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A novel by the Japanese/English writer Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day) published in 2000 and nominated for a Booker Prize. The book is about a young English boy named Christopher Banks who grows up in Shanghai in the early 1900's. Both of his parents mysteriously disappear and Christopher is sent back to England where he grows up with his spinster aunt.

Eventually Christopher becomes a famous detective, yet he is still haunted by the memory of his parents' disappearence. Just before World War II starts, Christopher goes back to Shanghai, convinced that if he can find his parents that he can avert the coming world war.

I liked this book. As usual, Ishiguro crafts a wonderful story and I am always impressed with his technique. I feel that the character of Christopher Banks is developed and presented brilliantly and that there is a certain verisimilitude in the writing that makes the reading very enjoyable. I don't think it's as good as The Remains of the Day (but that barely qualifies as criticism as I think Remains is one of the best books of the 20th century.) At times the book seems a little slow and ponderous and, while I have a good sense of Christopher Banks, the other characters in the story are somewhat flat, which is both a little distracting and annoying.

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