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Le pont de a rivière KwaïEven slightly The Dark Duke likely character in the whole book But after having set up the POW camp and the bridge as the main portion of the story but about halfway through the author seems to get bored with them which I understand as I too was bored with them and then the story drifts off to the separate team that have been sent to blow up the bridge and which have noink at all to the POWs Three men almost no action pages and pages of florid waffle Did anyone REALLY enjoy this novel Or did they watch the movie and pretend to have read itSecond the characterisation Yes it is as racist as you could possibly imagine Actually it is worse Many historical novels are racist sexist or imperialist in any one of many ways and I read a A Measure Of Love (Kincaid Trilogy lot of historical stuff so I can usually read past that accepting it as the perspective of the time in which it was written Post WWII there was aot of racism against the Japanese which is the sort of response that can be understood if not enjoyed and during the war as with any war it is an effective techniue to demonise and deminish the enemy This book was by far one of the worst of this kind I have ever read though the author could not mention a single Japanese character without abusing their physical appearance he could not mention the Japanese as a nation without sneering at how they are primitives and just generally subpar to Europeans Leaving aside the fact that Japan is a old rich far from primitive culture the racism was still excessive Worse He did the same thing to the Siamese and that infuriated me completely Thailand is an incredibly old immensely civilized culture which I both adore and respect and THEY WERE ALLIES in this scenario There is no excuse at all for diminishing and abusing them for calling them savages when they are your guides and allies Next was a really really odd and even icky element We all know that the French and the English have issues Pierre Boulle chose to write this novel using English characters rather than French and as far as I can see he did that purely for the purpose of creating nasty childish and stupid caricatures as a sly way to mock the English The Colonel was idiotic the behaviour of the English POW s was so very far from reality I can only assume Pierre never met one or maybe he did and still chose character assassination on these men that had suffered so much While for a while I tried to believe that it was the translation that made the characters so immensely unbelievable by page 50 I could no Starting Over on Blackberry Lane (Life in Icicle Falls longer believe that So racist against the Japanese the Siamese AND the English This author is a piece of workThird the history Here one might have expected the author to shine since the fictional story claims to have used Pierre Boulle s ownife experience working in Malaysia plantations and for allied forces in Singapore and Indochina during World War II Well wherever Pierre hung out I am dead certain that it was nowhere near the actual Burma Railway or with anyone who was really there The things that the workers on that railway suffered were horrendous but Pierre barely mentions them a casual wave of his hand about not having enough clothes A glancing mention that the medic in the team was not happy about the conditions There was one pretty moderate beating Knowing what actually occurred on the Hellfire pass and on the death railway reading this actually made me sick with fury on behalf of the veterans I don t mind that the actual bridge and the mission to sabotage are fictional that is fine for a novel But the description of the British Colonel virtually subjugating the Japanese commandant of the work camp that was so idiotically The Soul Of A Thief ludicrous that I could barely read it The completeack of understanding on the part of the author of ANY of the actual events or conditionsughI will eave you with a couple of excerpts that annoyed me The officers sir the British officers They are not being made to work they are all in full uniform badges of rank and all pg 92 The Siamese were not ualified to appreciate the technical genius of Captain Reeves but they were fully aware this was no shapeless scaffolding in the usual Japanese style Primitive people have an instinctive appreciation of applied art and design Primitive Thai architecture PRIMITIVE This dreck won awardsPretty horrid book really if you are considering it maybe instead check out any of the really good stories based on real experiences

If You Look At 
you ook at page count as I did and think it is only 157 pages I can do that easily I warn you that most of those pages are as painful as having fingernails pulled 25 Rounded upI have not seen the film that is based on the book though I can imagine that the film might bring out some of the personalities better especially given the cast Boulle s idea for the book is certainly intriguing but until the Secret Baby, Surprise Parents last I enjoyed this tale of obsession within a parable on the futility and absurdity of waroosely based on Japanese use of British prisoners of war to build a railroad bridge in the jungles "of siam during world war iiboulle as narrator "Siam during World War IIBoulle as narrator the novel euating the values and behavior of the West specifically the British and specifically its symbol Col Nicholson with those of the East ie the Japanese ie and its symbol Col Saito During the Mystify (Mystyx, last war saving face was perhaps as vitally important to the British as it was to the Japanese Perhaps it dictated the behavior of the former without their being aware of it as forcibly and fatally as it did that of theatter and no doubt that of every race in the world Perhaps the conduct of each of the two enemies superficially so dissimilar was in fact simply a different though eually meaningless manifestation of the same spiritual reality Perhaps the mentality of the Japanese colonel Saito was essentially the same as that of his prisoner Colonel Nicholson Published in 1952 and written as Allied war crimes trials of Japanese soldiers were just winding down Boulle s suggestion that both sides were driven by the same beliefs of cultural superiority would have been unusually broad minded for a former Free French agent and prisoner of warMore expected is the racism that both the characters and the narrator exhibit in describing the Japanese. Ted sense of duty aid his enemy While on the outside as the Allies race to destroy the bridge Nicholson must decide which will be the first casualty his patriotism or his pri. .
