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Death of a Coast Watcher

Death of a Coast Watcher

Author(s): Anthony English

Location(s): Papua New Guinea

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Post-WWII

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In 1943 on Bougainville Island, New Guinea, a Japanese officer beheads Hugh Rand, an Australian spy — a coast watcher. The spectators include villagers he terrorised as his mind frayed under the stress of pursuit by soldiers and their hounds.

Rand’s influence transcends his death. For decades he plagues characters who strive to cope with him and one another in New Guinea, the Gilbert Islands, Australia and Japan. Who misperceives? Lies? Self-destructs? Suffers? Loves? The layers unfold as the author entices us through cultural, historical and intellectual curtains, deep into minds and relationships disturbed by the Pacific war and Rand’s legacy.

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Asian Review of Books

Author: monsoonbooks

‘English tackles tough questions about war … the question whether those who survived will ever cease to be haunted is left open.’ Susan Blumberg-Kason, Asian Review of Books

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