An Irish doctor who served in Britain's Royal Air Force, MacCarthy's memoir concentrates on his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II. Captured in the Dutch East Indies early in 1942, he spent time in several local POW camps where conditions for Europeans and Americans were much worse than in German POW camps. Often the only doctor in his area, he treatedand experienced firsthandthe many deadly ailments that were caused by poor diet, the hostile climate and regular beatings from guards. In 1944, MacCarthy was transferred to Japan (on the way his ship was sunk, and he drifted at sea for several days), only to be put to work in factories in Nagasaki. He survived the atomic bomb explosion by getting into a shelterprisoners who waited above ground were vaporized. Written in a straightforward, matter-of-fact tone, this book is marked by the author's ability to keep cool under adversity and by his admirable sense of humor and irony. A wonderful, if chilling work. (August)
"'Jaw-dropping account of life as an RAF doctor during the Second World War' Pete McCarthy, author of McCarthy's Bar 'This book is an epic' Sir Dennis Spotswood, Marshal of the RAF 'His description is terrifying but fascinating' Air Marshal Sir William Coles"