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Published 1956 by Heinemann
Blue cloth, gilt titles
Dust jacket priced at 13/6
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|The huge rumbling man with the jaundiced complexion, the neat Punjabi fingering his ample moustache, the pale schoolmaster and his golden-haired wife, or in other words Police-sergeant Nabby Adams, Corporal Alladad Khan, and Victor and Fenella Crabbe, made a strange quartet in the Malay state of Lanchap drinking lukewarm beer, for with Nabby it was always time for a Tiger, or an Anchor, or a Carlsberg.
What drew them together? Perhaps the fact that each had a problem. Fenella hated Malaya and longed for London; Victor was too unconventional in his friendships for the liking of Boothby, his headmaster; Alladad was unhappily married and fascinated by Fenella; and Nabby's problems were countless: to pay his bills, to manoeuvre his six feet and eight inches, to moderate his insatiable thirst and appalling language.
The troubles of four people in a troubled country are the material for Anthony Burgess's highly amusing story, which is spiced by several exotic minor characters— Ibrahim, Victor's skittish servant, Hari Singh
the Sikh, and the unspeakable Boothby. Malaya itself, with its national saying tida' apa—the right commentary whether you win a lottery or stop a Communist bullet— provides an intriguing background,
Anthony Burgess makes one laugh and makes one like his chief characters however obvious their imperfections. Time for a Tiger is his first novel. It is impressively enjoyable and should fix his name in the public attention.