Hong Kong Babylon
by Fredric Dannen
  Miramax Books - 1997
Hard Cover - 400 pages - $19

Dannen throws a lot of different things at the reader - some of it sticks, some of it does not.

The first section is a 55 page essay on the state of HK cinema and he explores the history and the links with the HK triads. Pretty interesting reading and I wish that the entire book was in this format.

The second section is a compilation of interviews with various people in the HK film industry such as Jackie Chan, Christopher Doyle, Peter Chan, Ringo Lam. Some of the interviews are insightful, but others have very little to say.

The third section is about 150 pages of short reviews of films. I can't say many of these were particularly enlightening - but there were a few that I did not know of that I added to my wish list.

The final section consists of 12 HK film critics giving their most recommended films - some with explanations while others only have a listing. This goes on for nearly 90 pages. You almost get the feeling that this is just filler - Dannen had promised 400 pages and they were going to get 400 pages.