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Time for a Tiger
Home 9 Product 9 Time for a Tiger

Time for a Tiger


The pages are discoloured with some foxing and mold damage on the first few pages (see gallery pages).  The dustjacket is whole although torn on the spine and stained on the front.  Some damage to the edges of the pages.  Overall condition is fair.

Author: Anthony Burgess

Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd

Published On: 1956

Pages: 214

Country: London: United Kingdom

Language: English

Dimension: 13.5cm x 19cm

Item Weight: 285gm

Edition: Reprinted

1 in stock

The Malayan Trilogy, also published as The Long Day Wanes: A Malayan Trilogy in the United States, is a comic 'triptych' of novels by Anthony Burgess set amidst the decolonisation of Malaya. It is a detailed fictional exploration of the effects of the Malayan Emergency and of Britain's final withdrawal from its Southeast Asian territories.

The three volumes are:

Time for a Tiger (1956)

The Enemy in the Blanket (1958)

Beds in the East (1959)

The trilogy tracks the fortunes of the history teacher Victor Crabbe, his professional difficulties, his marriage problems, and his attempt to do his duty in the war against the insurgents.

Time for a Tiger, the first part of the trilogy, is dedicated, in Jawi script on the first page of the book, "to all my Malayan friends" ("Kepada sahabat-sahabat saya di Tanah Melayu"). It was Burgess's first published work of fiction and appeared in 1956. The title alludes to an advertising slogan for Tiger beer, then, as now, popular in the Malay peninsula. The action centres on the vicissitudes of Victor Crabbe, a history teacher at an elite school for all the peninsula's ethnic groups – Malay Chinese and Indian – the Mansor School, in Kuala Hantu (modelled on the Malay College at Kuala Kangsar, Perak and Raffles Institution, Singapore).

Victor Crabbe, a resident teacher at the Mansor School, seeks to tackle the threat posed by a boy Communist who appears to be conducting clandestine night-time indoctrination sessions with fellow students. But the headmaster, Boothby, scoffs at Crabbe's warnings.

Nabby Adams, an alcoholic police lieutenant who prefers warm beer ("he could not abide it cold"), persuades Crabbe to buy a car, enabling Adams to make a commission as a middleman. This is despite the fact that Crabbe will not drive because of a traumatic car accident in which his first wife died and he was the driver.

Crabbe's marriage to the blonde Fenella is crumbling, while he carries on an affair with a Malay divorcee employed at a nightclub. A junior police officer who works for Adams, Alladad Khan, (who has a secret crush on Fenella) moonlights as a driver for the couple. Ibrahim bin Mohamed Salleh, a (married) gay cook, works for the couple but is being pursued by the wife he has fled from after being forced to marry her by his family.

The threads of the plot come together when Alladad Khan drives Crabbe, Fenella and Adams to a nearby village, along a route where they face possible ambush by Chinese terrorists. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they return late to the school's speech day and an unexpected chain of events follows that transforms the lives of all the main characters.


Additional information

Weight 285 g
Dimensions 13.5 × 2.5 × 19 cm


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