"He happily slept without women. He never slept without a book."
As you might expect from Richard Flanagan, this is a really amazing book and as the subject matter might suggest, it is nothing less than harrowing. At first I thought the juxtaposition of love story and Thai-Burma railway gruesomeness might off set one another. No, this is as rough going as you might expect had you heard anything about the cholera ravaged POWs that carved out a rail way under unfathomable conditions.
Dorrigo is an imperfect, yet engaging protagonist, you could understand why all the women love him and as a reader you are drawn into his torments and trials with an incessant hunger. The makeshift surgery scenes will haunt your nightmares - not to mention when he recounts some of the horrific ablutions.
At the same time that we trample through the physical torments of the line, we're transported to a love affair that can never be and is all the more raw for its circumstances. i feel it would be unkind to let you know too much about this book before reading it, it would be far more interesting to explore it unbiased by too much fore knowledge.
5 out of 5 unhappy marriages are another kind of prison.