- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Railroad of Death: The Original, Classic Account of the 'River Kwai' Railway Paperback – 13 May 2014
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A harrowing account... [makes] the fictionalized David Lean movie 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' - which used the building of the Burma Railway as a backdrop - seem gauzily romanticized. --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
About the Author
John Coast was born in Kent, England on October 30, 1916. As Britain entered World War II, he left a comfortable post in the City to serve in the Coldstream Guards and then as an officer in the Norfolks. He was one of the few survivors of that regiment when it was trying to defend Singapore against the Japanese. As a prisoner-of- war Coast was sent into Siam (Thailand) to build railways for the Japanese and the story of that time, Railroad of Death, became a best seller and was later to form the subject of Return to the River Kwai, a documentary made in 1969 for the BBC. During his internment, Coast got an inkling of his future profession: he drew together musicians among his fellow prisoners and put together concert parties, which he stage managed. After the war, Coast joined the press department of the Foreign Office in Bangkok and then became press attache to President Sukarno during the Indonesian struggle for independence. Back in London in the mid 1950s, Coast became a manager and an impressario to such artists as Mario Lanza, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Jon Vickers and Montserrat Caballe. He was the first man to present Bob Dylan in London and take Ravi Shankar to the West.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
John Coast has a matter-of-fact tone which seems to accentuate the horrors that he encountered. His account starts with the fall of Singapore on 15th February 1941. He and the other Allied troops are assembled and initially interned at the notorious Changi Prison. Then they were sent to work as forced labour on the Burma Railway a.k.a. the `The Death Railway' or `The Railroad of Death' of which the title refers to. His accounts of death and the degrading treatment of P.O.W.s is horrifying. The forced labourers included Asians as well as Caucasians both of whom died in large numbers during the building of the Railway. The book is also an excellent historical resource, giving a valuable insight into how the various peoples at the time coped with war. His unique observations of the various personalities he encountered, Allied, Axis and Locals gives a unique insight into the peoples of the time. There are numerous observations of the various individuals he encountered.
This latest edition includes a transcript of the BBC Documentary mentioned above which is highly recommended reading. There is a poignant moment in the script when John Coast discusses the deaths and repercussions thereon of the Burma Railway with three of his former captors.
There is other interesting material included in the appendices: MI9 debriefings of POWs indicating escape attempts and secrets radios; Transcripts of War Trials; Identification of people John Coast encountered.
All in all, the book has something for anyone, whether they be serious historians or ordinary civilians.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > 1901 Onwards
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > East & South East Asia
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Japan
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > World War II
- Books > History > Asia > Burma (Myanmar)
- Books > History > Asia > Japan
- Books > History > Military History > World War II 1939-1945 > Biographies & Memoirs