Monday, September 17, 2012

The Headmaster's Wager

Tragedy. A debut novel by a Toronto emergency room physician, Vincent Lam, presents a view of the many tragedies of the Vietnam War from the perspective of Percival Chen, the Chinese headmaster of a Saigon school that specialized in teaching English. The Headmaster’s Wager meanders through Chen’s life and the tragic choices he makes as he gambles on the future of himself and his family. Lam tells the story at a moderate pace, alternating significant events with everyday activity. I found myself distracted by two shortcomings: many characters were inadequately developed, and I found some sections tedious and superfluous. Readers who like fiction that encourages immersion into a historical setting are those most likely to enjoy this novel, as well as those readers willing to give a debut novelist a glance. Rating: Three-star (Recommended) Click here to purchase The Headmaster’s Wager from

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