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The Line: A Man's Experience; A Son's Quest to Understand

2.75  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The Line: A Man's Experience; A Son's Quest to Understand is a memoir written by Arch and Martin Flanagan. It details Arch Flanagan's experiences as an Australian prisoner of war of Imperial Japan during World War II. The book is divided into sections: Cleveland 1914-1928 - a short history of Arch's childhood growing up in rural Tasmania; The War Years 1940-1945, and Long ...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published 2008 by One Day Hill Pty Ltd (first published August 2005)
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2.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  24 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Diane
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-wwii
This was an interesting approach to the relating of a POW's experiences working on the Burma Railway. The telling of Arch's life is shared by Arch, through his four contributions, and his son's commentary and thoughts on his father's life.

I've read several books by POWs who worked on the Burma Railway. This was not the very best of the lot, but it was still worth reading.

3 Stars = I liked the book.
Lian Tanner
Arch was an Australian soldier in WWII (a teacher in civilian life) who worked on the infamous and brutal Burma Railway (aka The Line) as a POW.
Martin is one of his sons, brother to the more famous Richard Flanagan, but IMO a better writer. Martin's writing is exquisitely honest - very straightforward. He often writes sporting columns with a difference in newspapers, but has also written a beautiful book about Tasmanian history and his own history and how they intersect, called 'In Sunshine and
...more
Delwyn Riordan
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book after reading "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" by Richard Flanagan, and would highly recommend it as follow up reading to this novel. What I really valued about "The Line" was the simple honesty in the stories Arch tells. I think that Martin, in his searching for deeper understanding of his father's experience, and in his relationships with friends of his father's is able to show a little of the "greatness" which is there in many people and their relationships but is rarely s ...more
Blair
Apr 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I found this to be a very interesting read. I don't entirely feel like I learned as much about the Railway as I expected/wanted to - but whether that's down to the writing style/s or something else, I'm not quite sure. I'm glad I finally got to finish it this time though, and would still suggest it to anyone who is also interested in war history.
Ruby
Feb 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Ruby by: Mrs. Pickering-Tyres
Despite this being pretty close to home, the writing just fell short in the end. Martin always felt like he was over-reaching and Arch was too caught up in the description of things. Under-reaching if anything, but I don't really blame him.
Rachael-jean
Aug 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
so far, really boring.
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