ballard as the innovative author of speculative or dystopian literature, but Wow, Empire of the Sun makes its own mark.
Some parts seemed a bit more drawn out than necessary, but still a fantastic story about Ballard's experiences and about war and survival! For a prophetic writer to go back to his roots, all the way back to Shanghai being wholly obliterated in the second World War—this guile is the type required to write your magnum opus. If they had not survived the war although, tragically, Nemirovsky did not , we would not have their fine FINE work. And this would not be a J. G Ballard with no looming prophecy.
View 1 comment. A gem of a memoir. Richer than Spielberg's film though he did an excellent job with the material. Mesmerizing from start to finish. View all 5 comments.
El Imperio del Sol