Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Richard Flanagan’s vivid account of harrowing history is a solid choice for the Booker Prize // ‘Timeless depiction of war’
by Kim Hyo Soon and Kil Yun Hyung
By Kinue Tokudome
One of the most extraordinary engineering achievements of World War II was the construction of the Burma-Thailand railway. With unbelievably primitive tools for such a project and a total disregard for human life and suffering, the Japanese built a railway 415 km long through one of most rugged and pestilence-ridden areas of the world in the incredibly short span of 12 months. The cost was a life for every sleeper laid over its most difficult sections. Dead were 13,000 British, Australian, American and Dutch prisoners of war and an estimated 70,000 Asian civilian laborers.