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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authentic account of life as a "River Kwai" PoW, 2 May 2011
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Adrian Buxton (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Railroad Of Death (Hardcover)
John Coast wroe most of this personal account while he was a prisoner of war on the Siam-Burma railway 1943-5 and it was published within a year of his release. So it comes across as an authentic as well as vivid account of life on this infamous railway. Before being shifted into Thailand he had spent a year or so after the fall of Singapore as a PoW of the Japanese there and the first few chapters of the book are about that period.I found his comments on the Chinese, Thais,Koreans he had dealings with as well as on his Japanese captors interestigly revealing of national feelings and attitudes at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it. Go there., 15 Sept. 2014
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Mr. R. Beacham (UK) - See all my reviews
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This book I found difficult to put down. It's very much a matter-of-fact account of the awful experiences endured by Allied POWs and Asian forced labour at the hands of the Japanese (and, to be fair, the jungle) between 42 and 45. The transcript of a BBC 1969 documentary (unavailable elsewhere, it seems) when the author confronted some of his Japanese captors, is particularly interesting. Forget about 'The Bridge On The River Kwai' - a fictional story, as admitted by its author in the documentary, which was shot in Sri Lanka! Although the film has value in its own right as a purveyor of the general atmosphere of those times and places. But if you go to Kanchanaburi - 80 miles or so west of Bangkok by train or bus - it's very much worth it. You WILL see the site of a bridge across a river constructed by Allied POWs , including John Coast - although the current bridge isn't the original which was destroyed by Allied bombers in 1945. And you CAN walk over it, and continue by train for some distance up the so-called 'Death Railway. And you CAN visit an intensely moving cemetery now on the former site of a POW camp described by the author. DO read the book, DO go to Kanchanaburi, to which I shall be returning this winter for the 3rd or 4th time. I work for neither the publisher nor the Thai Tourist Board, by the way! Going to Kindle this book and take it with me this time - makes for a lighter rucksack!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lest we forget..........., 1 Dec. 2014
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A welcome reprint of one of the first accounts (by one who was there) of the horrors of captivity in the hands of the Japanese during the Second World War. They may have lost the peace, but as another former prisoner of war, Russell Braddon, said, they certainly won the peace. (See his books, "The Naked Island" and "The Other Hundred Years War").
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Railroad Of Death
Railroad Of Death by John Coast (Hardcover - 1946)
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