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Death of a River Guide - Richard Flanagan


Published: 1st February 2012
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RRP $19.99

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Published: 1st December 2011
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Beneath a waterfall on the Franklin, Aljaz Cosini, river guide, lies drowning.

Best by visions at once horrible and fabulous, he relives not just his own life but that of his family and forebears. In the rainforest waters that rush over him he sees those lives stripped of their surface realities, and finds a world where dreaming reasserts its power over thinking. As the river rises, his visions grow more turbulent, and in the flood of his past Aljaz discovers the soul history of his country. Richard Flanagan's 1994 debut about a mythical Tasmania dazzled readers around the world, and is now recognized as one of the most powerful and original Australian novels of recent decades.


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Death of a River Guide

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from blue mountains

About Me Bookworm


  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging Characters
  • Well Written


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      Comments about Death of a River Guide:

      This is Richard Flanagan's first novel and as such I didn't expect it to be as good as some of his later books but it is. Aljaz is drowning in the Franklin River and as he is dying his life flashes before him. Not just the important moments in his life but also his parents, grandparents and earlier ancestors. Through the lives of these people we are shown the history of Tasmania,including its convict and aboriginal past. His descriptions are beautiful and if you've ever been to Tasmania's rainforest you'll be able to see, smell and hear it again as you read this book. Highly recommended.

      Comment on this review

      'Very, very beautiful' - Baltimore Sun.

      Richard Flanagan

      Descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemens Land (later renamed Tasmania) during the Great Famine, Richard Flanagan was born in his native island in 1961, the fifth of six children. He spent his childhood in the mining town of Rosebery and left school at sixteen to work as a bush laborer. He later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His first novel is the much celebrated Death of a River Guide (available from Grove Press), which won major Australian literary prizes including the 1996 National Fiction Award and was described by the Times Literary Supplement as "one of the most auspicious debuts in Australian writing."

      His second novel, The Sound of One Hand Clapping (available from Grove Press), was similarly critically acclaimed and has sold over 150,000 copies in Australia, an unprecedented figure there for a literary novel. It won the Australian Booksellers Book of the Year Award and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. Flanagan's first two novels, declared Kirkus Reviews, "rank with the finest fiction out of Australia since the heyday of Patrick White." Gould's Book of Fish, his third novel, won Best Book for the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize in the South East Asia & South Pacific Region.

      In addition to Australia and the USA, his novels are being published in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Holland, and France. He directed an acclaimed feature film based on The Sound of One Hand Clapping, which had its world premiere in competition at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Bear for best film. He lives in Tasmania with his wife and three children.

      Visit Richard Flanagan's Booktopia Author Page

      ISBN: 9781742755106
      ISBN-10: 1742755100
      Audience: General
      Format: Paperback
      Language: English
      Number Of Pages: 352
      Published: 1st February 2012
      Publisher: Random House Australia
      Country of Publication: AU
      Dimensions (cm): 20.1 x 13.5  x 2.2
      Weight (kg): 0.24
      Edition Number: 1