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.
About the Author
Pierre Boulle was born in Avignon, France in 1912. He originally trained as an engineer, but in 1936 went to Malaysia as a rubber planter. In 1939 he was called up in the French forces in Indochina. When France fell during World War II, he fled to Singapore, where he joined the Free French Mission. After the Japanese invasion, he was sent via Rangoon and the Burma Road to Yunnan to establish contact with Kuomintang forces. He infiltrated Indochina as a guerilla where he was captured in 1943. He escaped in 1944, was picked up by a British plane, and served in the Special Forces in Calcutta for the rest of the war.
His first novel published in the United States was "The Bridge on the River Kwai," It was awarded the Prix Ste. Beuve in France, and led to the motion picture that received an amazing seven Academy Awards. He considered his subsequent books, of which "Planet of the Apes" is the most well-known, to be social fantasies.
ALEXANDER (XAN) WALLACE FIELDING (1918 1991) served as a Special Operations Executive in the British Army in Crete, France, and the Far East. The author of several books, he also translated French works including Pierre Boulle s The Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes.
“[A] lightning-fast adventure and suspense story.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“An amazing story . . . jumpy with suspense.”
–The New Yorker
“A fine story of adventure in which a highly original conception makes a psychologically rich situation out of what could have easily been a simple tale of daring.”
“An exciting story of action.”
–The Atlantic Monthly
“Intelligent and thrilling.”
–New York Post
“A memorable novel brilliantly conceived and brilliantly written.”
“Superb . . . suspenseful.”