Rated of 5
by Jen W. (Denver, CO)
A Sure Bet for a Great Read
The Headmaster's Wager is a well-crafted, deeply engaging book - one that I read in only two sittings because it was that hard to put it down.
Reading a novel where the story is about an individual paying little attention to the war unless it served his business opportunities provided a whole new perspective on both the Vietnam War and how individuals deal with political events around them. Percival served as a striking metaphor for societies that ignore human events around them in service of their own interests. Lam makes Percival's character aptly complex, so it was easy to be drawn completely into his life and understand his motivations. His love for his son, coupled with his continued choices to ignore events around him, made him a character that I couldn't easily turn away from. Lam's coupling of Percival with the character Mak, who operated from totally different motivations, made the story far from superficial or trite.
This is my favorite book of the summer. It is one I will recommend to my picky reader friends. I also promptly ordered his other book because his writing is so terrific.
The writing is very strong: compelling, authentic and highly interesting.