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The Narrow Road to the Deep North : Winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize - Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize

Paperback

Published: 3rd November 2014
In Stock. Ships in 1-2 business days from Australia
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A novel of the cruelty of war, and tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.

August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.

This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North
 
4.3

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (20)
  • Engaging characters (15)
  • Deserves multiple readings (13)
  • Page turner (10)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (17)
  • Older readers (17)
  • Reference (8)
  • Travel reading (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (14), Bookworm (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

profoundly moving

4.5 stars
"There was around him an exhausted emptiness, an impenetrable void cloaked this most famously collegial man, as if he already lived in another place – forever unravelling and refurling...Read complete review

4.5 stars
"There was around him an exhausted emptiness, an impenetrable void cloaked this most famously collegial man, as if he already lived in another place – forever unravelling and refurling a limitless dream or an unceasing nightmare, it was hard to know – from which he would never escape. He was a lighthouse whose light could not be relit"

The Narrow Road to The Deep North is the sixth novel by award-winning Australian author, Richard Flanagan. Despite his humble beginnings in a remote Tasmanian village filled with "verandah-browed wooden cottages", Dorrigo Evans is clever enough to get scholarships for high school and university. He leaves the locale where he used to "smell the damp bark and drying leaves and watch clans of green and red musk lorikeets chortling far above. He would drink in the birdsong of the wrens and the honeyeaters, the whipcrack call of the jo-wittys…"

By 1940, he is a promising young surgeon, engaged to Ella Lansbury, a girl from the right sort of family, when he joins the army. Stationed near Adelaide while awaiting dispatch overseas, Dorrigo's chance encounter with his Uncle Keith's young second wife, Any Mulvaney, results in a liaison he could neither have anticipated nor resisted.

A few years on, Dorrigo Evans is a Prisoner of War, in command of a thousand men charged with building the Burma Railway, where cruelty and death were unwelcome, but commonplace: "They had smoked to keep the dead out of their nostrils, they had joked to keep the dead from preying on their minds, they had eaten to remind themselves they were alive…"

Dorrigo is constantly wracked with feelings of inadequacy, but "He could do this, he told himself… He had no belief he could do it, but others believed he could do it. And if he believed in them believing in him, maybe he could hold onto himself"

The survivors return home to a life that feels alien: "He didn't fit with his own life anymore, his own life was breaking down, and all that did fit – his job, hi

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointing read

Don't understand the question. This is a book and one just reads it.

Don't understand the question. This is a book and one just reads it.

Reviewed by 25 customers

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4.0

profoundly moving

By 

from Thirroul

About Me Bookworm

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Reference
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

    4.5 stars
    "There was around him an exhausted emptiness, an impenetrable void cloaked this most famously collegial man, as if he already lived in another place – forever unravelling and refurling a limitless dream or an unceasing nightmare, it was hard to know – from which he would never escape. He was a lighthouse whose light could not be relit"

    The Narrow Road to The Deep North is the sixth novel by award-winning Australian author, Richard Flanagan. Despite his humble beginnings in a remote Tasmanian village filled with "verandah-browed wooden cottages", Dorrigo Evans is clever enough to get scholarships for high school and university. He leaves the locale where he used to "smell the damp bark and drying leaves and watch clans of green and red musk lorikeets chortling far above. He would drink in the birdsong of the wrens and the honeyeaters, the whipcrack call of the jo-wittys…"

    By 1940, he is a promising young surgeon, engaged to Ella Lansbury, a girl from the right sort of family, when he joins the army. Stationed near Adelaide while awaiting dispatch overseas, Dorrigo's chance encounter with his Uncle Keith's young second wife, Any Mulvaney, results in a liaison he could neither have anticipated nor resisted.

    A few years on, Dorrigo Evans is a Prisoner of War, in command of a thousand men charged with building the Burma Railway, where cruelty and death were unwelcome, but commonplace: "They had smoked to keep the dead out of their nostrils, they had joked to keep the dead from preying on their minds, they had eaten to remind themselves they were alive…"

    Dorrigo is constantly wracked with feelings of inadequacy, but "He could do this, he told himself… He had no belief he could do it, but others believed he could do it. And if he believed in them believing in him, maybe he could hold onto himself"

    The survivors return home to a life that feels alien: "He didn't fit with his own life anymore, his own life was breaking down, and all that did fit – his job, hi

     
    5.0

    A compelling read

    By 

    from Melbourne, Au

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Suspenseful
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Travel Reading

      Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

      This a book that is both compelling and disturbing, waking us to the frightening and degrading conditions to which the POWs were subjected while working on "the Line" (the Thai Burma Railway) during World War II, set against the backdrop of an affair held by the main character Dorrigo Evans and his claim to fame. A brilliant work.

