Edward "Weary" Dunlop, born in Australia 1907, studied pharmacy and medicine before going to the UK for post-graduate study. He was in the UK working as a surgeon when WW2 began, was posted to Palestine 1940 and later to Java February 1942 ... becoming a prisoner of the Japanese on the fall of Singapore. These, his war diaries, are edited versions of the diaries he kept as a senior working doctor in Burma and Siam, eg on the Burma-Siam railway.
It's a terrific multi-faceted book, repetitive at times insofar as the grind of daily life shows in medical, budgeting and camp management detail, but the reality of men living in dreadful conditions is the central theme, with the story told via a courageously intelligent "Weary".
There are innumerable insights eg into the brutality of Japanese and Korean guards, the struggle against malnutrition and disease, the sustaining of hope through education and entertainment programs. There were times when my breath was taken away by the lyrical eloquence of the author as he described the beauty of the jungle and wildlife. There were times when I cried to read of another beating that, for the author, might have ended in death.
Wonderful as the book is, at 450 pages it's long and best embarked on by those keen on Burma/WW2 history and/or medicine. It would have been useful if there was a clearer map, and I never did understand where the POWs got their money from!