The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

From the winner of Australia's National Fiction Prize, author of the hugely acclaimed Gould's Book of Fish, a magisterial, Rashomon-like novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present.In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to sa...

Details The Narrow Road to the Deep North

TitleThe Narrow Road to the Deep North
Release DateAug 12th, 2014
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, War, Cultural, Australia

Reviews The Narrow Road to the Deep North

  • Emily May
    "I shall be a carrion monster, he whispered into the coral shell of her ear, an organ of women he found unspeakably moving in its soft, whorling vortex, and which always seemed to him to be an invitation to adventure." I guess I'm inviting haters and trolls by reviewing this much-loved Booker Prize winner, but the eye rolls started somewhere halfway through chapter one and they just wouldn't stop.It makes me feel bad saying this about a book whic...
  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    I received this book for free from Bookworld in exchange for an honest review.This book... Where do I even start?The Narrow Road to the Deep North had such a profound impact on me. I often had to stop mid-sentence and contemplate everything; this book, people, life. I didn't even realise at first that it had drawn me in so deeply, but when I finished I was catatonic.Richard Flanagan is extremely talented. He has such a way with words - his style ...
  • Ron Charles
    Beware Richard Flanagan’s new novel, “The Narrow Road to the Deep North.” His story about a group of Australian POWs during World War II will cast a shadow over your summer and draw you away from friends and family into dark contemplation the way only the most extraordinary books can. Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” has shaken me like this — all the more so because it’s based on recorded history, rather than apocalyptic...
  • Kate Gordon
    I've read it. I'm in awe. But now I don't want to talk about it ever again.
  • °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ
    Καταραμένο βιβλίο. Καταραμένο μονοπάτι.Γραμμή σιδηροδρόμου που ξεκινάει απο τον πόλεμο, περνάει μέσα απο ανθρώπινες ψυχές,φορτώνει φρίκη και πόνο, καταπίνει βασανιστήρια ανδρών,διασχίζει ζούγκλες γεμάτεςλάσπη,αίμα,πληγές,βρόμα,μούχλα,σκοτάδι....
  • Glenn Sumi
    I have mixed feelings about Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road To The Deep North, the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize.- The book is obviously well-researched- It was inspired by the author’s father’s gruelling experiences as a POW working on the notorious “Death Railway” during WW2, in which starving and dying prisoners were forced by the Japanese to hack through the Burmese jungle and build a railway from Bangkok to Rangoon- The no...
  • Jill
    The very best books don’t just entertain, uplift or educate us. They enfold us in their world and make us step outside of ourselves and become transformed. And sometimes, if we’re really lucky, they ennoble and affirm us.The Narrow Road to the Deep North is such a book. Once I got past the first 60 or 70 pages, there was no turning back. I turned the last page marveling at Mr. Flanagan’s skill and agreeing with historian Barbara Tuchman tha...
  • Amalia Gavea
    "Why at the beginning of things is there always light?" My head is full of a plethora of thoughts that, somehow, need to find their way into a text? Or do they? Probably not. This must be one of the most difficult reviews I have chosen to write and this is not a cliche. It's reality. Difficult because how can one possibly describe the horrors brought about by monsters in one of the darkest eras of History that, sadly seems not too far away or los...
  • Jen
    This narrative was magnificent on so many levels.The structure - told in present and past. The themes - love, loss, survival, good vs evil. The history - of a railroad being built in the deep jungles of Java. Built by POWs with their bare hands as they staved off disease, starvation and brutal beatings. The character - a man so strong, so broken searching for the meaning in his life. The language - to feel the emotions attached to these character...
  • Laura
    I'm actually surprised that I didn't like this book, not so much because of the critical acclaim but because I have yet to see it get less than 5 stars from any of my Goodreads friends. So I am clearly the odd one here, left proverbially scratching my head to figure out why my reaction is so divergent from those I usually agree with, and with similar taste for weighty historical fiction. The author is talented, and there are some very powerful li...
  • Kim
    Although Richard Flanagan has been on the edge of my consciousness for years, this is the first of his novels I've read and I may not have read it at all (or at least not so soon after publication) if it hadn't been given to me as a gift. The novel is about .... what? Life, death, despair, loneliness, love, connection, redemption, poetry. It’s a grim work, centred on the experiences of the Australian prisoners of war who were used as slave labo...
  • Candi
    "For an instant he thought he grasped the truth of a terrifying world in which one could not escape horror, in which violence was eternal, the great and only verity, greater than the civilizations it created, greater than any god man worshipped, for it was the only true god. It was as if man existed only to transmit violence to ensure its domain is eternal. For the world did not change, this violence had always existed and would never be eradicat...
  • Seemita
    When I turned the final page, I was relieved and sad at the same instant; relieved to have finally let the fates of POWs take wings to better skies and sad to not be living an alternate life, altogether. This exquisite work of Flanagan is so “terrifyingly beautiful” that it redefined both the words for me. I was surprised to find my mind working at two levels. One level drew shudders - the ulcerated limbs, the beri-beri attacks, the cholera r...
  • Dolors
    *Be warned, some spoilers ahead*Dorrigo Evans is the protagonist of this dramatic novel; an Australian surgeon who serves in WWII and is finally captured by the Japanese and sent to Burma as a prisoner of a labor camp to assemble a railway that will connect Bangkok with Yangon. The narrative structure is divided in five sections set in fragmentary recollections that focus on the milestones in Evans’ life: the archetypal affair with his uncle’...
  • Steve lovell
    From the slurry that are my earliest memories there is a night of pluvial rain out into which my father went. On the road below our house a taxi had come to some form of grief. I remember looking out a window and seeing static car lights. My father came back and reported it was his friend, an old army mate, now cabbie - Ray. In response to my mother's query, he reported that his pal would be okay - given a little time. I knew Ray had been 'on the...
