The Railway Man by Eric Lomax
The Japanese treatment of their Prisoners Of War during World War Two is about as monstrous as it's possible to imagine. Curiously though, and despite some horrific personal experiences at the hands of his captors, Eric Lomax's account is most memorable as an inspiring, humbling and remarkable reminder of much that is good about humanity.
There is so much in this book: early Scottish childhood memories; a lifelong obsession with railways; joining a Christian sect as a teenager; travelling to India as a Royal Signals soldier; the disastrous fall of Singapore in 1942; torture and beatings by the Kempetai (the Japanese secret police); Changi, the notorious labour camp in Singapore in 1945; survival against the odds; liberation; Eric's undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Eric's eventually rehabilitation; an unlikely love story; and finally, acceptance, forgiveness, and friendship and reconciliation with one of his captors.
The writing is simple and accessible, the contents profound and memorable. An exceptional memoir.