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Robert Allen

Saigon, South of Beyond - Robert Allen
Imprint ISBN 0 207 16690 0
353pp AU$16.99

1963, Saigon. Despite the turmoil, the expatriate community of bankers, bar owners, traders, intelligence operatives and embassy officials revel in good food and wine, diverse sexual gratification and opium-inspired dreams. But many of these characters are not what they seem. Harry, an American antique dealer, has a mission unknown to all except the ebullient Marlon, an agent on the outer fringe of the CIA. Pauline, Harry's French wife, is a sexually obsessive woman whose love draw her and others into a dangerous maelstrom. Only the mysterious Chinese banker, Mr Ming, who fulfils her unavowed wishes, escapes unscathed…

Tokyo No Hana - Robert Allen
Imprint ISBN 1 875892 13 3
128pp AU$14.95

Young Andrew Paton is transferred by his company to Tokyo, and takes Japanese lessons to help him learn about the new country and culture he is entering -- somewhat reluctantly. His teacher, Nakajima, teaches him more than he had at first bargained for. A secret hedonist, Nakajima is an old woman who introduces Andrew to the world of the Tokyo night people: the hostesses, the entertainers and a network of Japanese people all playing out the particular customs of their pleasure-seeking.

"This unusual first novel, the title of which translates as The Flowers of Tokyo, is a collection of anecdotes concentrating mainly on the world of Tokyo's night people.

It paints a fascinating picture of Japanese sexual mores in the 1960s from the point of view of Andrew Paton, a young Australian stationed in Tokyo, who is not shy to sample the sexual delights offered by poised and practised bar hostesses." Maria Trefely-Deutch, Sunday Telegraph.

"Allen has the easy tone of the skilled raconteur, and his stories are gentle, yet knowing. What he offers is a pleasant way of absorbing a little of the essence of Japan." Diana Giese, Australian Financial Review.

"It is a beautifully written, original book that conveys a range of human emotions within the framework of Japanese nightlife." Pamela Ruskin Australian Jewish News

Robert Allen is in his late sixties, and wrote this, his first book, in 1990. His second novel, Saigon, followed in 1991. His work for an international oil company took him to many different parts of the world, and between 1964 and 1970 he lived in Tokyo and studied Japanese at a tertiary level. He was also a member of trade missions to Japan in the mid-1990s.









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