Look Down in Mercy

Look Down in Mercy One of the finest British novels to come out of World War II Look Down in Mercy is the story of the moral disintegration of an ordinary British Army officer when faced with the unspeakable horrors of

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  • Title: Look Down in Mercy
  • Author: Walter Baxter Gregory Woods
  • ISBN: 9781941147009
  • Page: 312
  • Format: Paperback
  • One of the finest British novels to come out of World War II, Look Down in Mercy is the story of the moral disintegration of an ordinary British Army officer when faced with the unspeakable horrors of war Newly arrived in Burma and waiting for the fighting to start, the outwardly brave and rugged Capt Tony Kent passes the interminable and swelteringly hot days in bouts oOne of the finest British novels to come out of World War II, Look Down in Mercy is the story of the moral disintegration of an ordinary British Army officer when faced with the unspeakable horrors of war Newly arrived in Burma and waiting for the fighting to start, the outwardly brave and rugged Capt Tony Kent passes the interminable and swelteringly hot days in bouts of heavy drinking and casual sex But when the campaign begins in earnest, Kent is forced to confront his own inner darkness as his cowardice and fear lead to treason and cold blooded murder Surrounded by brutality and death on all sides, Kent s sole source of comfort is his love for his batman, Anson But in the face of nearly insurmountable obstacles enemy artillery, legal and social condemnation, and Kent s own doubts and self loathing can their love possibly survive Look Down in Mercy 1951 was both a bestseller and a major critical success for its author, Walter Baxter 1915 1994 , whose second novel, The Image and the Search 1953 , landed him in court on criminal obscenity charges and ended his writing career This edition, the first in than four decades, features a new introduction by Gregory Woods and includes both the original ending and the alternate ending from the 1952 American edition In this remarkable first novel Mr Baxter does a great deal than show promise if there is any justice in the world he has arrived Times Literary Supplement A first novel of than promise It is a distinct achievement Joseph Taggart, Star An uncommonly good novel Time Magazine A first novel of great promise penetrating insight of a man s struggle against the dark powers of moral disintegration News Chronicle A brilliantly good novel Lionel Hale, Observer Automatically rises to a high level of interest by facing up to problems which have been considered taboo in numerous other war novels by writers on both sides of the Atlantic Mr Baxter displays a rousing knack for good story telling with lean, unfrilled prose Saturday Review M ay well be considered one of the finest pieces of descriptive writing to come out of the war This is an outstanding novel The writing is very, very good Highly recommended Birmingham News O ne of the best of its kind ever written quite literally an unforgettable experience Savannah News

    One thought on “Look Down in Mercy”

    1. Contrary to what an earlier reviewer has written, this harrowing book is very hard to forget. Look Down in Mercy is one of the most visceral novels to have emerged from World War II. If you've ever wondered what it would feel like to march across Burma during the Japanese invasion, prepare to vicariously feel your clothing blackened with sweat, jaundice and heat exhaustion; to experience a scorched throat burning for water; to wade through a mess of vomit, pus, blood, and shit.The book is a char [...]

    2. An undeservedly forgotten book about the war in Burma, guilt, innocence and (remarkable for its time - it was published in 1951) a fairly sympathetic, if troubled, account of a homosexual relationship between and army officer and his batman. The first few chapters and the end section of the book are terrific. The central section - which mostly deals with the Burma campaign - is less successful, I think; even though the events in this part are crucial and highly dramatic, the book loses its focus [...]

    3. I've read this twice, twenty years apart, according to my lists, and I can't remember a thing about it. Really made an impression, I guess.

    4. This book was an absolutely wondrous experience. I could feel every single struggle that Kent faced, whether it was the conditions of war or his inner self-loathing.

    5. I truly feel that Look down in mercy is a good insight into the Burma jungle war and the conditions the men had had to survive in whilst fighting the Japanese.However I was disappointed with the lack of events throughout the book. I feel that there was a lot of waiting, a lot of walking and whilst I understand that this is what it would have been like I think the book could have been so much more. For instance Captain Tony Kent and Anson are taken as prisoners by the Japanese, the whole scenario [...]

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