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By the New York Times bestselling author of Midnight in Peking—winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction—comes a rags-to-riches tale of two self-made men set against a backdrop of crime and vice in the sprawling badlands of Shanghai.
Shanghai, 1930s, was a haven for outlaws from all over the world: a place where pasts could be forgotten, fascism and communism outrun, names invented, and fortunes made—and lost.
“Lucky” Jack Riley was the most notorious of those outlaws. An ex-U.S. Navy boxing champion, he escaped from prison and rose to become the Slots King of Shanghai. “Dapper” Joe Farren—a Jewish boy who fled Vienna’s ghetto—ruled the nightclubs. His chorus lines rivalled Ziegfeld’s.
In 1940, Lucky Jack and Dapper Joe ruled the Shanghai Badlands like kings, while all around the Solitary Island was poverty, starvation, and war. This is the story of both men’s rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction left in their wake. Shanghai was their playground for a flickering few years, a city where for a fleeting moment even the wildest dreams could come true.
Born in London and educated there and in Glasgow, Paul French has lived and worked in Shanghai for many years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China and has written a number of books, including a history of foreign correspondents in China and a biography of the legendary Shanghai adman, journalist and adventurer Carl Crow. His book Midnight in Peking was a New York Times bestseller, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and will be made into an international miniseries by Kudos Film and Television, the UK creators of Broadchurch and Life on Mars.
TIME & DATE
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 7:00pm