Top positive review
12 of 12 people found this helpful
A refreshing look at a very sad period
on 27 January 2012
I have read many books about the horrors of imprisonment at the hands of the Japanese during WW2, about their fanaticial bravery, and also about the atrocities they committed agains occupied peoples. This was the first book to look at the Japanese with an alternate view - they were brave people too! Harrision went throught hell as a POW (literally through 'hell-fire pass') and saw horrendous things. Yet despite this he shows a real understanding of his captors and how to handle them. His empathy with the civil population in Japan is amazing, given his experiences.
I also like the way he gives recogniotion to the brave Chinese communists who helped him in Malaya during WW2, as he and his comrades tried to evade capture by the Japanese. As a result, when the Malayan Emergency kicked off in 1948, he did not feel comfortable doing anything to their disadvantage.
Don't get me wrong, I am no supporter of the 'Knights of Bushido' or of any Communist insurgency, yet I really like the humanity in Harrison's writing, and the way that he manages to see good in people who are oppressing him. May Harrision, and all the comrades he names in his book, never be forgotten!