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Publisher's Summary

Alistair Urquhart was a soldier in the Gordon Highlanders captured by the Japanese in Singapore. He not only survived working on the notorious Bridge on the River Kwai , but he was subsequently taken on one of the Japanese ‘hellships’ which was torpedoed. Nearly everyone else on board died and Urquhart spent 5 days alone on a raft in the South China Sea before being rescued by a whaling ship. He was taken to Japan and then forced to work in a mine near Nagasaki. Two months later a nuclear bomb dropped just ten miles away . . .

This is the extraordinary story of a young men, conscripted at nineteen and whose father was a Somme Veteran, survived not just one, but three close encounters with death - encounters which killed nearly all his comrades.

©2010 Alistair Urquhart (P)2010 Hachette Digital

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

FANTASTIC

A simply horrofying story! I am amazed that this man did not die, or went insane!
Never in my wilded fantasy did I think the Japanese was this cruel. READ IT! It is an eyeopener. Only critical point is that the book is abridged. I would have liked to read the entire book, as the story seems a bit short.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Terrific and Terrifying

Read this book.

It will teach you about true suffering and true mental fortitude. This book has had a profound impact on how I perceive my own challenges. Alistair's humble lessons are encased in a story of unimaginable terrors.

The biggest lesson? Anything can be overcome with pure mental toughness.

The voice acting is exceptional.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Never complain!

This story reminds us that our problems are not that bad. Complaining, comparably, seems silly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • george
  • Bathurst, Australia
  • 10-28-12

Best WW2 eyewitness account, ever!!

I fell in love with Alistair Urquhart. I cried and cheered and I learned so much more about WW2 than I thought possible in one man's story. That he was still dancing 5 days a week at age 90 (2010) is a testimony to his strength of mind and body. 3 hours and 14 minutes that I highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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moving

The depths of horror and suffering that can be brought through war can no better be captured than in this book.

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A humbling and inspiring read.

It's impossible to listen to this book and not be incredibly moved. Alistair's suffering, determination, persistence to survive no matter what he endured, inevitably leads you to look at your own life and realise whatever problems you face, you can get through it. He did.
Excellently written, and equally well narrated, this book has stayed in my thoughts ever since I finished it. The huge pointless loss of life described in the pages haunts me, and yet I am so glad to have listened to it, there are many lessons to be taken on board, and it has given me a new perspective on parts of my life. I can think of no better accolade for an audio book than that.

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An important history

this book is a critical reminder of the sacrifice some give. I wept at this powerful story and example of sacrifice.

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Powerful beyond description

I believe it is important for us to learn of the past, to honor the sacrifice men have made in the name of freedom. This book illustrates what happens when freedom is taken away.

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Wow

Narrator good. Story absolutely unbelievable. Cannot even fathom the despair. Every time I feel I've been wronged I will think of A.U. and check myself.

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Amazing survival story!

I loved it since the first chapter. An amazing story worth to be read. Good choice.

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  • Phil
  • 03-06-15

amazing story from a very brave proud man.

just listen to it! an amazing true story from an equally amazing man. I dont jnow what else to say, just listen to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • BillyBlackBear
  • 07-31-14

Fearless

I love this genre and have read many accounts of POW survivors but this is really excellent. Well paced with just enough detail to draw you in without getting bogged down in trivia but also shockingly frank. Alistair Urquhart could be anyone's grandfather and has recorded a very moving account of his internment including moments of bravery and cowardice. Wonderful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-07-10

this is good

Thoroughly enjoyed this book and got a bit of history to boot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheila
  • 07-16-10

A Remarkable story

A gripping book written by an amazing man written when he was 90 after keeping silent for nearly 70 years about the horrendous treatment he and hundreds of others suffered at the hands of the Japanese. The writing conjures up pictures so sharp you would think the events took place recently. Apart from the horrors of life as a prisoner of the Japanese the callous treatment the men received on returning to GB is a revelation and does the reputation of the men in power after WW2 no credit at all. A moving, harrowing and fascinating tale of great courage beautifully read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Malcolm Sunley
  • 11-09-17

Maybe the best true story I have ever heard

since the length of the book was quite short and my credits are precious,I hesitated before purchasing, but i need not of worried.I think this is probably one of the best stories I've ever heard about one man, it has moved me from anger to tears and will leave an indelible mark on me for the rest of my life, everybody should know about this period of history. I was left with a sense of injustice and when you have listened to the book I think you will understand why. The narration is brilliant as it matches the brilliance of this true story of survival.

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  • Mr D Rees
  • 08-11-17

Omg. Horrific.

Horrific story that is... The recollection of a humbling story of survival in such harrowing conditions. This man and many like him deserve more than anyone can give. Such stoic attitude when most of today's men would have given up. Truly a strong, brave, Hardy individual. A sad story and a valuable history lesson that will bring a tear to your eye. Thank you for sharing.

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  • Clive Willet
  • 12-23-16

Echoes of Savage Times Past.

What did you like most about The Forgotten Highlander?

The gentle drama of the authors' war, prisoner of war experiences.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Forgotten Highlander?

There are several; marching and riding to the 'Death Railway' also the journey in 'The Hell Ships'. Surviving the second Atom Bomb.

What does David Rintoul bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The apparent calm of the author. The events are delivered in a 'Matter of Fact' style, very successfully

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

This Story Undermines 'Bridge on the River Kwai' in so many ways.

Any additional comments?

A marvellous, long overdue narrative, from 75 plus years ago. It really lifts the lid on so many cans of worms, which have in many ways, have been left unsaid.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-15-16

Incredible book

I highly recommend this book, it's an incredible personal story. It's very well produced, too.

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  • Cleon W.
  • 10-20-14

Chilling

Any additional comments?

This story has remained hidden until now. It needed to be told!This is the real story of the Men who were forced to work on the Burma railway, the story previously told in 'The Bridge over the River Kwai', but as Alistair says, 'we didn't have khaki uniforms, we were naked, and no one had the strength to whistle Colonel Bogie'.

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  • Anna Raikes
  • 08-14-14

Amazing and shocking!

What did you like most about The Forgotten Highlander?

Exceptionally well written and narrated

What did you like best about this story?

A very frank and detailed account of his appauling ordeal

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All aspects of this book were very interesting and easy to listen to

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me very proud of our forgotten hero and very upset at his treatment

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book to anyone. I enjoyed listening to Mr Urquhart's experiences as a POW of the Japanese, but was equally shocked at his treatment at the hands of his captures and also by our own Government upon is return. A real eye opener and very moving