       
      3.0

      A bit of a slog

      By 

      from melbourne

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Engaging Characters
      • Page Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

      • Not What I expected

      Best Uses

      • Older Readers

      Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

      Came quickly, could not complain re delivery

       
      5.0

      Richard Flanagan deserved the Man Booker Prize

      By 

      from Lake Macquarie

      About Me Bookworm

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Engaging Characters
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Older Readers
        • Reference

        Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

        Deeply disturbing and enlightening at the same time - very human.

         
        5.0

        grat eread shoud be more of these historical novels

        By 

        from south ostralia

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Page Turner
        • Suspenseful
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Travel Reading

          Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

          good student novel they can see what others put up with for them

           
          4.0

          Great one for discussion in Book Club.

          By 

          from Ex. Melbourne, AU

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Engaging Characters
          • Page Turner
          • Thought Provoking
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers
            • Reference

            Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

            Great novel for book club discussion describing lives and events surrounding the construction of the Burma Railway.
            One of our better choices.

             
            5.0

            exceptional

            By 

            from balmain, nsw

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Engaging Characters
            • Page Turner
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

                exceptional book written with lightest touch

                 
                4.0

                Such a sad story

                By 

                from Sydney

                About Me Everyday Reader

                Pros

                • Engaging Characters
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Older Readers
                  • Travel Reading

                  Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

                  I have to say how disappointed I am to be reading a book, having been awarded the Man Booker Prize, and find sentences beginning with "And", or "But". My first reaction was "what is going on?" Unfortunately, although only half way through the story, this has been a huge disappointment to see this in print and not corrected. The story itself is harrowing, and you can feel and imagine what the poor soldiers went through on the Burma Railway, and still ask yourself "why?". The strength of will, the cruelty of their captors, the description of their conditions and how they tried to cope will stay with the reader for a long time after the last page has turned.

                   
                  5.0

                  Too Real Novel

                  By 

                  from Maniototo, New Zealand

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Deserves Multiple Readings

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Older Readers
                    • Reference

                    Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

                    I wouldn't have been surprised to find that this was not a novel but a true account of the Burma Railway POW's.

                    At times the narrative is deeply disturbing and yet it brings out ideas that are truly moving and perspectives that had me questioning my own values.

                     
                    5.0

                    Fabulous

                    By 

                    from Nambucca Heads NSW

                    About Me Bookworm

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Deserves Multiple Readings
                    • Just Loved This Read
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • All readers
                      • Gift
                      • Travel Reading

                      Comments about The Narrow Road to the Deep North:

                      I loved this book ! Authentic , compassionate , tragic ! Will read many times in the future.

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                      'The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a big, magnificent novel of passion and horror and tragic irony. Its scope, its themes and its people all seem to grow richer and deeper in significance with the progress of the story, as it moves to its extraordinary resolution. It's by far the best new novel I've read in ages.' - Patrick McGrath

                      'Beyond comparison . . . an immense achievement . . . Wilfred Owen wrote of his Great War verse: 'My subject is war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity.' Flanagan's triumph is to find poetry without any pity at all.' - Geordie Williamson, The Australian

                      'A story of war and star-crossed lovers, the novel is also a profound meditation on life and time, memory and forgetting . . . a magnificent achievement.' - Katharine England, Adelaide Advertiser

                      'A masterpiece . . . The Narrow Road is an extraordinary piece of writing and a high point in an already distinguished career.' - Michael Williams, The Guardian

                      Richard Flanagan

                      Richard Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s. His father is a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. One of his three brothers is Australian Rules football journalist Martin Flanagan. He grew up in the remote mining town of Rosebery on Tasmania’s western coast.

                      His novels, Death Of A River Guide, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book Of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North have received numerous honours and are published in twenty-six countries.

                      He directed a feature film version of The Sound Of One Hand Clapping in 1998. A collection of his essays is published as And What Do You Do, Mr Gable?

                      The Narrow Road to the Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. His most recent novel is Gould's Book of Fish. 

                      Visit Richard Flanagan's Booktopia Author Page


                      ISBN: 9780857980366
                      ISBN-10: 085798036X
                      Audience: General
                      Format: Paperback
                      Language: English
                      Number Of Pages: 480
                      Published: 3rd November 2014
                      Publisher: Random House Australia
                      Country of Publication: AU
                      Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 13.1  x 3.1
                      Weight (kg): 0.36
                      Edition Number: 1