Pacific Nightmare: How Japan Starts World War III, a Future History

Simon Winchester, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $18.95 (302p) ISBN 978-1-55972-136-3
The catalyst for this novel by a Hong Kong-based correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian is the planned return of that city to Chinese control in 1997. Hong Kong becomes a focal point for southern China's discontent with Beijing's hardline Maoist rulers, and civil war breaks out, plunging the nation into chaos. In 1999, Japan sends in troops to restore ``calm and stability.'' Chinese officers are preparing a retaliatory atomic strike when the U.S. takes a nuclear initiative of its own. Winchester ( Pacific Rising ) establishes a plausible early sequence of events, but then depicts Japan's intervention so sketchily that he fails to convince. By concentrating on crafting small-scale action sequences at the expense of analyzing his future history's diplomatic, political and military developments, he inhibits this disappointing narrative. Author tour. ( Oct. )
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
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