Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Flesh by Khanh Ha ~ Review & Giveaway

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 15th June 2012
Pages: 368
Book Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Synopsis: The setting is Tonkin (northern Vietnam) at the turn of the 20th century. A boy, Tai, witnesses the beheading of his father, a notorious bandit, and sets out to recover his head and then to find the man who betrayed his father to the authorities. On this quest, Tai’s entire world will shift. FLESH takes the reader into dark and delightful places in the human condition, places where allies are not always your friends, true love hurts, and your worst enemy may bring you the most comfort. In that emotionally harrowing world, Tai must learn to deal with new responsibilities in his life while at the same time acknowledging his bond, and his resemblance, to a man he barely knew--his father. Through this story of revenge is woven another story, one of love, but love purchased with the blood of murders Tai commits. A coming-of-age story, but also a love story, the sensuality of the author’s writing style belies the sometimes brutal world he depicts.

My Thoughts:
Flesh is a story of shades and contrasts, languid but intense, darkly detailed and quietly introspective, poverty and cruelty, love and sensuality. 

Tai is a compelling narrator and Ha excels with characterisation, even minor characters are fully fleshed out. Both setting and scene are vivid, from jungle to opium den, beheading to small pox epidemic. What was forefront for me was the deep sense of family honour, duty and loyalty guiding Tai's actions.   

I've loved my many visits to different south east Asian countries, I love the culture and the people. Khanh Ha's writing is so visceral you aren't just visiting Vietnam, you're immersed in the experience which is both beautiful and confronting. I certainly wished to be elsewhere when it came to the scene with the unfortunate monkey. 

A unique and evocative read, it may not universally appeal but I appreciated the experience and look forward to Khanh Ha's distinctive writing in his next book.

Cover: darkly stunning 

Visit Khanh Ha's Website & Blog Website to find out more. Follow on Facebook or Twitter
Follow the Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #FleshVirtualTour

I'm thrilled to offer readers the chance to win a copy of FLESH. Just leave a relevant comment or question along with your email address. The giveaway is for one hardcover and open to US, CAN, AUS & England.

Extra Entries: 
+ 2 tweet giveaway and leave a link

Giveaway ends 27th April and winner will be announced on my blog. Good luck everyone!

My thanks to Khanh Ha and Amy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my copy of Flesh. 


  1. Please enter me with an Australian address. Just cant miss out on this one!

  2. This sounds fascinating!! Thanks for the chance! :)

  3. I was interested in this one but wasn't sure I would like it. I now see I was wrong. I enjoy traveling to Asia through books, and imagining things I'll never see.
    Great review!
    [not an entry]

  4. Thank you, Teddyree, for your well-rounded review. I certainly hope that someone else might get a chance to read the book and enjoy it much as you did.

  5. I'm still torn as to whether or not I would like this one. I've read a lot of reviews on it and totally loved yours!!!!

  6. FLESH is going to be a compelling read, though perhaps unsettling as well.


  7. I adore historical fiction and so shall definately be adding "Flesh by Khanh Ha" to my to-read list! It does sound like a great read and so i would like to thank you for this oportunity of a brilliant book giveaway - i shall be keeping my fingers crossed.

    It is always great to find out through blogs, new upcoming book releases and a shining star author whose work i would be keen to discover! Thanks for giving me something to research and 'spread the word' about. x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
    *uk resident*

  8. What a lovely review! It sounds like you enjoyed this novel as much as I did.

  9. I really liked this book. I admit to being a bit skeptical at first. (I don't remember exactly why, just that I was) I was pleasantly surprised :) I'm glad that you liked it too!

  10. This sounds like an intense read. I did read an excerpt last week, and enjoyed the little bit I was able to read (haha, the little bit was actually a complete chapter, or possibly more - but enough to give a good picture of the tone of the novel). Wow. It was both intense and interesting. I love when I discover books I want to read on other people's blogs. :)



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