Saturday, July 28, 2012

BOOK REVIEW - RICHARD MASON'S "THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG"

 

This was the book (first published in 1957) I finished reading two weeks ago. If you know the movie "Pretty Woman" starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, the book and the movie share a similar plot - a love story too good to be true. The main character, Robert, a British man who had worked in a rubber plantation in Malaya, decided to move to Hong Kong just to pursue his interest in painting. He then fell in love at first sight with the girl by the name of Suzie Wong, and became friend, a very good friend indeed. The book tells his adventure living in a rented room surrounded by service girls and one interesting thing is that, even though he knew the real lives of these girls, he treated each and everyone of them as his friend, a normal breathing human being.

There are a few parts in the novel which might suggest Robert and Suzie might not be together until the end. There was even one point when Suzie was about to die as she was infected with tuberculosis just after they got married. I would not hesitate to burn the book if that was going to happen. I have had enough of sad Malay dramas on television already. Lucky enough, the story ended in a happy note and that is how a love story should be like.

I got to know the existence of a movie adapted from the same book when I was in primary school. I saw it in a Lat's cartoon (the "Kampung Boy" if I am not mistaken, and Datuk Lat is a Malaysian prominent cartoonist, by the way) telling that the movie was once a big hit in town. I have asked for someone's help to download the movie from the internet and I hope it will be as good as the novel.