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King Rat
King Rat
Author: James Clavell
Clavell's adventure novel takes place in a World War II prison camp, Changi, where 8,000 English, Australian, and American prisoners of war are incarcerated. Left largely to themselves, the prisoners establish a hierarchy of power in which a brutal American corporal, known as King Rat, rises to the top.
ISBN-13: 9780440145462
ISBN-10: 0440145465
Publication Date: 9/1/1962
Pages: 480
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 67 ratings
Publisher: Dell
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed King Rat on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this as a book club choice. I was intrigued by the story; helped me to gain insight into the Asian front of WWII.
reviewed King Rat on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Brutal prison camp in WW2 in Japanese occupied territory. Am American corporal seeks dominance over captives as well as captors using courage and understanding of human weaknesses.
reviewed King Rat on + 191 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An excellent tale of of an American corporal in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during WWII. He is hard-edged & ruthless, but also street-wise & insightful. By exploiting the inappropriateness to the situation of the senses of 'honor' & 'class' of the Japanese & British officers above him with his American 'can do know how' & physical courage, he creates a position of power & influence for himself within the camp. But he is also despised & envied for this position, and the struggle to maintain/seize this power leads to corruption & violence that threatens to ruin them all.
reviewed King Rat on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book takes place during World War 2 in a brutal Japanese prison camp in Singapore. An American corporal is able to take dominance over the oher prisoners through courage, understanding of human weaknesses, and willingness to exploit every opportunity to enlarge his power and corrupt or destroy anyone who stands in his way.
This book is a good study of how people who are living in captivity adjust to such a life and are willing to do anything just to survive. It is a realisting and fascinating study of the human condition. Clavell is an excellent writer. I enjoyed the book.
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reviewed King Rat on + 43 more book reviews
One of the best book I've ever read. Clavell makes you feel as if you are in Changi prison on Singapore Island. You feel it. You know the characters. The human condition is stripped down to the bone. Amazingly done. What a powerful punch in 352 pages.
reviewed King Rat on + 12 more book reviews
A short but engrossing read about life in a POW camp and the social heirarchy that develops when people are taken out of their usual social strata. An interested addendum/prequel to Clavell's Noble House as it gives some insight to two of the characters who reappear in unexpected ways in Noble House. Excellent as Clavell is always.
reviewed King Rat on + 48 more book reviews
Gripping novel about a WWII prison camp in Japan.