Shame And The Captives: A Novel

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“If the legendary Schindler’s List was not enough to showcase Thomas Keneally’s literary mastery, then [this novel] surely will” (New York Daily News) as the Booker Prize-winning author reimagines from all sides the drastic true events of the night more than one thousand Japanese POWs staged the largest and bloodiest prison escape of World War II.

Alice is living on her father-in-law’s farm on the edge of an Australian country town, while her husband is held prisoner in Europe. When Giancarlo, an Italian inmate at the prisoner-of-war camp down the road, is assigned to work on the farm, she hopes that being kind to him will somehow influence her husband’s treatment. What she doesn’t anticipate is how dramatically Giancarlo will change the way she understands both herself and the wider world.

What most challenges Alice and her fellow townspeople is the utter foreignness of the thousand-plus Japanese inmates and their deeply held code of honor, which the camp commanders fatally misread. Mortified by being taken alive in battle and preferring a violent death to the shame of living, the Japanese prisoners plan an outbreak with shattering and far-reaching consequences for all the citizens around them.

In a career spanning half a century, Thomas Keneally has proven brilliant at exploring ordinary lives caught up in extraordinary events. With this profoundly gripping and thought-provoking novel, inspired by a notorious incident in New South Wales in 1944, he once again shows why he is celebrated as a writer who “looks into the heart of the human condition with a piercing intelligence that few can match” (Sunday Telegraph).


  • ShameAndTheCaptives 01 TitleAndIntroduction

    Duration: 07min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 02 Part1 Ch1

    Duration: 23min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 03 Ch2

    Duration: 18min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 04 Ch3

    Duration: 15min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 05 Ch4

    Duration: 25min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 06 Ch5

    Duration: 16min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 07 Ch6

    Duration: 18min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 08 Ch7

    Duration: 26min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 09 Ch8

    Duration: 34min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 10 Ch9

    Duration: 15min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 11 Ch10

    Duration: 46min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 12 Ch11

    Duration: 10min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 13 Ch12

    Duration: 13min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 14 Ch13

    Duration: 10min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 15 Part2 Ch14

    Duration: 16min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 16 Ch15

    Duration: 26min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 17 Ch16

    Duration: 15min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 18 Ch17

    Duration: 23min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 19 Ch18

    Duration: 12min
  • ShameAndTheCaptives 20 Ch19

    Duration: 23min
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