Three violent deaths occur within days among a group of young nouveaux-riche beachgoers of Hanoi-but neither the victims nor the circumstances are as they seem. Is fate responsible? Or a woman of extreme beauty and mystery? When Danang Publishing House risked bringing out Ho Anh Thai's controversial novel CÃµi ngu?i rung chuÃ´ng t?n th? (The Apocalypse Bell Tolls in the Human World) in 2002 after numerous others had refused it, Vietnam was a nation still struggling to find its identity decades after being torn apart by war. Ho Anh Thai's previous stories and novels had already seized the imagination of a young postwar generation. He had become a literary sensation even as a teenager, his fresh, fluid, luminous style capturing the essence of their modern Vietnam. The book was a sensation in its author's home country: to date it has sold more than 50,000 copies in ten printings and has been received enthusiastically by both public and critics as a work of creativity and disturbing truth.Now, as Apocalypse Hotel, Ho Anh Thai's dark fable draws English-language readers into the divided society of 1990s Vietnam, to an underground economy in which anything may be bought and sold, youth seek speed, sex, and thrills, and past crimes still haunt the pure and the guilty alike. In this riveting, fast-paced cautionary tale, citizens of all ages and situations must come to grips with the sordid, unforeseen consequences of a war once meant to liberate them.
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Texas Tech University Press
November 10, 2012
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