Georges Ugeux,
The Flying Dragon
(Archway, 2015)

Georges Ugeux's The Flying Dragon is fast-paced, but obscure.

I felt at a disadvantage reading this, since I am not familiar with either Hong Kong culture or investment banking practices. Unfortunately, neither of these was explained clearly enough to make me able to understand many of the plot details; while skimming with the gist was adequate to the plot, it was not especially satisfying.

A glossary would have helped, particularly with the banking jargon.

Apart from that, the writing could have been better. The usual wisdom for authors is "Show, don't tell"; Ugeux always tells and doesn't show. This makes the book more tedious than it could have been, had we been shown rather than told -- especially in dialogue.

The characters, too, were reactive in ways that only addressed the plot. They behaved rather at random in general. To wit: people who were clever manipulators of the system ended up really crude when called on their violations ... but how did they GET to that point?

If you are familiar with Hong Kong and/or Chinese banking, or investment banking internationally, or Asian culture -- you will probably appreciate this more than I did. I spent much of the time reading this confused. Recommended only for those who have the necessary background.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

4 June 2016

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