Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Hong Kong Noir by Feng Chi-shun

About the Book

Title: Hong Kong Noir 
Author: Feng Chi-shun
Publication: Blacksmith Books (2012)
Summary: Fifteen true tales from the dark side of the city.

What I Think

Feng Chi-shun is a pathologist and has, therefore, seen a fair amount of deaths, whether they be natural or unnatural. He is also "not unfamiliar with the underbelly of Hong Kong society". He tells us in the prologue "When I was in my forties, I made my worst financial decision ever [...] I invested in part-ownership of a bar in Kowloon City: a part of town where the Sun Yee On triad faction originated." These fifteen true tales are divided into three sections: Losers and Boozers, Beyond Villains and Victims and Sex and the City. 

These stories in Hong Kong Noir don't happen in my Hong Kong. The city that I live in is clean, safe, full of polite and friendly people. I have been morbidly fascinated to read about these tales of sordid Hong Kong: triad members, arranged marriages, street sleepers, riots, tattoos, girlie bars.  

One thing I really like is that each story has a quote at the beginning of it, for example: Story 12. A Hardcore Childhood, "Of all known tortures in the whole wide world, those originating from China are the cruelest" - Anon. Each quote has been chosen very carefully and is very apt for the story. They effectively foreshadow for the reader what the story will be about. 

Extremely varied, each story is intriguing and compelling in its own way. I highly recommend this collection. 

About the Author

Feng Chi-shun is a naturalized US citizen, but considers Hong Kong - where he grew up and attended medical school - his home. His formative years were spent in Diamond Hill, where people were poor but life was rich. 

Trained as a pathologist, he has published close to 100 scientific articles on his medical research. He has also been a columnist for the South China Morning Post, the leading English newspaper in Hong Kong. 

Feeling deprived as a child, he is making up for lost time by living life to its fullest. He is an aficionado of wine and cigars, and a part-time punter attracted to roulette, poker, mahjong and horse racing. In his spare time, he plays golf and tennis, and shoots a mean game of pool. His three US-born children - Angel, Gina, and Stephen - and his Canadian wife Cathy are his best friends. So far, he has two grandchildren, Amirah and Qairo. He intends to live in Hong Kong for the rest of his life. (Blacksmith books)


  1. Great review! I love a good quote at the beginning of ever chapter!

    1. Thanks, Crystal! I love the quotes too :)

  2. Sounds really good, would love to read this.

    1. Think you'd really enjoy it. Available on kindle UK, I think. If you can't get it, let me know and I'll send you a paper copy! :)

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