Non-Fiction Books:

My War

Life is for Living



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My War: Life is for Living by Brian Walpole
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This is no ordinary war story. In 1943, twenty-year-old Brian Walpole leaves his Melbourne home for the steaming jungles of New Guinea to serve in one of Australia's first commando units. Then in Borneo, as a member of the elite Z Special Unit, he fights alongside headhunting Sea Dyaks, who are paid a bounty for every Japanese head taken. Brian learns their language, sleeps in their longhouses. The experience changes him forever. Yet despite his being surrounded on all sides by grotesque images of death, this is above all a story of life, reflecting the author's motto: life is for living. The lighter moments of his experiences are unforgettable. There's fishing with a hand grenade. The stingray tailing one of the boats as if in sexual pursuit. Men sitting in the jungle after an attack, listening to the phoney sweet words of Tokyo Rose. And back in Australia, there's one woman after another willing to welcome a young serviceman home, and a friendship that will last for the rest of Brian's life.My Waris strong stuff - but, at the same time, it is hugely entertaining, as it records a unique experience of Australia at war that has so far been little known.
Release date NZ
August 1st, 2004
Country of Publication
b&w photos
ABC Books
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