Shame and the Captives Based on true events this beautifully rendered novel from the author of Schindler s List and The Daughters of Mars brilliantly explores a World War II prison camp where Japanese prisoners resolve to

  • Title: Shame and the Captives
  • Author: Tom Keneally Thomas Keneally
  • ISBN: 9781476734644
  • Page: 324
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Based on true events, this beautifully rendered novel from the author of Schindler s List and The Daughters of Mars brilliantly explores a World War II prison camp, where Japanese prisoners resolve to take drastic action to wipe away their shame.Alice is a young woman living on her father in law s farm on the edge of an Australian country town, while her husband is held prBased on true events, this beautifully rendered novel from the author of Schindler s List and The Daughters of Mars brilliantly explores a World War II prison camp, where Japanese prisoners resolve to take drastic action to wipe away their shame.Alice is a young woman living on her father in law s farm on the edge of an Australian country town, while her husband is held prisoner in Europe When Giancarlo, an Italian anarchist at the prisoner of war camp down the road, is assigned to work on the farm, she hopes that being kind to him will somehow influence her husband s treatment What she doesn t anticipate is how dramatically Giancarlo will expand her outlook and self knowledge.But what most challenges Alice and her fellow townspeople is the utter foreignness of the thousand plus Japanese inmates and their culture, which the camp commanders fatally misread Mortified by being taken alive in battle and preferring a violent death to the shame of living, they plan an outbreak, to shattering and far reaching effects on all the citizens around them.In a career spanning half a century, Thomas Keneally has proved a master at exploring ordinary lives caught up in extraordinary events With this profoundly gripping and thought provoking novel, inspired by a notorious incident in New South Wales in 1944, he once again shows why he is celebrated as a writer who looks into the heart of the human condition with a piercing intelligence that few can match Sunday Telegraph

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    One thought on “Shame and the Captives”

    1. Marvelous storytelling and character development that shines a light for me on the relativism of morality in the time of war. The tale brings to life the odd historical event of a massive prison break by Japanese POWs at a small town in New South Wales in 1944. We get a window on the lives of the British and Australians running the camp, the program of work in the community set up for trustworthy prisoners, and the accommodation of local farmers and the town to the camp and prisoners they encoun [...]

    2. Most Australians of a certain age have heard of the Cowra Breakout. Early in the morning of 5 August 1944, over a thousand Japanese prisoners of war attempted to escape from a POW / internment camp located near Cowra, a small town in a farming community some 300 km west of Sydney. This was the largest prison escape of World War II. During the escape and the manhunt that followed, 231 Japanese soldiers and four Australian soldiers were killed. Many of the Japanese soldiers who died were either ki [...]

    3. Read by Paul English and Heather BoltonDescription: Based on true events, this beautifully rendered novel from the author of Schindler’s List and The Daughters of Mars brilliantly explores a World War II prison camp, where Japanese prisoners resolve to take drastic action to wipe away their shame.Alice is a young woman living on her father-in-law’s farm on the edge of an Australian country town, while her husband is held prisoner in Europe. When Giancarlo, an Italian anarchist at the prisone [...]

    4. I had never heard of the Cowra Breakout , the escape of Japanese POW's from a prison camp in Australia in 1944 before I decided to read this book . I wanted to read this because I loved other books by this author most notably Schindler's List and most recently The Daughters of Mars . I was taken by the author's notes , writing and thoughts at the beginning."Yet I hope there's a truth in this fiction, in its imagining of motives, and in the actions of these characters - that they do represent in [...]

    5. I feel darn brutal giving this book only one star, but I did not like it. It is a book of historical fiction which parallels the Cowra Breakout. In August 1944 over a thousand Japanese prisoners of war escaped from an internment camp located near Cowra, a small farming community in New South Wales, about 300 km west of Sydney. There is an adequate epilogue that explains what is fact and what is fiction. So if you are curious about the event maybe you want to read this book. Some events described [...]

    6. 3.5 This story is about a prison camp of WW11 It takes place on a farm near Cowra, Australia during 1944-1945.Japanese POW's plan a 'break out' (Italians and Koreans were also in the camp) Two hundred and thirty-four of the prisoners and four Australian soldiers died. These missing escapees were recaptured. The novel is inspired by true events (the author was a young boy himself and remembers the shocking tragedy--everyone in his nearby community was sick by the news).At the start of the book we [...]

