Deep in the Burmese jungle, the British, hopelessly outnumbered, were retreating before the fanatical hordes of the Japanese army.
Captain Tony Gilling’s job, with one depleted and exhausted company, was to hold their advance for a few precious hours, to earn a brief but vital respite for the rest of the British troops.
Far away from his bank job at home he is unprepared, deeply shaken and thrown into turmoil by the savagery of the battle.
Resources are quickly haemorrhaged, men lost and the outlook is painfully bleak.
Faced with looming death and morbid uncertainty, in the space of three days he learnt what it was to fight an enemy to whom death meant nothing and who tortured without compunction.
Antagonised by subedar Nay Dun who is painfully aware of Gilling’s lack of military experience, paranoia and wavering loyalties cast a dark shadow over an already horrifying experience.
Willing himself to join in the ruthlessness that surrounds him in order to survive, Gilling is torn by guilt when he witnesses the savagery inflicted on the men he has been charged with commanding. Wracked with guilt and terror he begins to drift in and out of lucid states.
A letter from his father merely adds to his horror. Humiliated by his own failures in a world that was not his, torn between a longing for life and safety and a senseless urge to save the demented remains of his pride, he learnt finally the full torment of fear, hatred and death.
I received this book from NetGalley for an honest feedback.
The book was well written as the readers were able to immerse themselves in the situation of the war. I felt that words were able to paint a clear and detailed picture for the readers. The paranoia and suffering Captain Tony Gilling encountered during the war managed to capture the essence of what was on his mind. The character of Captain Gilling was well portrayed of to let the readers know his ordeals and sufferings.
However, I felt that this book lacked the flow of content. This is because there was no purpose for the entire book. I did not like how the story had no clear endings for the character. The essence of the book was weak due to lack of character and story development.