Having been very moved by Industry of Souls and Adrift in the Oceans of Mercy both books by Martin Booth I tracked down a copy of Hiroshima Joe on the internet I found the writing and content of the book very good if ather harrowing Martin Booth writes with great sensitivity and humanity about the bond that can form amongst people during extreme hardship and the after effects of war on ordinary citizens The story is set between Hong Kong in the 1950 s and Japanese prisoner of war camps both in Hong Kong and the outskirts of Hiroshima during the second world war My only criticism of the book is there is a lot of to my mind unnecessary geographical detail describing the streets of Hong Kong in the early stages of the book I know that Martin Booth spent his childhood there and it was as though he was Gargantuan reliving the streets of his childhood this was one of his earlier books so perhaps his sense of timing and plot development was not uite as sophisticated as his later novels That is the onlyeason this book did not Wolfgang rate a 5 stars from me One of my all time favorite book From the last days of the battle for Hong Kong in December of 1941 to the POW camps first in Hong Kong and later in Japan to 1951 Hong Kong we follow the story of Joe and how the war effected himRecommendeading Booth s Golden Boy which goes hand and hand with this Finds a great balance between gripping and informative not to mention gruesome graphicality all at the same time It took 3 attempts to Publishing Women: Salons, the Presses, and the Counter-Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Italy read Hiroshima Joe My persistence paid off as once I got into the main character Joe Sandringham and theich descriptions of Hong Kong in the 40s and 50s I was compelled to keep on Wurr 3 (Wurr readingI thoroughly enjoyed this book not only as a formeresident of Colonial Hong Kong but also as a history enthusiast I attended the same high school as Martin Booth in the early 60s King George V school in Kowloon Hence the fine geographical details were particularly endearing to meI thought it was very clear of Martin to write himself into the plot as the young boy David Merriton early on in the novel If you ve ead Gweilo Martin s autobiography and last book you ll see that he did in fact meet a down Captured by Hirohito's soldiers at the fall of Hong Kong and transferred to a Japanese slave camp outside Hiroshima Captain Joe Sandingham was present when the bomb was dropped Now a shell of a man he lives in
Nd out ex British soldier nicknamed Nagasaki Jim who was also staying at the Fourseas Hotel in Waterloo Road Kowloon in the early 50s when 7 year old Martin was living there with his parents Nagasaki Jim was taken as a PoW after the fall of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and was incarcerated at the Sham Shui Po prisoner camp before being trans shipped to Nagasaki on board the Lisbon Maru in October 1942 Obviously this is the basis of Hiroshima JoeAt times it was disturbing to ead about the atrocities of war and the pitiful life of an opium addict however this was somewhat offset by Werewolf: The Apocalypse reading about the strong bond of friendship between Joe and a benevolent Japanese civilian Mishima san No doubt I lle ead this book and once savour the fine details and engaging plotSadly Martin Booth passed away at the age of 59 in 2004 after an 18 month struggle with brain cancer His spirit lives on in such brilliant books as Hiroshima Joe Gweilo and many many others Hiroshima Joe is a great achievement in historical fiction which while following the story of one fascinating man ties together the fall of Hong Kong Japanese POW camps the destruction of Hiroshima post war Hong Kong and opium addiction However It is also a deeply engaging personal story of pain survival love and dignity The author manages to pull off a sometimes difficult structure where each chapter alternates between wartime and post war events in the life of the main character This is one of the greatest books I have ever ead It is an incredible achievement by Martin Booth The characters the awness of the story and events make this such an enjoyable ead The brutal Ivy Vines Visions realities of war and the fight of the human spirit are very well detailed in a story that flows effortlessly Highlyecommended This book is what Mein Plan zur Rettung der unsichtbaren Freundin von nebenan reading is all about From a Japanese civilian who at greatisk helped Allied POW s in a camp outside of Hiroshima whose son died a drafted kamikaze and whose wife in the Hiroshima bombing Joe he said I am sorry for what my people did to you and your people just as you will one day be sorry for what your allies the Americans did to the Japanese people Never forget that it is men who are. Cheap Hong Kong hotel scrounging for food and the occasional bar girl The locals call him Hiroshima Joe with a mixture of pity and contempt But Joe haunted by the sounds and voices of his past debilitated by illn.
Mad not nations Men make wars Nations do not Leaders do who need never fight but send others to die Politicians are the corrupt ones They decide but it is we the common men the innocent people of the ace who act for them And suffer in their place How blind and stupid and hateful and arrogant we Chicken Licken remain How weelish the fear A talented writer beautiful color and descriptions I picked up the novel because it takes place around East Asia where I lived for than a decade So the topic is close to my heart The magic breaks when he moves into topics he doesn t always understand well Gay men do not lust after boys any than straight men lust after underage girls A plot twist probably meant to be dark and creepy came off worse ugly and epulsive His descriptions of life in Hong Kong were wonderfully evocative accurate and felt ight on the mark But descriptions of life in Japan left me feeling he hadn t actually met many Japanese people Trust me Mindfulness for Black Dogs Blue Days: Finding a Path Through Depression ritual suicide is prettyare But I stuck to the novel until the end not because I liked the characters The beauty of his writing and curiosity about how he d take on historical events kept me eading Sad story that could be tale of so many men who were POW under the brutality of the Japanese and the despair that followed so many of them after the war At times over descriptive and I nearly gave up pleased I Did not could have done with some editingEnjoyed the story of an British Officer a closet homosexual a man who suffered so much as a POW and continued to suffer in peace time as he existed his days living in HK his wits keeping him alive just Deeply touching at times disturbing thought provoking and profoundly sad as it describes the horrors of war as experienced by an Englishman captured during the occupation of Hong Kong and shipped of to Japanese prisoner of war campsEven though it was so changed he knew that under its veneer Hong Kong was still as it had always been with its tiny crowded streets and food stalls its temples and alleys its throngs of people and never ending state of motionJoseph Sandingham Died Christmas Eve 1952 He saw what no man should be made to see he died fearing what we all must fear. Ess and shattered by his wartime ordeal is a man whose compassion and will to survive define a clear eyed and unexpected heroism One of the most powerful novels about the experience of war first published in 1985.
Martin Booth was a prolific British novelist and poet He also worked as a teacher and screenwriter and was the founder of the Sceptre Press