Hen this book was written and I know that the Japanese Army was responsible for truly heinous war crimes during World War Two and I know that people in this time very The New Baby likely would have been this racist and yet none of that makes it any easier to ignore The Japanese people and their culture are denigrated at almost every turn in this book by the characters but also by the narrative prose They re referred to as children savages incompetent at every turn incapable of accomplishing the feats of construction that the British can or of running a well organized camp the Japanese commander Saito is repeatedly said to be shamed by Colonel Nicholson s behavior and toash out in petty vengeance for it there s no nuance to this portrayal It s cartoonish almost outlandish it reads Wild Streak like propaganda Not a single Japanese character is shown to be at all capable in any sphere whereas all the Brits are uniformly excellent In the background you can hear me making extravagant gagging noisesAnd Nicholson I have this pet peeve developed after reading aot of substandard fantasy about characters who cling to the idea of honorable comportment to the point of idiocy They re always written as if it s supposed to be admirable and it never is because pragmatic action would do significantly good Write this as a heroic fault absolutely but not a heroic strength And it s true in the end Nicholson s pride is treated as the failing it is but that s after over a hundred pages extolling how virtuous and worthy a P.I. Daddys Personal Mission (The Coltons of Montana, leader he is even as he drives his men to not only complete but improve upon a construction which will aid enemy forces in attacking British soldiers All of the fawning prose doesn t just get erased because in theast chapter his foolishness is called by nameAt Say Youll Stay And Marry Me least if I put myself through reading such thinly disguised propaganda it was only 150 pages of it Three stars for The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle Iiked it but man o man it annoyed me A product of it s times written in 1954 Kwai is both stereotypical and stiff in the telling of a 1942 WWII Pacific Theatre event I suppose most have at Rafaellos Mistress least seen or heard of the film starring Alec Guinness and William Holden The stiff necked Brit Colonel Nicholson whose pride blinds his patriotism somehow and the attending figures that surround him Colonol Saito his Japanese counterpart that is head of that particular POW camp and the bridge that must be built for the Japanese invasion to go as planned I d seen most of the film many years ago and really Guinness is perfect for the part of Nicholson breathing aife into the character that is somehow flatter in the book But I must get back to the book Sorry Blind pride Men following orders Oppressive jungle temperatures Partially unprepared insurgents Boulle really brings out the similarities of nationalities probably a bit ahead of his time I think A uote of the first page of the book kind of sums it up The insuperable gap between East and West that exists in some eyes is perhaps nothing than an optical illusion Perhaps it is only the conventional way of expressing a popular opinion based on insufficient evidence and masuerading as a universally recognized statement of fact for which there is no justification at all not even the plea that it contains an element of truth During the The Boleyn King (The Boleyn Trilogy, last war saving face was perhaps as vitally important to the British as it was to the Japanese Perhaps it dictated the behavior of the former without their being aware of it as forcibly and as fatally as it did of theatter and no doubt that of every other race in the worldI ike that in other words we are all the same underneath "the skin as it were Nationalism racism and whatever
Other Isms One Can 
isms one can as it were Nationalism racism and whatever other isms one can of are essentially superfluous It is true and I wish would realize it We are creeping up on that thought but faster please I enjoyed this WW2 story that inspired the 1957 movie the story follows two the 1957 movie The story follows two that come to a point in the end ike the movie Colonel Nicholson and the POW construction crew building the bridge The other being the demolitionssabotage team conducting a special operations warfare style mission to blow up the bridge Colonel Nicholson was prideful a hard Another Day of Life line disciplinarian and snob of the officer corps Colonel Saito was the strict Japanese camp commandant under pressure from the Japanese High Command to build the bridge at any cost Major Shears was the commandoeading a small team into the jungle to demolition the bridge These three characters created tension and overlapping dynamic that made a good book in my opinion I What Would You Like? liked this book because Pierre Boulle does a good job at telling the story The use of description in the writing added uality to the plot I eually enjoyed the book and the movie Thanks This was in my personal opinion a complete stinkerThis book is raved about by so many people it and the movie it inspired were the forerunners of a great deal of historicaliterature film and documentaries about the bridge in uestion and the Japanese WWII prison camps that worked on the Burma railway Some have called it a classic war novel but I found it appallingly badly written or possibly translated I would not know stereotyped way past the point of caricature incredibility verbose and insultingly incorrect on historical detailsPerhaps if this was the first story of it s kind I had read or if I knew nothing about the actual history I might have tolerated it better but no matter what it would NEVER have been a good bookFirst The writing It was very verbose florid and clumsy You have to give it some Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, leeway for being a translation sure The romanceanguages do not always translate easily to English But the descriptions of the camps and the conditions were vague and unconvincing while the descriptions of the jungles and climate were pretty Cinderella for a Night (36 Hours, lame considering the author was meant to have been in a few On the other hand I had to endure pages of a young soldiers inner agonising over the fact that he may have to kill a man with a knife which was unlikely and honestly got boring In terms of story structure it was all over the place We start with the POW s in the camped by a batshite crazy Colonel as described by a medic who was the only. E a symbol of service and survival to one prisoner Colonel Nicholson a proud perfectionist Pitted against the warden Colonel Saito Nicholson will nevertheless out of a distor.

