A naive young man, a railway enthusiast and radio buff, was caught up in the fall of the British Empire at Singapore in 1942. He was put to work on the 'Railway of Death' - the Japanese line from Thailand to Burma. Exhaustively and brutally tortured by the Japanese for making a crude radio, Lomax was emotionally ruined by his experiences. Almost 50 years after the war, however, his life was changed by the discovery that his interrogator, the Japanese interpreter, was still alive - their reconciliation is the culmination of this extraordinary story.
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(198mm x 129mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
For reasons I don't understand myself, I've always been drawn towards books about both world wars and especially accounts of experiences in prison camps. There is something about the nature of being imprisoned in such circumstances - I'm equally addicted to all the hostage stories - which fascinates as well as horrifies me. It's not the details of any brutality or physical suffering which I find compelling but the mental and emotional reactions of the prisoners - how do they survive? And do they survive in any real sense? This book addresses both questions and answers them more completely than any I have ever read. It is most eloquently written - smooth, clear, with the anger which fuels it controlled to such a remarkable degree that it is mistaken at first for detachment. But Eric Lomax is not detached from the horrors inflicted upon him. Instead, he has absorbed them, at last, after for so long being ruinously absorbed by them. A staggeringly compelling and moving book. Review by author MARGARET FORSTER Editor's note: Margaret Forster is the author of many books, including The Memory Box. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Eric Lomax
Eric Lomax was born in 1919. During the Second World War he was captured and tortured by the Japanese Army and forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam railway. He met and forgave his torturer in 1995. Eric Lomax died in October 2012.