The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Book - 2014 | First American edition.
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Winner of the Man Booker Prize

"Nothing since Cormac McCarthy's The Road has shaken me like this." -- The Washington Post

From the author of the acclaimed Gould's Book of Fish, a magisterial novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present.
August, 1943: Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. His life, in a brutal Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, is a daily struggle to save the men under his command. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.
A savagely beautiful novel about the many forms of good and evil, of truth and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
Edition: First American edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780385352857
Branch Call Number: FIC Flana
Characteristics: 334 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Jan 18, 2021

Parts of this are very well-written but it is overly long and dragged out. The plight of the Australians in a Japanese POW camp in Burma is shocking and that level of cruelty and suffering is difficult to understand or relate to in the present day. Of course it had a profound and negative effect on most of the survivors both mentally and physically and relationships were forever changed. However, the same reflections and analysis of the protagonist's relationships both before and after the war are dredged up over and over but don't really reveal anything new. I thought the book had ended about six times, but it just kept going and going. Parts of the denouement were kind of trite and same-same, sort of like an O. Henry short story.

HCL_staff_reviews Apr 14, 2020

An outstanding review led me to this novel which won the Man Booker Prize. I am thankful I had the audiobook as I could fast forward a few extremely horrifying scenes involving beheadings. The story revolves around a complex Australian surgeon named Dorrigo Evans who leads Australian POWs in their impossible task of building the Thai Burma Railroad (also known as the Death Railway... it was the subject of the movie The Bridge of the River Kwai). An intertwined love story provides much needed relief to the horrors. Flanagan's novel is difficult to take on but I'm grateful I made the effort as I learned so much about this appalling piece of history that affected thousands. — Kim B., Ridgedale Library

Aug 17, 2019

This was such a great book. I could barely put it down.

Apr 08, 2019

good- a bit gruesome at times

Feb 06, 2019

Prose. A deeply introspective novel about the silent experiences and fractured memories of war. Winner of the Man Booker Prize.

Jan 01, 2019

A grisly dark and tragic story or romance, war, weakness and greatness. Not a light cookie with a cup of tea. The very best of writing itself, and an experience to read.

Dec 01, 2018

A wonderful book, at its core a love story, but also describes life in a WW2 prisoner of war camp (Thailand). Painful to read at times. Gets inside the head of the prisoners and guards. Frequently poetic. This is the second read for me. I appreciated it more the second time.

Nov 20, 2018

Perhaps one of the most powerful books I have ever read. An immersive experience. You will be emotionally drawn into the story probably against your will. Not for the squeamish though.

Nov 07, 2018

Did not finish

Sep 26, 2017

Not sure why this author is so "celebrated" and wins so many awards. Because he's from Tasmania, therefore "exotic" and unusual? This was the second book of his I tried to read...I say "tried" because I just couldn't stick with it, ended up giving up after less than 50 pages. I thought I'd give this a try, being about a subject that has always fascinated me, POWs and how WWII had so many things that could have easily been called "war crimes". Yet only one side ever seemed to get called to account for it, as always. But this...I have to agree with at least one other person here...pretentious and over-written doesn't even begin to describe it. Cormac McCarthy clones are a dime a dozen it seems, and very few can pull it off. Including this guy, in my opinion anyhow.

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Jun 11, 2017

He found her nipples wondrous.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

A happy man has no past, while an unhappy man has nothing else.

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