Jonathan Coller

Helpful votes received on reviews: 92% (85 of 92)
Location: England



Top Reviewer Ranking: 456,493 - Total Helpful Votes: 85 of 92
Deep River by Shusaku Endo
Deep River by Shusaku Endo
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Masterpiece, 11 Feb 2011
Read this book for the possibilities of what it could have been. Not for what it is. This work really does have a masterpiece hidden within it, like a sculpture in marble, but the final form is missing. Many of the conversations are just not that realistic or engaging while the plot appears somewhat contrived at times. The character of Gaston, for example, appears to have been simply 'transplanted' from 'Wonderful Fool', although it does serve the purpose of echoing the self-sacrifice of Otsu and acts as a counterpoint to Mitsuko's motivation for working in a Hospital. While the book purports to be about a group of Japanese tourists the focus eventually turns to the fate of Otsu, a… Read more
Bells of Nagasaki (Japan's Modern Writers) by Takashi Nagai
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Bells of Nagasaki toll for all us. One man's struggle is the struggle of all of us. Takashi Nagai's story of perseverance against impossible odds is an enduring story of hope in times of despair. The dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki may have taken away his wife, deprived him of his health, and removed his economic well-being but it could not weaken his resolve to carry on. He left revenge in the hands of God and maintained his personal dignity and his sense of duty to his medical oath. Who does one help when there are too many people to help? How does one treat a medical problem without having the necessary knowledge of the problem? How does one rebuild a career, a life, a city… Read more
Hiroshima (Penguin Modern Classics) by John Hersey
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are no moral judgements in this compelling book. It is an account of how humanity coped in an inhumane situation. It is a 'beautifully' harrowing account of how six hibakusha (explosion-affected persons) dealt with a seemingly impossible situation. While Hersey's writing neither condemns nor justifies the dropping of the atomic bomb it forced me to contemplate the morality of the decision to do so. War is between soldiers and sailors. There can be no justification for children having their eyes melt down their face or nurses having their limbs blown off. The carpet bombing of cities like Dresden was just as indiscriminate and just as much an act of futility when the war was already… Read more