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A wholly unexpected, hugely entertaining work from one of the greatest actors of our time: the story of an eccentric early-twentieth-century pirate, on the high seas from the Philippines to Shanghai—a larger-than-life character that Brando could have easily inhabited himself.
Anatole “Annie” Doultry is in his early fifties, with an imposing physical presence and a reputation to match. In 1927, he is serving six months in a hellish Hong Kong prison where, on a whim, he saves the life of a Chinese prisoner.
The prisoner’s employer happens to be Madame Lai Choi San. Beautiful, ruthless, and shrewd, she is one of the most notorious gangsters in Asia. When Annie gets out of prison, Madame Lai thanks him with an offer of inconceivable wealth if he will join her in the biggest act of piracy the world has ever seen. Madame Lai is a seductive and powerful ally, but Annie is about to discover that she can be an even more powerful—and dangerous—enemy.
With his longtime collaborator, screenwriter and director Donald Cammell, Brando worked on this story for years. He’s left us with a rollicking, swashbuckling, delectable romp of a novel—the last surprise from an ever-surprising legend.
“‘Fan-Tan’ is the kind of high-seas extravaganza nobody writes anymore . . . With loads of derring-do about bloodthirsty pirates, unscrupulous warlords, picaresque whores, incorruptible Sikh security guards and aphrodisiacal minerals, “Fan-Tan” is nothing if not a ripping yarn, an old-fashioned potboiler with something for everyone.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A high-flying pulp tale that is, in many ways, like Brando himself: exasperating, profane, bloated, inconsistent, childish, pretentious and, every great once in a while, brilliant.”—Los Angeles Times
“Fan-Tan is indeed an outrageous sea story, with babes and pirates, drink and sex. It has an undeniable charm . . . and students of film, lovers of Brando, or those with a hankering for another tale of avarice and deceit on the high seas will want to have a look.”—Houston Chronicle
“An exceedingly strange, high-stepping, low-stooping tale.”—Washington Post Book World