A touching yet unsentimental story about growing up in Singapore seen through the eyes of Yong, a 12-year-old, who experiences the paradoxes of life even if he doesn’t always understand everything. Between the rigorous demands of school and taking care of his younger sibling, Yong deals with the death of Ah Por, upheavals in his family, run-ins with the neighbourhood gang leader, infatuation and finally, the end of a friendship.
Set in a Housing Development Board (HDB) estate, Gone Case is a coming-of-age story with many memorable moments. It won the Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award in 1996 and was on the National Library Board's Read! Singapore 2011 list. It was adapted into a telemovie, produced and written by Lee Thean Jeen, directed by Ler Jiyuan in 2013.
"GONE CASE might be the most underrated work of fiction in Singaporean letters... I love this book: the Singlish; the spare, sometimes lyrical and always unpretentious language; the silences and what they imply. The novel’s episodic narrative even mirrors the TV serials of the era. I’m waiting for someone to make a proper film of it, and to render on screen, among many memorable images, the most poignant closing paragraph in Singaporean literature."
- Alvin Pang, author of City of Rain and Testing The Silence, from Goodreads
"A quietly disturbing novel on an HDB childhood in Singapore... An overlooked classic of local lit."
- Ng Yi-Sheng, author of last boy
"A thought-provoking bildungsroman that centrals itself around a twelve year old boy. Well written with varied use of figurative language and clearly described. Although the conversations are filled with vernacular terms, their usage makes the story extremely realistic. Excellent literature."
- Apollos Michio, Goodreads