Kit Fan plunges us face-first into the pungently sordid world of Diamond Hill in his debut novel . . . Fan is an exuberant chronicler of a lost time and place, delightedly preserving Cantonese slang and profanities . . . it's a timely consideration of Hong Kong's recent past
Fan's evocative debut portrays a Hong Kong in transition... and brings poetic language and moving tributes to descriptions of the lost neighbourhood. The novel's aching beauty makes an effective argument for remembering
Fan deftly mixes the sacred with the profane, often on the same page. Just when you decide there's no room for holiness amid the wreckage, you realize there may in fact be no other option
Fan creates a textured, unsettled portrait of a territory facing a decisive ending. The ethical conflict lies in whether to exploit the inevitable destruction . . . or commit to small, doomed acts of salvation. The dark drama that unfolds is an elegy to that vanished vanishing world
Immediately engaging and dynamic and with an eye for an image that could only belong to a poet
Gripping and highly accomplished . . . a thoroughly enjoyable and profound exploration of powerlessness, identity and the evolution of a city
The best debut I've read in ages . . . The beauty and ugliness of life continually jostle as Buddha tries and often fails to do the right thing. There is a glorious luminosity to the writing and the reading experience is rather like looking into a kaleidoscope and giving it several twirls. I am very keen on swearing and especially enjoyed the vigorous and earthy cursing and the fascinating note at the end on Cantonese slang and profanities
Gleams with pleasurable insights... Memorable moments are sketched by a poet's hand
Fan resurrects the neighbourhood as it would have looked in 1987, a decade before Britain's handover of Hong Kong to China - a precarious maze of shacks and open gutters, shaken constantly by the rumblings of the planes flying close overhead from nearby Kai Tak Airport
Raw and authentic Hong Kong writing at its best. This book is exceptionally good
A vivid, powerful portrait of a vanishing world
A rapid-fire debut with a cinematographer's eye for detail, Diamond Hill interrogates fate, memory and redemption at a filmic velocity befitting its setting in Hong Kong's former Hollywood. Fan strikes a deft balance between agile set-pieces and lingering beauty.
Kit Fan's admirable debut novel Diamond Hill gives us the heart and soul of Hong Kong. Fan captures, with profound empathy, the temporary and precarious nature of the city. His motley crew-a former heroin addict, Buddhist nuns and prostitutes who have fallen from grace, a teenage gangster girl who runs a triad drug operation, among others-inhabit their Kowloon village before time destroys it . . . Despite disappearance and destiny, memory preserves the city's past along with the Cantonese language in all its rich expressiveness and slang. We look forward to more from this author.
Diamond Hill breathes beauty. Through quiet prose that speaks eloquently for itself, Kit Fan skilfully weaves a story of loss and of being lost; a story of tragic mistakes, which haunts the reader long after the final page has been turned
Deeply evocative... Engaging, provocative, thoroughly compelling, Diamond Hill is written with the dexterity and lyricality of a poet, whose first novel leaves us excited for what may come next
An exhilarating and original tale, Diamond Hill marks award-winning Fan as a writer to watch