Friday, October 02, 2009

A Novel of the Emergency Years

Got a very nice surprise in the post today. Philip Tatham of Monsoon Books sent me his latest publication - Frederick Lees' novel The Malayan Life of Ferdach O'Haney. The cover art (which shows the Sultan Abdul Samad building and cricketers on the padang in front of the Selangor Club) is just beautiful, and here's the blurb on the back to whet your appetite. :

It is 1950 and the Federation of Malaya is in the throes of the Malayan Emergency. The British are struggling to defeat the communist terrorists and deal with rising nationalism in the colony.

Ferdach O’Haney arrives in Malaya as a young Anglo-Irish man to serve the Federation government, and he is plunged into the nitty-gritty of Malayan Emergency duties in the New Villages and in the communistoccupied jungles of Perak.

Gregarious and bisexual, O’Haney is equally at home in the brothels of Penang and in Singapore’s sleazy Bugis Street as he is in the corridors of British intelligence at Phoenix Park in Singapore and in the manicured grounds of King’s House and Carcosa in Kuala Lumpur. He befriends communist terrorists and nationalist sympathisers, experiences the bloody Maria Hertogh race riots, and comes up against prejudiced colonial administrators. O’Haney meets General Briggs and Chin Peng, the leader of the communist guerrillas, and he reveals new information about the assassination of Sir Henry Gurney.

The Malayan Life of Ferdach O’Haney is a fictionalised account of the author Frederick Lees’ own experiences in 1950s Malaya.
The first part of this novel was actually published in 2004 by Silverfish Books as Fool's Gold.

You might remember I blogged about Freddie as the Englishman who shouted the third Merdeka! You can read more about him, and an extract from the book here.

12 comments:

Rob Spence said...

I've got to read this!

bibliobibuli said...

it will be available soon on amazon.co.uk

umapagan said...

I just picked up a copy yesterday based entirely on the title and cover. Will let you know how it goes. :)

Jordan said...

I've had Fool's Gold on my bookshelf since last year and have read most of it. There was mention this was part of a trilogy but I feared the other two parts never got published. I'm glad to see there's a complete version of this available. It's a fascinating read. Hopefully the Monsoon version was edited/proofread better than the one put out by Silverfish.

Kak Teh said...

Am so happy for Fred!!

bibliobibuli said...

A more catchy title, better cover, proper proofreading and editing and targetting an overseas market as well as a local one - really hope with the effort that Philip has put in this does really well, and yes, Kak Teh, am cheering for Freddie.

bex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stan said...

The character's name is O'Haney, not O'Hanley. It might be a small point to you, but not to me
Stanley Haney
(not Stanley Hanley)

bibliobibuli said...

thanks Stan!

savante said...

Gregarious and bisexual. Wicked! :)

BorneoExpatWriter said...

I too like second chances and have benefitted from that as well when I shifted to MPH. Glad Monsoon allows Freddie to do his book right, all three parts together. Looking forward to reading it.

BorneoExpatWriter said...

I too have benefitted from a second chance at MPH, so I'm very happy to hear that Monsoon has allowed Freddie to republish his book and complete the trilogy. Looking forward to read it.