NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI

by Pierre Boulle



"1942: Boldly advancing through Asia, the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north. In a prison camp, British POWs are forced into labor. The bridge they build will become 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 distorted 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 pride." (From Amazon.com)

I chose to read The Bridge Over the River Kwai for the War Through the Generations Challenge because it showed the war from a perspective that had nothing to do with the Germans or the Holocaust. I wanted something totally different. I had never seen the movie either, so I had no idea what to expect.

What a got was tale of heroism, stoicism, tragedy and the folly of war that surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. The characters were well-rounded enough to become real people for a few warm spring hours and their plight was just complicated enough to keep me suitably uneasy. I was sad to see it end the way it did, which is quite different from the movie from what I understand, but I found certain portions of the plot just unrealistic enough that the harsher ending gave the entire book more credibility. I don't mean to diminish what this story has to say about war. It is simply that while it was a very good book and well worth reading, it just wasn't as powerful as some of the other WWII novels I've read lately.

Just an aside -- Did you know Pierre Boulle also wrote Planet of the Apes? Me neither. Now I have to read that, too! :-)



9 comments:

Charley said...

I watched the movie a long time ago, but I didn't know it was a book. That's interesting that the author also wrote Planet of the Apes. I love discovering unexpected connections with books.

Lezlie said...

Charley ~ It was only recently that I discovered it was a book. And the fact that Planet of the Apes was a book surprised me, too!

Lezlie

Jo-Jo said...

Great review Lezlie! I think it's important to explore all parts of World War II...Shanghai Girls even touched on the Chinese ramifications of this war slightly. Planet of the Apes...now that is interesting!

zetor said...

I haven't read the book but loved the movie. Please visit my blog to pickup an award.

Lezlie said...

Jo-Jo ~ Thanks! And I agree. I wanted to make sure to see a different view with at least one book in this challenge.

Zetor ~ I kind of want to see the movie now just to see how different it is. And thank you so much for the award!

Lezlie

bermudaonion said...

I saw the movie years ago and didn't realize it was made from a book. I will have to check it out.

Lezlie said...

Bermudaonion ~ I wonder how many others out there have read the book but never seen the movie. I could be all alone! :-)

Lezlie

Anna & Serena said...

We've linked to your review here: http://warthroughthegenerations.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/reviews-bridge-over-the-river-kwai-by-pierre-boulle/

Lezlie said...

Thank you, Anna & Serena!
Lezlie