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163 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing though ultimately uplifting account.
This account of the author's experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war is, as you'd expect, a fairly harrowing one. But what lifts this remarkable tale is the book's humanity and compassion, and the tenderness of its narrative.
Whether Eric Lomax is re-living his childhood fascination with steam locomotives and trams, or describing the horrendous, inhuman acts of...
Published on 21 April 2004 by A. B. Pearl

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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story
Very well written account of the SE Asia theatre of WW2.
'Into the Valley of Death rode the 600' has not much on the 50,000 into the Jungle railroad of Burma.
For me historically informative as indeed a Signals Officer is well placed to be.
Puts a completely different perspective on 'The Bridge over the River Kwai'. Authors comment on the film,...
Published 14 months ago by Declan Gray


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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb read, 9 July 2007
By 
D. Johnson "oldplayer" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Railway Man (Paperback)
Not being an avid reader of books I picked up this one after being recommended by John Gaunt on Talksport.
Though I'd give it a go... and it blew me away. There are two parts in particular that literally reduced me to tears.
But as i said I don't normally read books however this is a masterpiece and has sparked off a whole new passion for reading within me.
I have subsequently bought 3 more books on the subject and having read the Railway man I can't wait to start the next.
If you don't have this book in your collection you must be mad!!!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Railway Man, 19 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Kindle Edition)
This book, although interesting in its fact descriptions, is written in quite a dull, ponderous way. For me the protagonist didn't come over as a very attractive person. Not much insight into anything but the facts happening at the time. Wouldn't llook out for the author's other works, if they exist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, 19 July 2012
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Paperback)
I felt I had to read this book after reading the more recently written "The Forgotten Highlander" by Alastair Urquhart. The subject matter is the same but the books are very different. The authors are very different. The Railway Man gets off to a very slow start and is almost tedious in the first few chapters when he talks about his passion for trains and railways. He appears to be a quiet sort of chap leading a quiet sort of life. This impression continues even when he stars to relate his war experiences. He is an officer and has a somewhat stoical approach to his captivity by the Japanese. Alastair Urquhart is a somewhat bolshy type who gets very angry at all sorts of things, including the officer classes. Mr Urquhart loves ballroom dancing and Mr Lomax loves trains. Two very different people destined to have very similar experiences. Their stories of captivity are similar in that they suffered torture and deprivation. Their accounts are harrowing and unforgettable. Their attitude to their experiences both at the time and after the war are very different. One of them never felt able to forgive the Japanese for what they did and the other one had a very moving meeting with the interpreter present at his torture. I am so pleased I read both of these books and would highly recommend others to do the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 16 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Kindle Edition)
This book gives such food for thought. I could not wait to see how the story would develop. If forgiveness can be found after such atrocities surely we could practice this in our daily lives and live more peacefully together. Never before has a book had such a profound effect on me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional memoir, 12 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Kindle Edition)
The Japanese treatment of their Prisoners Of War during World War Two is about as monstrous as it's possible to imagine. Curiously though, and despite some horrific personal experiences at the hands of his captors, Eric Lomax's account is most memorable as an inspiring, humbling and remarkable reminder of much that is good about humanity.

There is so much in this book: early Scottish childhood memories; a lifelong obsession with railways; joining a Christian sect as a teenager; travelling to India as a Royal Signals soldier; the disastrous fall of Singapore in 1942; torture and beatings by the Kempetai (the Japanese secret police); Changi, the notorious labour camp in Singapore in 1945; survival against the odds; liberation; Eric's undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Eric's eventually rehabilitation; an unlikely love story; and finally, acceptance, forgiveness, and friendship and reconciliation with one of his captors.

The writing is simple and accessible, the contents profound and memorable. An exceptional memoir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable tale., 20 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Paperback)
It's certainly an interesting tale and remarkable in the fact he was reunited with his torturer. It would be easy to give a five star rating on the basis of his suffering but I don't think it's particularly well written. It's a factual chronological tale of the man's experiences but for me, lacks detail of how he felt mentally during the ordeal. There is plenty of physical description, probably lacking some of the worst abuse he suffered (which I can understand he could not relate fully for a variety of reasons) but I never felt I got to know the man. This lack of detail (as spotted by other reviewers too) makes the final reconciliation appear less astonishing than it should have been and indeed must have been. I had hoped for a greater insight into the war in this part of the world as I had a relative incarcerated in Changi by the Japanese. It might seem churlish to criticise the book given the content but I do like to be objective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, 7 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Kindle Edition)
I have put off reading this book, I felt I knew the horrors it would reveal and wasn't sure I wanted to read about them. Although it is full of horrors, it is also a very personal account of overcoming hatred and the desire for revenge. I would highly recommend reading it just before or just after the The Narrow Road to the Deep North as they are very different books, written in completely different styles about the same atrocity. Lomas isn't a writer and his account is more biographical and simple - but in a way, this makes the content more difficult to accept; Flanagan is a creative writer, flashing his narrative style with atmospheric description and complex flashbacks - beautiful but make the reader feel that this is a story. Reading them both together provides a real insight and a deeper understanding. Even if you don't like 'war books' these are both great books.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Railway Man, 25 Aug. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Railway Man (Paperback)
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Lomax and his wife at a school funtion some years ago. His book is wonderful as is he and I learn't that this has been a life long work for him as he has been writing this since the war. He is truly a fantastic man, and it would be a serious crime not to read his story. It takes you from childhood the to when in confronted his past, and desipte the start seeming hard to get in to, DO continue to read as it will consume you with each passing page.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving, 4 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Railway Man (Kindle Edition)
I had read this book many years ago and was very moved by it, particularly in the way Lomax brought his Christian principles to bear on a truly horrendous experience.

Recently I saw the preview of the film of this book before it's release this January which to my mind is an exceptional must see film.

So moved was I by the film that I decided to buy the book for my Kindle to read it again.

The book is undoubtedly a must read book and the film a must see film.

I was reminded off another book called Bridge over the River Kwai written by another Christian who suffered terribly on the same railway, and of a Bishop of Birmingham who was tortured by the Japanese yet could not stop loving them; he led the service at the Royal Albert Hall for many years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting!!!, 26 April 2014
By 
Craig (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
Don’t give up on it. I was going to abandon this book during the first few chapters because it wasn't really grabbing me. Trainspotting and railways don’t really draw me in but once I got past this part I couldn't put this book down.
This was only Eric Lomax’s story and there are so many thousands of other POW stories that will never get the chance to be heard. Lomax has been a fantastic representative for all those untold stories in giving the post war generations an idea of what life was like as a Prisoner Of War on the Burma- Siam railway.
I finished the book in two sittings because I just couldn't put it down. Lomax’s story is harrowing and for what he and his comrades went through at such a young age is absolutely horrendous and beyond comprehension to this generation. Watching his fellow soldiers being beaten, tortured and even killed while he too was going through the same punishment is unimaginable. The physical wounds healed but the psychological torment continued to haunt him for the rest of his life.
After fifty years of torment he seeks out one of his tormentors and meets him face to face and reconciles with him.
This is the story of endurance and the capacity of forgiveness in the human spirit.

Engrossing.
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