The Railway Man

  • by Eric Lomax
  • Narrated by Bill Paterson
  • 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A naive young man, a railway enthusiast and radio buff, was caught up in the fall of the British Empire at Singapore in 1942. He was put to work on the 'Railway of Death' - the Japanese line from Thailand to Burma. Exhaustively and brutally tortured by the Japanese for making a crude radio, Lomax was emotionally ruined by his experiences. Almost 50 years after the war, however, his life was changed by the discovery that his interrogator, the Japanese interpreter, was still alive - their reconciliation is the culmination of this extraordinary story.

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Customer Reviews

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From hatred to forgiveness

The Railway Man, by Eric Lomax, is the story of an innocent young man who had a passion for everything trains. Lomax joined the Royal Signal Corp and was captured by the Japanese in 1942. After a detailed map he sketched and a crude radio he built were discovered and confiscated by his guards, Lomax was interrogated on suspicion of being a spy. The interrogation was brutal and seemed likely never to end The interpreter was as cold and cruel as the questioners and was the person Lomax hated most after the war. Lomax was physically and psychologically devastated after his ordeal. He had fantasies of killing the interpreter. But 50 years after it was over Eric Lomax learned the interpreter was still alive and was tormented by his complicity in the interrogation of a particular British POW. Although it seems impossible, Lomax was the very man who Nagase Takeshi must seek forgiveness from to ease his own suffering and guilt. Through a series of near misses and some misunderstanding the two meet. And with the grace and dignity that often only the elderly can display the two former enemies become comfortable together. In the end the two men also became friends. Both Lomax and Takeshi experience great happiness in their final few years through forgiveness and understanding. Do not miss this tale of the ultimate goodness of some men.
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- Parusski "Loyal member since 1998"

Profoundly moving

What an inspiration. It puts my petty grudges in a whole new context. I am so grateful that Eric Lomax shared his story, and I will try to live closer to his standard. How lucky we are to have such guiding lights.

Beautifully read. Riveting. Listened straight through.
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- PSG

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-18-2011
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks