Home » Fiction » #21229
Asked by kijeren on Wed 12, Apr 2017 11:17am :
probably pre 90s, definitely pre 2000:
bad guy who considers himself a good guy raises and sells rats as meat,
runs the prison camp economy. At the end, they're rescued and the rescuers
are suspicious of him because he's well fed.
Answer by sallievern on Wed 12, Apr 2017 12:41pm:
"King Rat" by James Clavell
"...Despite being an enlisted man and undistinguished in civilian life, the
King has become a major power in the closed society of the P.O.W. camp
through his charisma and intelligence. Trading with Korean guards, local
Malay villagers, and other prisoners for food, clothing, information, and
what few luxuries are available, the King keeps himself and his fellow
American prisoners alive. Senior officers come to him for help in selling
their valuables to buy food, and other officers are secretly on his
payroll. Marlowe is initially put off by the King's perspective and
behavior, which clash with the British upper class ideals he has been
taught. He turns down a lucrative business partnership with the King
because "Marlowes aren't tradesmen. It just isn't done, old boy". Marlowe
soon understands that the King is not the thief and con artist that Grey
would have him believe. Rather, the King asks for the best of each man and
rewards him accordingly, irrespective of class or position..."
"The time is World War II. The place is a brutal prison camp deep in
Japanese-occupied territory. Here, within the seething mass of humanity,
one man, an American corporal, seeks dominance over both captives and
captors alike. His weapons are human courage, unblinking understanding of
human weaknesses, and total willingness to exploit every opportunity to
enlarge his power and corrupt or destroy anyone who stands in his path"
[George Segal played Coporal Kingg in the 1965 movie)
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Comment by kijeren on Wed 12, Apr 2017 12:35pm:
Yes, that's it thank you!!