Friday, February 24, 2017

Reviews of The Cockroach Catcher.


I could not put down your book once I got started and finished it in 3 days.  Although the subject matter often veers to the dark side, your prose made it a compelling read.  I managed to guess the correct ending in one of the cases, the one with the child who refused to speak in class but had no problem as soon as he was sent back to Hong Kong.

I look forward to your sequel!


I have finished reading your book.  I know you are talented, but not that talented and in so many aspects.  I know less Shakespear than you despite the fact that I really took up some English Literature years! And I am really touched by your compassion and humor.

Mountains are mountains' and 'Waters are waters' are also very thought-provoking sub-headings for the book.

As most people feel more at ease by reading Chinese books, the Chinese edition will be most welcome. There are quite a number of publishers in Hong Kong that would like to take up such business.  I was wondering who the translator would be and it would make a real thrilling reading material if the translations could be true to the original and keep the humour of the author. The book is really marvelous, I never realized a book supposed to be on serious medical issues could be as interesting, amusing and touching as this one. If a medical book could amuse even an alien like me, the author is very successful. I suppose knowing the author and his wife in person also helps in building my intimacy with the book and reaching consensus with the author in many occasions.

I read part of the book. It was said at the back that it is a fiction and yet it doesn’t seem like a fiction to me.
My first impression is that of a well-thought out and well-versed piece of literature.
You must have done a lot of research before the book was published. Yes, the wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park in 1995  from Canada and has been very successful. Come to think of it, there are so many ways that wild animals (birds or fish)  will kill their preys before devouring their victims. The killer whales toss the poor seals around before swallowing them. Your trip to Costa Rica must an eye opener.
Well, so far so good, and I will be going away.
Can you answer a question for me? Have you had in mind all these years that you will be writing a book? For it is no easy job and it involves a lot of undertaking.
The picture in the front page is mesmerizing.


Fresh, spontaneous, genuine


Fresh, moving, easy, flowing; interesting background – important, pre refugee era; chicken story, fat mother and fat boy

I am fascinated. Yes I actually started last night. I feel as if I am living your life.
I do have to say that I am terrified of roaches and them nibbling at your toes made me cringe.
Do not ever hesitate to call. I will let you know when I am finished.
My mom wants to read it after I am done. Take care.

Sorry I did not write you earlier. I was busy planning to fly the Rocky Mountains, which I just finished doing yesterday. It was an awesome undertaking for an experienced pilot.  Now I am back resting in my San Francisco home.

Yes I got your book, thanks to Po.  I could not put it down.  I finished  it within one week and thoroughly enjoyed it, not just the part on life in  Kam Shan Village and the medical school days.  I really found the stories of the poor children very interesting and educational, in fact quite an eye-opener for someone who is supposed to be a medical person but actually totally ignorant about child problems.  It is fascinating how you handled and diagnosed those cases. Even before I finished the book, I ordered one from for my daughter who is an educator of pre-school children in San Francisco.


I had the same feeling as you, that's why I ordered two immediately. MN's talent testify the success of the old education system!
My daughter came home last month. I suggested she should read the book and return it to me when I go to Sydney. She said she would order a couple, one for herself and the other for her friend.

2nd mail

I've finished your book and it so happens that we had a Morrisonian Alumni Committee meeting today and I've given the book to Billy ,the present warden.I've ordered two copies from Lulu.

While reading the book I feel I'm back to the Kam Shan days. I was a cockroach catcher too. It's so easy: you just turn off the light in the kitchen, then switch it on again one or two minutes later, you are bound to see quite a few on the kitchen table. I could catch them by bare hands. I was also an earthworm catcher. I just poured some of the herbal shampoo liquid of my domestic helper on the dry soil and the earthworms just emerge from the ground. These were for our class dissections. Next time when you are in HK, we should meet and share our memories of the good old days.


Dear Am,
Thank you very much for the book which arrived last week.

I have started to read it. Dinah got her hands on it first and spent the next 3 days enthralled and saying why didn't I know these things when I was at TWWGS, it would have helped me enormously. It is a very easy book to read and it is so good for us to relive some of the things you say in the book.


I have finished the book. I don't think you need encouragement! Has Dr C been one of your first - or the first - guru? He has been to me, I continued working after his teachings. That's how, in my very first day as registrar in Kingston hospital, I got the mute man to talk (he was in late fifties, prone to recurrent periods of "endogenous" depression" responding well to ECT, but mute since September.

Your stories are amazing. I really enjoy reading it. Hurry up to come and autograph! Love to all.


Am: I really enjoyed the book. Your footnotes make things much clearer to a lay person like myself, and someone from outside England , to boot. It is indeed an unbelievably detailed collection of all your cases that have been accumulated for so many years. Great learning experience for me, coming from such a wonderful child psychiatrist who has to make these crucial decisions and judgment calls under incredible pressure to deliver.

My husband laughs when I told him that you were so skilled in catching cockroaches. He too caught so many cockroaches in his youth for the chickens raised at his home in Malaysia . He was also the family’s best rat slayer (HUGE RATS). He sometimes gave the rats he caught to his domestic cat, and the damned cat was so bad, that the rats escaped!

But seriously I admire what you did and all the dramatic tricks in your bag to deal with some of the “cockroaches” in your practice.

Keep on writing, and benefit the world with your many experiences and talents

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