Lieutenant Kurosawa’s Errand Boy, by Warran Kalasegaran
[Image courtesy of Epigram Books]
This has to be the first time in a long while since I read something local that’s as culturally rich as what I would expect from Suchen Christine Lim.
The dialogues were cleverly crafted to reflect the way locals thought and spoke. The emotions were described in a way that was believable, enough to persuade me to empathize with the characters. Warran Kalasegaran has also managed to combine his knowledge of Singapore’s history with his experiences with the Japanese culture to inject multiple dimensions to the story.
What really surprised me was the way the writer had kept me guessing which adult character the errand boy eventually grew into.
The only thing that was nagging at me throughout the story though, was Papatti’s role in it. Other than helping to tell the errand boy’s tale and give one a peek into the early years when political uncertainty and racial riots plagued Singapore, I wished there were more in her own personal story.
The author description at the back of the book mentions that the writer has started working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I sure hope he will have time to continue writing new stories.
VERDICT: It’s pretty good for a first novel, especially when you can find history, culture and suspense all in one story.