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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To The Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939-45 by Ronald Searle
Many things make this book extraordinary. Searle's amazing stamina to survive when overworked by the Japanese on the Kwai Railway, sick with jungle diseases, underfed to the point that you wonder that he could live - and yet he not only lived but kept drawing everything he saw: his fellow prisoners, his Japanese guards, the punishments, the sick, the wild animals, the...
Published on 28 Mar 2010 by Derek Robinson

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War drawing book
Book took rather a long time to arrive from order. But was packaged well. I had seen a friends copy of this book and wanted my own copy. Its in very good condition and I am looking forward to reading it.
Published on 19 July 2012 by DGR


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To The Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939-45 by Ronald Searle, 28 Mar 2010
By 
Derek Robinson (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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Many things make this book extraordinary. Searle's amazing stamina to survive when overworked by the Japanese on the Kwai Railway, sick with jungle diseases, underfed to the point that you wonder that he could live - and yet he not only lived but kept drawing everything he saw: his fellow prisoners, his Japanese guards, the punishments, the sick, the wild animals, the railway - and always with the knowledge that such drawings were forbidden and, if caught, he might be executed. Yet this is a very encouraging story, even at times funny - as when he drew a Japanese guard asleep: the prisoners had made a deal with him that they would not escape if they let him sleep (instead of making them work). This is a book of illustrations and explanatory captions, making it highly readable. Searle tells of the (rare) Japanese officer who helped him draw, and of the way that many of his St Trinians ideas were inspired by the Kwai railway sufferings. Much more than a great cartoonist, Searle is a true artist, and his book explains how it happened.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 12 Sep 2011
This review is from: To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 (Hardcover)
These drawings are simply stunning and atmospheric. They capture the story of Ronald Searle from army recruit to the prisoner of war far better than any camera could ever do, some of them are haunting. A great tribute to the POWs and an essential record to that time.
I would strongly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to find the right words, 8 Feb 2014
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This review is from: To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 (Hardcover)
I had seen a copy of this book before and I was reminded of it when seeing the Railwayman Film when Patti looked through the book to learn about what Eric had experienced.

Eric Lomax in his book and Ronald in this book in both the words and pictures with the grim statistics of those young men who did not return give more depth to the inscription on the Kohima war cemetary memorial.

"When you go home
Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow,
we gave our today."

Harold Atcherley's book Prisoner of Japan also provides detailed background of the time.

Thinking about myself and my children at their age when prisoners I find it hard to grasp how young people in their early twenties found the reserves of strength to survive when isolated from everything else in their previous lives.

Hopefully with these records in pictures and text the awful and sad events described will not be forgotten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ronald Searle is no longer with us, this book is history., 10 Nov 2013
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This review is from: To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 (Hardcover)
This book should be shown in every school in the country, this shows mans inhumanity to man, unfortunately Ronald Searle is no longer with us, and I wish I could have read this book while he was alive. If you can get a copy, get one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POW art, 6 Jan 2010
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This review is from: To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 (Hardcover)
This book, along with several others, was used by me for my dissertation on the motivation of prisoners of war to produce art under difficult conditions. It would be arrogant of me to criticize such a work, suffice to say that it is at times light-hearted, but never loses its impact and is well worth reading, if only to remind us all of the suffering endured by so many in times of war.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moved to tears...., 12 Aug 2013
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This review is from: To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 (Hardcover)
A superb and permanent reminder of the suffering to which many men of my father's generation were subjected. As child the stories were difficult to believe. As an adult I am moved to tears by these drawings so beautifully presented.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Testment of Survival, 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 (Hardcover)
Beautiful collection of drawings that serves as a witness of remarkable time and place in history and
harrowing experiences during WWII. The drawings intimately convey events as they occur and portray
in individual detail the tedium, the brutality of conditions under enemy imprisonment as well as moments
of grace. Searle drily describes his experiences and gives a human face to chronology of battles.
Amazing feat of recording his experiences as serviceman routed to Singapore then taken prisoner of war.
Ronald Searle is a notable artist but these drawings also exhibit his incredible spirit under extremely
trying circumstances. He miraculously survived and these drawings survived, hidden by comrades
dying but still fighting in spirit. Sensitively drawn and touching record of an artist, a soldier, a man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Significant work of this acclaimed artist, 1 Mar 2013
By 
J. TULLOCH (Edinburgh UK) - See all my reviews
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The recent passing of Ronald Searle gives this book of his war drawings special standing. Known across the world subsequently for his innovative and lively cartoon style, the pen drawings in this book, completed while a young prisoner and hidden from the Japanese under the severest conditions, are a permanent testament to his drawing skill and acute observation, and are valued now as an important historical record by a wider audience.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars War drawing book, 19 July 2012
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This review is from: To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 (Hardcover)
Book took rather a long time to arrive from order. But was packaged well. I had seen a friends copy of this book and wanted my own copy. Its in very good condition and I am looking forward to reading it.
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To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945
To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939 - 1945 by Ronald Searle (Hardcover - 6 April 2006)
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