This is a brief account of how the book affected and touched me, more than a ‘review’. This is my first book ever on the World War II, a topic I’ve always fought shy of. Deep down, I have always evaded having to live the vulnerability, suffering and horror that war brings upon people. But the fear of the idea of something is much different from and more terrifying than what it really is. This was true for me having read the book.
A gripping tale of a man and his determination, survival and optimism. I was astonished to see the human capacity to inflict cruelty and so also the human potential for endurance- and none of which was fiction! Reading though the book, I lived the life of a POW (Prisoner of War) in extreme suffering and continual dread, with no hope day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. Then Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings happen. It’s then that I saw the significance of it and the other side of how that finally put an end to the war! The jubilation of American victory to end the six years of misery and hardship for the whole world, put me in tearful awe. I empathized more than ever with the war veterans, and how the war experiences change them for good, and their difficulties in settling back to a ‘normal’ civilian life (if they return alive, without losing a limb or so)! It’s not just the physical, but the mental trying, that leaves the lifelong scars. And each one has to find his way out, and live amongst those who have no idea of what all their souls have endured!
Also, it gives us a reality check on our lives which is no less than kings and queens, so we better stop complaining for whatever it is!
For those who are deciding still, whether or not to read the book, this is what I have to say: it’s great storytelling, thrilling, gripping and awe inspiring. Like me, you wouldn’t leave it, if you get past the first chapter!