Hong Kong: Signal 8 Press, 2016. Paperback. Book comes with a COMPLIMENTARY CD album by the acid jazz group Shaolin Fez entitled Calm Your Storm. The author, Samuel Ferrer is the songwriter and bassist for Shaolin Fez. New. 13 x 20.5 cm. 421 pp. Item #5625
** NOMINATED FOR THE MAN ASIAN LITERARY PRIZE ("The Booker of Asia") **
~"EDITOR'S CHOICE" by The Historical Novel Society and Book Browse
~A Bookworm Beijing Book Club Selection of the Month
Jacquie Mouhot and Paaku the Lotus-Born are divided by six centuries but linked by a common curse. In medieval Cambodia, Paaku is an orphan whose community believes he may be a reluctant incarnation of a god, causing sectarian turmoil for the kingdom's leaders. Meanwhile, in 1921, Jacquie follows the footsteps of her grandfather, a famous explorer, to Indochina, where she becomes immersed in the tragedy of Paaku's history: a story simultaneously unfolding in the intertwined present and past, a story in which she still has a vital role to play.
"American-born Samuel Ferrer achieves the unlikely in this impressive debut novel... The Last Gods of Indochine demonstrates Ferrer's fascination with history and culture from cover to cover while delivering a gripping narrative."
-- World Literature Today
"...a remarkable story well told. Samuel Ferrer's ambitious debut novel is a stunning work of imagination."
-- The East Asia Book Review
"Enjoyable, enthralling, and fascinating... this is an impressive first novel... Highly recommended." (*EDITORS' CHOICE*)
-- The Historical Novel Society
"Ferrer's debut masterpiece evokes the magic and mystery of a long gone civilization. This is beautiful fiction that leaves the scent of incense and sandalwood long after you have finished reading it."
-- Dania Shawwa, Editor-in-Chief, Haven Books
"... rationality and superstition get locked into the kind of epic conflict that is the stuff of all great narratives... an elaborate and self-assured interweaving of historical fact and keenly imagined fiction."
-- Time Out Hong Kong Magazine
"A sublime tale told by a master storyteller, steeped in the lore of old. Ferrer's conjuring of romantic Indochine is a journey that lures, stirring up ghosts in a wild phantasmagoria, reckoning with forces both entwined and eternal."
-- Angela Kan, Travel Host & Writer, The Discovery Channel
"Creative and engaging, the historical novel The Last Gods of Indochine is an inventive recreation of European exploration and exploitation alongside the spiritual mysticism of ancient Cambodia."
-- Asian Review of Books
Excerpt from the Prologue:
"Farther India, 1861 (Laos, Indochina).
It was hard to believe the human body could contain so much water, and yet, there it all was. Phrai twisted the cloth and watched it plop in dull patters on the ground, the pocked earth sponging up sound as well.Sweat had been seeping out his employer for weeks, and he had been at the dying man's side all the while, pouring fresh water back into his mouth with the devotion of a nun. Phrai imagined nearly half the man had been absorbed and squeezed from these rags, creating small pools just outside the hut. In another part of the world, that half of him would evaporate out of existence, but here it could not; the thick air held eternity at bay.
Phrai returned and closed the flimsy door after himself. The explorer looked like a rag doll tossed upon a bed. He regained consciousness and requested a mirror; even in dying, he didn't want to be denied the role of observer. Perhaps he wanted to put that in his book as well. Phrai resisted, thinking it best not to show him the thinly veiled skeleton who would have stared back.Instead, he wiped the fermenting body clean with a soapy rag. There was no dirt to wash off, just the fetid odor.
It was no wonder the white-ghost had succumbed to this condition whilst exploring here. They couldn't take the heat; they gagged on the thick air. And this white-ghost was no exception. He had worked too hard and traveled too far. He had been away from home too long. Going up one river, he had hastened his young guides to lead him even farther up the next, and after that, yet another. But the jungle was too deep here, in Farther India, and he should have turned back long ago."