Richard Flanagan’s sixth novel is set during the building of the Thai-Burma Death Railway which was built during World War II. Flanagan lives in Tasmania and writes from an Australian point of view. Reading about another nation’s involvement in World War II provides a fresh perspective on this 20th century epoch.
It is August, 1943 and Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans’ life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, cholera and relentless beatings by Japanese soldiers. They are among the 60,000 prisoners of war, plus 250,000 coolies, driven and flogged by the emperor’s troops as they race to complete this railway for military purposes.
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