The Railway Man (Vintage War Exp)

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9780099597551: The Railway Man (Vintage War Exp)

  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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Review:

Eric Lomax, a British army soldier, was captured by the Japanese during the Singapore campaign of 1942. A railroad buff since a child, he took strange pleasure in his work as a POW on the Burma-Siam Railroad, which was later the subject of the film Bridge Over the River Kwai. When his captors discovered his detailed drawings of the railway, he was suspected as a spy and tortured for years. Fifty years later he discovered that the interpreter during his tortures was still alive. The two arranged a meeting and Lomax forgave him. Here is the exciting, moving and truthful account.

From the Inside Flap:

Winner of the 1996 NCR Book Award
A naive young man, a radio 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 and Burma. The most disastrous engineering project in history, it killed 250,000 Allied prisoners and Thai labourers. Lomax helped to build a radio so that he and his comrades could follow news of the war. The radio was discovered and he was brutally tortured. One of his tormentors was a young Japanese interpreter; Lomax never forgot him. Despite an outwardly successful life, Lomax was emotionally ruined by his experiences and could never share them with anyone. Almost fifty years after the war, his life was changed by the discovery that his interrogator, the Japanese interpreter, was still alive. This is the story of a tragic life and a transformed old age.

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