This is nonagenarian Alistair Urquhart's incredible story of survival in the Far East during World War II.
After recounting a childhood of convention and simple pleasures in working-class Aberdeen, Mr Urquhart is conscripted within days of Chamberlain declaring war on Germany in 1939.
From then until the Japanese are deservedly nuked into surrendering six years later, Mr Urquhart's tale is one of first discomfort but then following the fall of Singapore of ever-increasing, unmitigated horror.
After a wretched journey Eastward, he finds himself part of Singapore's big but useless garrison.
Taken prisoner when Singapore falls in 1941, he is, successively,
+ part of a death march to Thailand,
+ a slave labourer on the Siam/Burma railway (one man died for every sleeper laid),
+ regularly beaten and tortured,
+ racked by starvation, gaping ulcers and disease including cholera,
+ a slave labourer stevedoring at Singapore's docks,
+ shipped to Japan in a stinking, closed, airless hold with 900 other sick and dying men,
+ torpedoed by the Americans and left drifting alone for five days before being picked up,
+ a slave-labourer in Nagasaki until blessed liberation thanks to the Americans' "Fat Boy" atomic bomb.
Chronically ill, distraught and traumatised on return to Aberdeen yet disdained by the British Army, he slowly reconstructs a life.
Only in his late 80s is he able finally to recount his dreadful experiences in this unputdownable book.
There are very few first-person eye-witness accounts of the the horrors of Japanese brutality during WW2. As such this book is an invaluable historical document.