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Tomorrow You Die: The Astonishing Survival Story of a Second World War Prisoner of the Japanese Paperback – 9 May 2013
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"The PoW memoir to top them all" (Scotland on Sunday)
"This outstanding memoir is more than a story of barbaric cruelty and the devastating futility of war. It's a humbling salute to the bravery of a generation and to the courage of a boy from Glasgow who encountered the worst of humanity and emerged a hero" (Daily Record)
"If, as Solzhenitsyn wrote of another prison camp, the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man, there is no doubt which side won over Andy Coogan" (The Herald)
"Sir Chris Hoy's stamina and determination are legendary, but he would be the first to admit he could take lessons in both from his Great Uncle Andy (Book of the Month)" (Scots Magazine)
"Thoroughly inspiring . . . if you have read and enjoyed The Forgotten Highlander or The Railway Man by Eric Lomax, then you will love this book. A tale of an extraordinary man in extraordinary circumstances" (ARRSE)
An amazing, action-packed true story of survival as a prisoner of the Japanese during the Second World WarSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
After his capture in Singapore he enters the deoths of hell in a copper mine that sounds like Dante's inferno. This is an inspiring survival story and I agree with previous reviewers about its "unputdownability". It rattles along and just when you think things can't get any worse --- they do.
It puts our every day moans and worries into perspective. What a man, what a generation.
At it's heart, this is an inspiring tale of how the author's hard upbringing in the Glasgow Gorbals in the Depression years equipped him with the life skills and inner resilience to endure and survive his POW captivity. The turning point in his early life offered by a quite by chance opportunity to take up and excel in amateur athletics is one key to that tale, including his post war recovery from all the privations endured and the all too many horrors seen with his own eyes.
It's a tale told directly and well, with dark humour, reflection and key anecdotes that drive the story forward and draw you in. It's been a while since I found a "read" this hard to put down, though it's also fair to add it's not one for the faint-hearted - Coogan thankfully just tells it like it was, he doesn't do "sanitised".
Coogan is already in Malaya when Japan invades, so there is just one chapter of "military history" in its normal sense, as he sets his personal travails in the bigger picture of the chaotic fighting retreat down the Malay Peninsula and the final debacle at Singapore itself - including the initial massacre by the victors of up to 50,000 ethnic Chinese, often underplayed or air-brushed out altogether in many accounts.
That marks the real start of the POWs' living hell, a chilling record of some of militarised man`s worst inhumanity to man, woman and child. And an ever timely reminder that civilisation, like beauty, may be sometimes only skin deep ....
PS The Hardback is not quite "large print" but close enough, for those of us whose reading vision nowadays is not quite all it once was !
I was concerned, with the sensational material involved and the involvement of a professional writer, that the book might be a bit hyped up and not fairly portray Andy's real reflections, but having read the book I recognise a lot of the memories and think Andy's life and essence as a person has been portrayed well - the humour and positive outlook, as well as the hard-times as a POW. There are a lot of interesting historical facts throughout the book that help illustrate the period and conditions that Andy lived in at the time.
A great read - highly recommended!
Everyone should know Andy's story
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Most recent customer reviews
The latter part of the book I consider to lack some detail, other than that it is a moving book.
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