Fading Pictures
Recollections of the Far East

By Robin Bryant
November 2004
Book Guild
ISBN: 185776823X
275 pages, Illustrated, 6 ¼” x 9 ½”
$38.95 Hardcover


When Robin Bryan arrived in Malaya in the early 1960s, the colonial era was drawing to a close. For nearly two decades he lived and worked in a country in the process of change after independence. Working on Malaysia’s rubber estates, he managed vast plantations, facing great responsibilities and frequent problems.

To unwind, he and his fellow expatriates learned to fly light aircraft, traveled around exploring jungles and observing wildlife from elephants to birds, sailed and water-skied and enjoyed life to the fullest. Amid his uproarious accounts of pranks and near-encounters with disaster, the author describes the country he quickly came to love, and its kind, contented people.

There are many affectionate portraits of memorable and eccentric characters, from an unreliable servant with connections to the highest in the land, to a Chinese entrepreneur with an interest in every deal and contract. This is not just a personal memoir of privileged colonial lifestyle, it is also a picture of a country undergoing change. And, while the author is proud of Malaysia’s great success in subsequently developing its economy, he also regrets the spread of fundamentalism and the passing of a simple and relaxed period in its history. After reading this captivating book, it is a regret many will share.

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