This is a deep, haunting and very disturbing book of inhumanity. War is a horrible thing we all know that. But war crimes and the outright murder, torture and acts of depravity is more haunting. This is a book that leaves nothing out, very depressing and eye opening. Its descriptive nature is one that lingers on your mind after you read it. I knew of the horrors and atrocities before going into this book, but this historical, eye opening exploration of this moment in history, is all the reality based, one needs, through this very intense, researched, and educational novel.
Now what is more depressing is knowing this vibrant, beautiful, young author committed suicide in 2004 at the young age of 36 years old. Sadly, her beauty and thought provoking prose was forever silent. She suffered from depression, and she ended up having a breakdown. She was working on her 4th novel and had a 2 year old son. It upsets me to think of this amazing writer falling so far into the darkness, that she ended it. She was such an amazing, gifted writer that I am so confused by the outcome of what she did. I can understand it, I have suffered through deep depression since I was 13, which I have been hospitalized and medicated.
She wrote with a flawless understanding of her subjects.
Sadly, I do feel, like many, that some of her deep depression was because of her total research and creating such darkened subject matters. That is what made her so amazing in her books, is she almost in a viewpoint became the story. She ate, breathed and lived the actions of history, and the past which vividly is detailed in her work. The Rape of Nanking is a book that left me stained and horrified at the true, brutal, evil happenings in history. I went into this book thinking I knew what happened. I thought I knew of the horrors, but Chang opened my eyes beyond belief and understanding at this horror.
What the Japanese Imperial Army did to the Chinese people is nothing more than a Holocaust. It is the forgotten Holocaust. It should be remembered and educated and expressed throughout history as being a true MASSACRE of people. Chang gave a voice to all those crying out from the dead. She gave the reality a beating heart again. No one should forget. World War 2 was an unfathomable beast that ripped apart this world in so many atrocities, and one of the worst, besides, Nazi Germany, was the Japanese imperial Army.
(Beginning of soap box)
Something I find so disturbing is those people who would deny it happened. Those who wish to cover it up. Those asinine people, who say the past is the past, move on. False statement. When we forget, it leads to those same atrocities happening again. To forget is to lie. Justice is to remember. Those who died, murdered horribly, tortured beyond belief, need a voice, not your asinine denial. I am an American and I am not above saying that Americans have done some horrible things. I do not deny that Americans have been responsible for Genocide. We have killed and tortured both African Americans during the slavery and Native Americans have been tortured and mass murdered by our hands. I don't cover-up history and deny the horrors, I teach, educate and learn from the past. One of the arguments by the deniers are the charts of growth of the population. Well yes, the number are going to be up, they invaded and took other and claimed the lands and area for themselves
(End of Soap Box)
This is a book I will not forget. It’s a book that gives a personal, emotional voice to all those victims swept away like garbage. Finally, those who were slain, tortured and destroyed can have some peace knowing someone cared enough to remember. Iris Chang was a brilliant writer, who had an amazing prose, that sadly is silent now, but thankfully we have her books to explore her amazing ability, and The Rape of Nanking is one of those books.
Would I Return to it Again: Yes, I would, because it is a subject that should be remembered, even with all its ultimate haunting images through Chang’s written word.
Would I Recommend: Absolutely because it can be a true teaching tool. I will warn, because it does have graphic, disturbing content. It’s a book that should be discussed and used as a tool of teaching this disturbing reality in history.
Book Length: 360 pages
Four Words: Disturbing, Historical, Justice, Unforgettable.
My Rating: 5 out of 5