The Railway Man

The Railway Man

Hardback

By (author) Eric Lomax

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Paperback $9.87
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 240mm 617g
  • Publication date: 10 August 1995
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0224041878
  • ISBN 13: 9780224041874
  • Illustrations note: 4 maps

Product description

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. This was the most disastrous engineering project in history, which 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 Japanese discovered the radio and Lomax was exhaustively and 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 50 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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Editorial reviews

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 MARGARET FORSTER Editor's note: Margaret Forster is the author of many books, including The Memory Box. (Kirkus UK)