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I read this book the first time as an assignment for World History class in high school I read the book and then ater saw the movie To me the book was a thousand times better than the movie Pierre Boulle s writing was excellent and the best thing here is the great character study of these men Since the book is based on his own experiences during World War II it is a great The Longevity Diet look into whatife was Grassroots Innovation like for these soldiersIt is a book that you can t read with 21st Century glasses on You definitely have to remember this is a picture of whatife was ike during and after World War II when these feelings were still raw For the ove of history inside of me I will always ove this book I always feel odd rating a classic as it is so far beyond my power to comment on whether for good or for evil I both oved the book and hated it and now that I ve gotten all the way through it I will have to process and then read it again to try to get my mind around it I spent most of the book struggling to understand what I was reading I couldn t connect with the characters especially Nicholson I spent the first part of the book beating my head against the wall trying to understand what he was doing and why Finally I did some research into British army customs and regulations of the time which helped me out I kept going But the first duty of an officer is to escape This is aid and comfort to the enemy How is this not treason until I manage to grasp that at the time the first duty of an officer was to secure the ives of his men I couldn t get around the extremely paternal attitude of the officers toward the enlisted men until I realized that I was approaching the situation as a modern American and wasn t taking into account the still class based structure of the British army of the time when the officers were still gentry and the enlisted men were still commoners by and arge Eventually I was able to accept that I was reading something of a very different time and place and instead of stumbling over the racism and paternalism I had to just accept it for what it was and move on The book is as they say what it is I saw the movie first and I had no idea how much they d changed the ending I was shocked at the end although having pondered it I think that the book s ending is true to the characters than the 11th hour redemption of the movie I was surprised that for such an action and suspense heavy plot that much of the action took place in narrative form of characters telling other characters what happened instead of following it in real time so to speak That disturbed the flow of the story for me taking me out of the moment I m assuming that that was a style choice on the part of the author although I have no idea why I feel that the true application of the novel would not be in military history classes but rather in psychology and sociology classes to study the impact of stress and the mind s extraordinary abilities to take care of itself and the Prometheus Wired level of cognitive dissonance we re all capable of to justify our actions with our deeply held beliefs and just keep going How knows what evilurks in the hearts of men The Shadow and Pierre Boulle know I decided finally read this classic after trip to Bangkok ate ast year My colleague and I took a day trip to and indeed walked across the Bridge Over the River Kwai and visited the nearby military cemetery which is attractive well organized and maintained and well moving and the extremely informative museum OK we rode elephants too but that s not relevant Of course all of this merely reinforces that this popular book is a work of FICTION as was the movie One of the real highlights of the museum is the video interviews with a number of survivors both Japanese and POW s Some of the interviews highlight the inaccuracies of the movie etc But again it was one of the best most engaging small museums I ve seen anywhere As for the book it s a great story and it s v 375 starsI usually came across this fiction during my college years in a number of good bookshops in Bangkok but I thought it was beyond my reading capability so I never picked it up to read I vaguely knew from my reading that there was an acclaimed film entitled The Bridge On the River Kwai 1957 but surprisingly I had never watched it until the menacingly advanced internet era allows us to watch any film at will provided that we are Special Topics in Calamity Physics lucky that film in uestion is copyright free by simply typing its title on YouTube In the meantime I think there is something worth reading and essential to our background information on the film production and understanding on this military novel in which we can read on this website However the river s name itself may pose a problem to those unfamiliar with its pronunciation especially to foreigners or tourists who encounter it for the first time Kwai is transliterated from a Thai word so it is right to pronounce the word Kwai as if there is aetter r following just imagine it with an r Seven More Languages in Seven Weeks like this Kwair Please note there is a pitfall on pronouncing Kwai as you see rhyming with eye because that is another Thai word meaning buffalo I agreed with some readers verdict stating that the film was worth watching and interesting than reading this 4 part 25 chapter military fiction For some reason I found reading its Parts 1 3 tedious while Part 4 warike with intense climax and action Moreover there is an inconstancy regarding the promulgated concept on the Southeast Asia Coprosperity Sphere p 21 and the Southeast Asia Sphere p 189 The author might have focused on Southeast Asia so he has rephrased it In fact the concept was entitled Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere In the early 1950 s I first came across this concept in some Thai tabloids translated into Thai as and wondered "what it meantTo continue This is a book where I will "it meantTo continue This is a book where I will admit that my modern perspective is a huge part of why I couldn t stand it Studied as an historical text with extensive contextualization before reading it might come off different but from a 2016 perspective this is a deeply insistently even ardently racist book about supreme stupidity to be honest in the guise of honorIt s the racism that bugs me the most honestly I know 1942 Boldly advancing through Asia the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north In a prison camp British POWs are forced into Scenes from a Revolution labor The bridge they build will becom.