  • Dem
    The 2014 Booker prize-winning story is powerful, harrowing and a quite difficult read but a book that will stay with me for a long time.In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, 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 and from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever....
  • Vit Babenco
    The Narrow Road to the Deep North is an encyclopedia of death and compendium of love…Love comes like a strike of a lightning, electrical and doomed love at first sight, a brief love affair with a lifelong echo… A wild, almost violent intensity took hold of their lovemaking and turned the strangeness of their bodies into a single thing. He forgot those short, sharp shrieks, that horror of ceaseless solitude, his dread of a nameless future. Her...
  • Cheryl
    The prose was flat, mundane, the love story was pedestrian and could probably be bested by many Harlequin romance novels, and the war imagery, while horrific, has been done (and kept provoking memories of the movie Bridge on the River Kwai, accompanied by the ear-worm whistling of the Coloney Bogey march). Unsatisfying and disappointing.
  • Sally Howes
    I cannot find the right word, or even collection of words, to describe Richard Flanagan's THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH - it is more than "moving," more than "gut-wrenching," more than "provocative," more than "beautiful." All I can really say is that it is a more than worthy winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize. And if you are looking for a book that will wring every possible emotion out of you, a book that will not only make you feel but tea...
  • Rebecca
    (4.5) A new classic of war fiction in the making, this kaleidoscopic, empathetic portrait of Australian POWs working on the Burma Death Railway during World War II was a deserving Man Booker Prize winner. Flanagan’s challenge here is to give literary form to the horrors of war, without resorting to despair or simple us-versus-them dichotomies. He maintains a careful balance of sympathy by shifting between the perspectives of the POWs and their ...
  • Angela M
    "A good book, he had concluded, leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul ." This is what Dorrigo Evans , the hero of this Booker Prize winning novel thinks and after I finished reading it , I couldn't help but think that this book is certainly the latter . "He believed books had an aura that protected him, that without one beside him he would die . He happily slept without women. He never slept witho...
  • Perry
    “There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.”Doris Lessing [4.0 stars; updated 8/22/16]This intelligent novel occasionally hits with the force of an emotional powerhouse. It struck me most, telling me a truth that truth cannot tell, in one extended scene that shook me to the core. For those who haven't read this book, I will not spoil it with specifics. Imagine tomorrow, as you run into the market to buy a few things on your wa...
  • Violet wells
    This novel has as its heart and soul a male character called Dorrigo Evans who becomes the surgeon and commanding officer at a Japanese POW camp of Australian soldiers. Dorrigo is not a particularly likeable chap. He reminded me of the protagonist of Salter’s All That Is. A male from the old school, egotistically incapable of love who self-servingly dramatises feeling rather than succumbs to it. Feeling for him is a kind of armour he employs to...
  • PattyMacDotComma
    5★“The good thing, Darky told himself, was that it was still dark. He was wet and weary, but he could rest a few more hours. Darky was always looking for the good thing, no matter how small, and consequently he often found it.”That’s exactly how I felt, reading this book. The abominations that were inflicted on Australian POWs and ‘slaves’ on the Burma Railway in WW2 are as sickening as anything that happened in a medieval dungeon or ...
  • Diane Barnes
    This book had a soul-searing affect on me. It's not so much a novel to read as much as one you crawl inside and experience. There are no sufficient words to explain what it's about, or how it made me feel, other than to say that this is why I read. Not for a happy ending, feel good, on to the next book, life is wonderful kind of story, although that's nice too when it happens. The events and emotions in Narrow Road delve deeper, into what it all ...
  • Shannon
    I feel I'm being generous with 2 stars here and it's probably only because I feel guilty that I'm not more moved by the plight of Australian POWs who were forced to build the Burmese railway. There is only one word to describe this book: boring. I wish I could adequately describe the many failings of this book but I fear it's just too far gone to even begin; I didn't care about his smelling women's backs, or his affair which felt flat, and everyb...
  • Phrynne
    I struggled with this one. It started well even though I totally disliked the main character Dorrigo Evans. I was coping with the constant jumping around in time and I was even dealing with the lack of quotation marks around speech. Then we got bogged down in the POW section. I was already aware of the suffering and terrible events associated with the building of the railway. It is well documented and we have all seen documentaries and movies and...
  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    I was writing a comment that I realized would probably end up being long enough to qualify as at least a half-assed review-like sumthin-r-nuther, so why not slap those words up here instead of down there? It's not like my new job has internet access like my last one did, and I can barely recall that past life in which I composed oh so many of my epically, awe-inspiringly phoned-in reviews on my lunch break. Do you care? Probably not, but I don't ...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    In homage to his father, who was an Australian POW during WW II under the Japanese, Flanagan wrote this novel about people on both sides of the war. What is provocative is that the eponymous title is taken from the enduring 17th century Japanese poet, Bashō; the title is a haibun (combining haiku and prose), which commemorates the Japanese spirit. The Australian POWs were forced into slave labor to build the Burma Railway Line, or the "Death Rai...
  • Lance
    Why do readers like this book?I'm not asking rhetorically. I really want to know. I got through chapter 10 (only 8% of the book, according to Kindle), and then stopped reading. The author's voice and tone irritated me--in fact, they made angry, which almost never happens. I will try to explain why. The author has clearly read too much Cormac McCarthy, whose books I mostly enjoy, especially The Road. Based on the 8% I read, Flanagan has inherited ...