Recommended by a work colleague I found this book to be a slow starter, but once the pace picked up it developed into a good yarn. I can't say it wasRecommended by a work colleague I found this book to be a slow starter, but once the pace picked up it developed into a good yarn. I can't say it was a totally credible tale, but for a chilling read it held me in suspense. I didn't form an attachment to any of the characters as they all had their flaws, but I did think 'Girl' was an interesting person, not one I'd like to be married to that is for sure. I would recommend this book for a suspenseful piece of true fiction. It will not probably be a book I'll ever think too much about again....more
I read this book to discuss with my online book group. I probably wouldn't have picked this book up ordinarily as I do not like war stories. As I got into this book I realised that everyone should read this book if only to get some idea of the suffering of these POW men. For those of us whose grandfathers were in action in 'the great War' it gave me a further insight into their reluctance to talk about the cruelty, depravity they or their peers suffered. This always seemed such an impenetrable zone with everyone terrified that you might bring up 'the' subject.
This is a book that stays with you after you have read it, and I have found myself watching out for more information, more literature to help make sense of the worthless project of the Burma railway. whilst reading this book, by coincidence I watched The Railwayman, Eric Lomax's story of his time on the Burma railway. I realised that TNRTTDN could never be filmed to represent the book fully. That is one thing that will never be taken away from this well crafted book.
As far as our hero goes, I did not like his character. On one hand such a compassionate buddy and comrade and on the other hand, destroying good people with his wilful destruction to accommodate his philandering. It seemed that his exploits were well known by everyone, maybe everyone asking the same question about this Jekyll and Hyde character?
I liked the interesting way that the author gave each POW comrade an 'ending', whether they survived or not. Each individual had a unique way of handling or blotting out their sufferings. I found them all credible giving me even more compassion and admiration for each man that experienced such horror.
Flanagan's Japanese and Korean POW marshalls were well rounded too. Flanagan's research and interviews of Japanese men gave me a basic understanding of why they acted as they did, still very difficult to fathom inflicting relentless cruelty for honour and service to the Emperor. Still, everyone has a story, and I am sure these young men also suffered greatly for the pain they inflicted.
I will write more after we have discussed this book - March 2015....more
'An Australian gothic novel of love, hate and haute couture'. Story of Tilly, who returns to Dungatar to care**spoiler alert** Dymocks ANZLL discussion
'An Australian gothic novel of love, hate and haute couture'. Story of Tilly, who returns to Dungatar to care for her 'mad' mother. Vingettes of towns people - their bizarre and quirky personalities. An Astley styled novel of grisly, unrelenting, biases small town mentality.
Some twists in this novel were a bit far fetched - is this a product or a trap of a first time writer's vivid imagination? But I loved the bizarre quirkiness of this book. Ham's writing style is easy to warm to....more