A few months ago fourteen-year-old Ali Banana was apprenticed to a whip-wielding blacksmith in his rural hometown. Now its winter 1944, the war is entering its most crucial stage and Ali is a private in Thunder Brigade. His unit has been given orders to go behind enemy lines and wreak havoc. But the Burmese jungle is a mud-riven, treacherous place, riddled with Japanese snipers, insanity and disease.
Burma Boy by Biyi Bandele is a horrific, vividly realised account of the madness, the sacrifice and the dark humour of the Second World War’s most vicious battleground. It’s also the moving story of a boy trying to live long enough to become a man.