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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The World of Susie Wong

The World of Susie Wong (Literary Romance)
By Richard Mason
Penguin Books
ISBN #978-014312042
339 Pages
Price $15.00
Rating 5-Stars

“A Story That Will Keep You Turning The Pages!”

The World of Susie Wong by Richard Mason. Robert Lomax gives up routine work to paint. He moves to Hong Kong, and while living in a luxury hotel can see nothing that inspires him to paint. Looking out across the city, he sees the seamier side of Hong Kong and decides to find a small hotel there, where the lower classes might excite his interest in painting. Moving into the Nam Kok Hotel, he finds a bar on the floor and decides to get a drink. Inside he discovers the bar is filled with prostitutes, but they offer what he needs, picturesque interest for his paintbrush. He remains merely to paint, not wishing sex as it would ruin the mood. But then he hadn’t counted on Susie Wong.

I read this novel when it was first released in 1957, and being a teenager I thought I wanted to live in a brothel myself. It sounded like an exciting life. Of course that didn’t happen. After 56 years I had a yen to read the novel again, just to see if it had the same affect on me. But this time I discovered it for the beauty it really was.  What I thought back then was an erotic novel is actually a literary romance story. Sex is only hinted at, and there is no vulgar language at all. But the story is told in a manner that pulls at your heartstrings, and you want Robert and Susie to find love, and live happy ever after. You will cry at their heart brakes, and laugh at Susie’s simple philosophy and childish behavior, but you want them to survive the many stumble blocks along the way. I am not a romance reader, but this story kept me turning the pages as the characters came alive, and I felt their anguish, their fears, their tragic circumstances, and finally their triumph over great odds. Perhaps there is a romantic in all of us.

Tom Johnson
Echoes Magazine

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