    7. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read this book. I would give it 2.5 stars if half stars were available. I agree with other GR reviewers who described Shame and the Captives as a missed opportunity. I recently read a couple of novels which touched on refugee camps in Australia during WWII, making me realize that I know essentially nothing about what Australia was up to during WWII. So when I saw that this book took place in a POW camp in Australia during WWII and th [...]

    8. I was eager to read Shame and the Captives, not only because I haven't read anything by Keneally since highschool, which seemed remiss of me given his status in Australian literature, but primarly because I was particularly intrigued by the premise.It was only a few months ago I learned (thanks to Hannah and Emil) that during World War 2 Australia interred thousands of residents of 'enemy blood' . For some reason, I didn't consider that Australia would also have hosted Prisoners of War, largely [...]

    9. “He surrendered his crimes up to the gods, under whose aegis he had not extended pity”Opening a book by Thomas Keneally, we know we will be led into a complex world where humanity itself will be placed under a compassionate but unflinching eye. This fictionalised account of a historical prison breakout by over 500 Japanese POWs from a camp in New South Wales in 1944 is another example of Keneally’s expansive storytelling. Almost documentary in its approach, this moves between the personal [...]

    10. Disclaimer: I received this book through First Reads Program.Thomas Keneally is, without a doubt, an excellent writer. He can paint a beautiful picture in your mind and you can actually see in your mind the beauty of Australia and the thoughts and fears of the characters. Honestly, when I read the synopsis for this one, I thought that there is no way it could be bad. The plot is interesting as well as the backdrop for the story. The problem, though, is that Keneally just made this one too compl [...]

    11. During the Second World War thousands of Axis prisoners of war were interned Australia and this book was inspired by an incident that took place when the author was a nine-year-old boy living in Sydney, feeling his family’s fear of the enemy within. In August 1944 more than 1,000 Japanese prisoners tried to break out from the Cowra camp in New South Wales with nearly a quarter of them being killed in the attempt against the death of a four Australian soldiers. In this gripping fictionalised ve [...]

    12. 4.5Fascinating, sensitive portrayal of his native Australia during WWII from the unusual perspective of POWs held in a camp and the locals who guarded them or had them labor on farms. Though the finale is known in general terms from the onset, the subtleties the author introduces from the varied viewpoints make nothing certain. One is reluctant to reach the final page but well aware that the story did not end there. Keneally's sure style, his smooth prose, are ever a joy. He is wonderfully unafr [...]

    13. ‘The madness had been contained within the wire walls of Gawell, but it had by its force and insistence broken the bounds, and stained the bush with its dangerous expectations.’On 5 August 1944, a frosty moonlit night, some hundreds of Japanese prisoners of war escaped from a prisoner-of-war compound near Nowra, NSW. Two hundred and thirty four of the prisoners, and four Australian soldiers died. Others were injured; all were recaptured.In this novel, Tom Keneally takes the events surroundin [...]

    14. A major cultural misunderstandingThis is an interesting and challenging book about one of the three main events where WWII impacted directly on the Australian people. Most people know about the bombing of Darwin and the mini-submarine attack on Sydney Harbour, but how many know about the bloody escape by Japanese POW's from a camp near Cowra, NSW?During WWII Australian troops captured many prisoners of war on all battlefronts. While some of them were sent to POW camps near where they were captur [...]

    15. It's a terrible story, based on an actual uprising and prison break in New South Wales in 1944. A group of Japanese prisoners of war is determined to achieve honor by dying, whether in battle or by suicide, it doesn't matter to them. Their families think that they are already dead heroes, and to be alive and repatriated would bring disgrace on all concerned. The source of the break is Compound C, where the most recalcitrant Japanese prisoners are held. In the end many are killed in the escape at [...]

    16. I read somewhere recently that Keneally’s oeuvre is akin to Honoré de Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine (Human Comedy). I think this is an apt description. While he does not recycle his characters as Balzac does, linking them together across time and place in 19th century France, Keneally’s sturdy realism depicts Australian life across the turbulent 20th century, exploring human frailty that is indeed reminiscent of La Comédie Humaine. While the French Revolution and its chaotic political, ec [...]

