If your choice in holiday reads tend to something light this one isn’t for you. Myself, I enjoy adding something a bit more challenging to my To Read list while sitting next to the pool as I have the time to put the effort in. I can certainly say that last year’s Booker Prize winner repays the concentration it requires in spades. In brutal – lyrical – detail, the book covers the entire life of Dorrigo Evans, distinguished medic and Australian war hero. The first nonlinear section jumps around from Dorrigo’s childhood in Tasmania, his philandering old age, and an affair he had just before his war posting. He is not a Good Man. Then a change in gear. The central 150 or so pages of the novel focus on a single harrowing day in his life as the CO for a group of slave laborers literally working themselves to death building the Burma Railway for the Japanese army. The actions and inner thoughts of the Aussie soldiers and their camp guards are laid bare in increasingly bleak detail. The cost Dorrigo has to pay as the men’s leader and doctor trying to live up to their image » Continue Reading.