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book cover of Desperate Journey

Desperate Journey

A novel by

"This is a story of escape; a true account of how a dwindling group of soldiers made their way to safety through nearly a thousand miles of Japanese-occupied territory in the teeth of the monsoon."

On 20th April 1942, Captain Thompson received word that the defensive line held by their Chinese allies had broken; orders or no orders, he knew they had to move.

Separated from the rest of the Burma Army and weary from months of continuous fighting retreats, the survivors of his Karen Company began their long walk northwards.

In the suffocating Burmese jungle the days turned to weeks, the weeks into months, and all the while the mental decay kept pace with their physical deterioration.

And yet, with such indomitable men as Subedar-Major Kan Choke and Subedar Ba Gyaw at Thompson's side, his Company clung to each other and endured.

When Fort Hertz finally came into view in August, the journey of nine hundred miles and untold maladies had left many of them little more than walking skeletons.

Written in 1944 but remaining unseen for over thirty years, Desperate Journey is an extraordinary true story of human endeavour, of faith, courage, tenacity and mutual trust in the face of insurmountable odds.

Praise for the Francis Clifford:

"Not since Graham Greene was creating his adventures has there been a writer with such haunting quality, the sweet sound of sad beauty, which Clifford engenders." - New York Herald Tribune

"Mr. Clifford constructs an anatomy of fear, drawing in with fine, sharp lines the exposed and shrinking nerves." - The Times

Francis Clifford was the pen-name of Arthur Leonard Bell Thompson D.S.O. (1917-1975) who, as an officer of the Burma Rifles, served with distinction during World War II. Going on to write critically acclaimed thrillers, he was referred to as the "thinking man's Ian Fleming" by the Daily Telegraph and was awarded both the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger and the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allen Poe Award twice in his literary career.

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Used availability for Francis Clifford's Desperate Journey

Hardback Editions

October 1979 : UK Hardback

Title: Desperate Journey
Author(s): Francis Clifford
ISBN: 0-340-24645-6 / 978-0-340-24645-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 1981 : UK Paperback

Title: Desperate Journey
Author(s): Francis Clifford
ISBN: 0-552-11686-6 / 978-0-552-11686-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA