AS always WWII for one who dadn't directly experience it, looms myth-like in clearness of intent. Perhaps without extraordinary language the story shines brighter in it's testinment to our humanity. The authors objects are aways clear that he didn't undertake this voyage for a noble reason but for a precious gift of understanding oneself. I stayed up all night, granted I don't sleep well, this book make me glad of the insomnia
This book explores the depths and the hights of human nature. In relating his incarceration and torture during WW2, Lomax shows just how bad people can be to each other. But when the book moves to the meeting and then reconciliation between torturer and prisoner, and Lomax reveals how the pent-up hatred was hurting both of them, we are taken to the other extreme of the human spirit, to a compassionate and healing place. Have a hankerchief handy for the book's climax - I promise you you'll need one.
This beautifully written and succinctly told story of Eric Lomax's war years and especially captivity by the Japanese during the Second World War in Asia is an account about life as a POW told like never before. Man's ability to fight for survival under the most horrendous of situations is portrayed so well that it comes out as a book on survival and a lot more. Eric Lomax's Railway Man is a highly recommended read. Like in the story Flash of the Sun, we learn of the so many post-war difficulties that POWs suffer.
Zeitweise unglaublich, was Menschen anderen antun können, auch wenn zu Kriegszeiten natürlich andere Gesetze herrschen. Vieles, was geschehen ist in diesen Zeiten wird wohl nie erzählt werden, umso wichtiger sind solche Berichte wie dieser hier, damit die Welt wenigstens weiß, was vor sich gegangen ist. Eindrucksvoll auch die Schilderung, wie die Entwicklung hin zur Annäherung zwischen Opfer und Peiniger erfolgt, obwohl der Peiniger wohl ebenso ein Opfer gewesen ist.
A wonderful read. It read better than most "page turner" novels. With a clear consise style, Lomax illustrates deep truths- The horrible brutality of the Japanese prison camps, the agonizing will to survive, and the amazing capacity to forgive the most heinous of wrongs. Read this book
"The Railway Man", by Eric Lomax, W.W. Norton, 1995. This is a well written and well edited book, telling the personal story of Eric Lomax, who was Prisoner of War held by the Japanese during World War II. The author's personal accounting of torture, beating and maltreatment of POWs by the Japanese is a cool condemnation in black type on white paper of the inhuman treatment common in the Pacific. Lomax's almost causal recounting of how he was tortured makes that section even more difficult to read. The title, "The Railway Man", comes from the author's life long obsession with the railroads and locomotives. His observations of railroads and locomotives makes some of the more vivid writing in his autobiography. His personal journey from hatred of the Japanese translator, who participated in prisoners' torture, to forgiveness of that person, marks one of the highlights of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who believes the Japanese acted in a civilized manner in the war they started in the Pacific.