2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Railway Man (Paperback)
I gave up on this book before the trip to Japan at the end of the story. I couldn't care whether Eric Lomax forgave his captors or not. Lomax admits early on in the book that he is a man with a meticulous mind who likes, for example, lists and trains. I would go so far as to say that he exhibits traits of autism and as such his account is very detached. He keeps himself and by extension us, his readers, remote from the horror, the action. We learn about things as if seeing them through a veil.
The first third of the book is set in his childhood in Scotland and is basically about trains. I ploughed on through this very boring stuff and got to the Singapore section, which was the heart of the story and in places held my attention. Then we returned to Scotland after the war and tiptoed around marriage problems and the coming to terms eventually with his treatment in the war. It became an odd mixture of bitterness and depression and coded remembrance.
I would recommend this book to people who like trains.
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Initial post: 12 Mar 2014 11:52:54 GMT
I have no interest in trains however still thought the book was exceptional. 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.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2014 12:58:12 GMT
I, too, found his dismissal of his first marriage very unpleasant. Perhaps he thought he was being kind to his first wife by shunting her to the sidelines but I found it difficult to work up the sympathy that I should for this man particularly as I have read many other stories about prisoners of the Japanese that were equally horrific.
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