Author(s): Pierre Boulle
One of the finest war novels ever written, Bridge on the River Kwai tells the story of three POWs who endure the hell of the Japanese camps on the Burma-Siam railway - Colonel Nicholson, a man prepared to sacrifice his life but not his dignity; Major Warden, a modest hero, saboteur and deadly killer; Commander Shears, who escaped from hell but was ordered back. Ordered by the Japanese to build a bridge, the Colonel refuses, as it is against regulations for officers to work with other ranks. The Japanese give way but, to prove a point of British superiority, construction of the bridge goes ahead - at great cost to the men under Nicholson's command.
One of the truly great war stories.
"A fine ironic novel, that is yet another French tribute to British eccentricity." "-- Observer" "M. Boulle has construced his book most skilfully -- like a first-rate film director." "-- Daily Telegraph" "Stirring and imaginative." ""-- "New Statesman"
Pierre Boulle was born in 1912 at Avignon. Boulle studied as an engineer but ended up moving to Malaysia where he worked as both a soldier and a planter. Boulle fought in Yunnan, Calcutta and Indo-Chine during the Second World War until he was captured by the Japanese and imprisoned in a POW camp. It was this experience that would later form the basis of his infamous novel, The Bridge on the River Kwai. Upon his departure from Asia, Boulle's literature made a turn towards the fantastic and science fiction while contemplating the political and cultural upheaval experienced by the modern man. His most famous science fiction novel, Monkey Planet (its film adaptation was renamed The Planet of the Apes) has been adapted eight different times for either television or film. Boulle died in 1994.