• The Railway Man

  • By: Eric Lomax
  • Narrated by: Bill Paterson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 05-18-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4.4 (125 ratings)

Regular price: $20.75

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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.
©1995 Eric Lomax (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Parusski on 05-04-12

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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16 of 17 people found this review helpful


By PSG on 04-30-14

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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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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By Jemmy Bloocher on 04-13-13

a tale of humanity, frailty and ultimately redemption

I am sure that this book will stay in my mind for years to come. It is a profoundly moving autobiographical story of one man's experience as a p.o.w in the far east. 'Moving' is oft used, but not by me! I found myself in tears a few times. The quality of the reading was first rate and the prose lovely. I cannot fault this audiobook and feel that my life has been enriched for having heard it. It is not a book I would've picked, but was suggested for my book group. I am very glad it was. The author's honesty and experience can teach us all

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Mr. R. H. Barnes on 11-22-12

Riverting, Captivating, Inspiring

I could not stop listening to this fantastic book. A brilliant insight into a period of modern history that must never be forgotten. Written so fluently and Bill Paterson's narration is excellent.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Ros H. on 07-15-16

Excellent

I found this an excellent book.
My father had fought against the Japanese in WWII. I now understand in part maybe why he was the way he was. A rather difficult man.
This book does give a very true and graphic description of life of the men fighting in this part of the world also the horrendous way the captured men where treated.
I know both my father and grandmother took many long years to forgive or even talk to them. Sometimes I wonder if they ever did Georgie.
The narration of this book was I think what made it even better. Had I tried to read this myself I don't think I could have got through the torture. He somehow made it easier, don't think it that he was being gentle or anything, just I was able to hang in and listen.
An excellent book right to the end

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By Amazon Customer on 07-02-16

A thought provoking book

Well read by Bill Patterson. A story of extreme courage and a will to survive.

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