Little Frank is 120 years old and hes lost his mind or the part that can put damaged memories back together. Once the gang boss of The Place, hes traded his imagination for secure long life. Trapped in a luxurious present of mindless routine, hes jolted awake in 2090 to the bizarre facts of his world: his obsession with the female lead at the Chinese Opera, his unsavoury liaison with the Binh Xuyen body-part pirates, their surveillance of his movements. Above all, his lost memory of the moment in a pine-scented limo when he traded his imagination for long life.
To rebuild this memory, Little Frank has to abandon longevity. Will he recover the truth before he Times Out? Will he have time to understand his obsession with the singer Madame Hee? What happened to the young mother who abandoned him?
Will he have time to revenge himself on the ghoulish Dr Smiles, and the wet-liver-lipped Binh Xuyen boss, Tamar? Will Little Frank finish his Chinese Opera?
Hungry Ghost time now, Frank.
Chinese Opera is a dark and dazzling novel set in an all too plausible New Zealand of the near future.
Praise for Chinese Opera
The sounds of Puccini gather strength towards the end of the novel; as Frank's choice is made, the motifs from throughout his long life sound and repeat. They drew me in and made me want to reread, savouring them yet once more.
Mark Houlahan NZ BOOKS