    17. I have bad book guilt. I'm not saying this was a bad book, it is just that I feel guilty when I reject a book and make it a wallflower, standing on the verges never to be read by me again. I love looking in bookstores, online and in the library, I have close to 3000 on my to be read folder, I love books that much and the pile beside my bed is teetering with the 7 books that I have to read in the next couple of weeks. So, I was looking forward to reading Shame and the Captives, a novel by Tom Ke [...]

    18. Considering my interest in the subject matter, I have mixed feelings for this book - possibly because I'm reading it straight after having read Flanagan's 'Narrow Road To The Deep North'. Kennelly's writing style is dry, indulgent with a reluctance for dialogue. Half way through the book, my empathy for the characters & patience with the pace starts to grow thin. So I skip forward 100 pages to the faithful night of the breakout which proves a wise choice as the book finally comes alive. The [...]

    19. I didn't finish it - an interesting premise but the story left me cold, didn't get involved with the characters, and eventually gave up, bored.

    20. Sigh. With some of the greatest dramatic material to hand, Keneally does what he always does; over-reaches the aspects of truth which are immutable, mixes in a slab of Catholic nonsense and overwrites every scene.Diverting in the narrowest sense of the word; neither riveting nor ripping in any sense of either word.Do his books no longer go through an editing process because this, as are so many of his recent efforts, simply too long. Quit writing Tom.

    21. I am a big fan of Tom Keneally and have enjoyed other books That he wrote, However I was a little disappointed with this one. The novel was based on the real events of Japanese POWs breaking out of their prison camp near Cowra in 1944.Although the concept was interesting, to me it was disjointed. The text moved between narrative and a sort of documentary style which was dry and distracting.

    22. Well written, but a slow trundle through what could have been a more interesting story with a bit of a damp squib of an ending.

    23. WWII prison camp in Australia. Fictional enactment of a prison break by Japanese camp. Delves deeply into vastly different perspectives of war's opponents.

    24. Based on a real historic event, the author has embellished the tale, changing some of the locations and adding characters to create a narrative about prisoners of war during WWII, but the tale concentrates largely on the escape the Japanese prisoners planned and carried out in Australia. Using facts about the Japanese code of conduct, their demand for honor, obedience and nationalism, he has caught the atmosphere of those times and those prisoner’s mindsets. The story concentrates on the capti [...]

    25. From the time I read The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith I’ve been a fan of Tom Keneally, as Jennifer Byrne says on the cover “A new Tom Keneally novel is always a treat”. Shame and the Captives does not disappoint; it is truly a treat. One of the many things to like about Tom Keneally’s writing, in my opinion, is he tells stories about the people who are not making headlines; his heroes are ordinary people, perhaps faced with extraordinary circumstances, but nonetheless they have very human t [...]

    26. Shame and the Captives is a book about an important, yet often overlooked piece of Australian History. During World War II there were camps set up for prisoners of war from Korea, Japan and Italy in Cowra, NSW. In this book the fictional town is called Gawell and is where we follow the lives of different characters and ordinary families leading up to a planned outbreak of the camps in August 1944.There are Japanese and Korean prisoners in Camp C who would rather pretend to be dead to their famil [...]

    27. Shame and the Captives is an interesting book for Keneally as with other work such as "Schindler's List" and "Daughters of Mars" (which I read immediately afterwards) which takes place right in the middle of "action" of war, this story takes place half a world away, but nonetheless deeply entrenched in the events the characters are removed from.It's also interesting as Keneally was a child during the events the book covers - including the attitudes and social climate of the small community that [...]

    28. It seems as if WWII is continually mined for stories and many of those tales overlap. That is not necessarily the case for Shame and the Captives. Though it is historical fiction, and the author underlines that fact in his notes, Keneally uses the facts to flesh out a retelling that is as close to the reality as possible. The basis for the tale is the spectacular prison break by Japanese prisoners of war in 1944 Australia, reputedly the largest and bloodiest of any prison break during WWII. Kene [...]

    29. Supplied by Random House New Zealand for an honest reviewThe inmates of an Australian POW camp are allowed out to work for farmers in rural NSW. Giancarlo, an Italian POW and anarchist, works for Duncan and forms a close relationship with his daughter-in-law Alice. She finds Giancarlo bright and charming, quickly teaching him English while he shows her the other side of the war. She is living with Duncan while her husband is a POW in Germany. The Japanese POWs feel ashamed at being captured, pre [...]

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