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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2013 Copyright © Richard Flanagan 2013. The moral right of the author has been asserted. (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Richard Flanagan is one of the most exciting novelists working anywhere, full stop." (The Age)
"Flanagan can stop a reader's breath." (Los Angeles Times)
"Mr Flanagan is a master of sleight of hand, adept at using words to conjure worlds, an indefatigable artist." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Margaret M. Bell on 10-21-14

Insert hyperbole here

Would you listen to The Narrow Road to the Deep North again? Why?

Yes. I was obsessed by this book, and counted the minutes until I could resume listening.

What other book might you compare The Narrow Road to the Deep North to and why?

So many, so few. Any book that makes you think. Anything that makes you consider shadows and blurred lines is worthy.

What about Richard Flanagan’s performance did you like?

If it wasn't the author, I would have been less generous with my rating here. Flanagan will never win the prize for narration, however, hearing a remarkable book read to you by its author adds an extra layer to the experience.

If you could rename The Narrow Road to the Deep North, what would you call it?

I wouldn't presume to rename it.

Any additional comments?

This is one of those once in a lifetime reads. Beautiful and lyrical, and prosaic and horrific by turn, it will stay with you for a very long time.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Andrew Thomson on 12-15-13

Masterful

Dorrigo Evans is an Australian doctor - a surgeon - who finds himself leading a group of 700 prisoners of war working on the Burma Thai Railway during World War Two. Before he goes to war he is involved in a love affair of life changing proportions. But, amazingly, life goes on after the affair and the war, and Dorrigo is for the rest of his life considered a hero by the nation, although he never understands why as he knows himself to be a very flawed character. Indeed, Flanagan shows us this character in full flight, a man of both high restraint and strong passion. This is a book of enormous scope and yet highly focused, with personal stories entwined with historical events, and universal human values muddied by culture and human frailty. Although there are many characters and a number of points of view, Flanagan succeeds in developing a structure which rewards the reader more as the book proceeds. Changes of time, place and character form a complex pattern, but one that makes sense. We are left with questions about the nature of love and just what makes people good or bad, both in the most personal of senses and as a group.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Nev W Gilllett on 11-25-14

Annoying voice

What would have made The Narrow Road to the Deep North better?

A professional voice.

What did you like best about this story?

it seems to be really well written and about a subject matter I find fascinating. it's just the read that lets it down

What didn’t you like about Richard Flanagan’s performance?

Unbelievably slow and laborious. Almost without emotion.

Any additional comments?

I will read this book instead of listening to it.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful


By mm on 10-16-14

Listen to a sample of the audio before you buy it

How did the narrator detract from the book?

As far as I could tell there was some nice clean prose and a good story struggling to get out, but some one should have explained to Richard Flanagan that it was time to hand over his baby to an actor capable of infusing some life into the narrative. I gave up after the opening and, on the basis that I do think there may be a good book there, have ordered the kindle version instead.

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20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By John on 05-08-15

Going to read the book - can't listen any more

This book is brilliantly written but can't stand the monotone reading so am going to buy a hard copy and read it instead. I wish Richard Flanagan had chosen to get a professional to do the narrating. I've dropped off to sleep every time!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Candice on 05-12-17

Terrible narrator

The narrator really ruined this book for me
Worst ever, I'm not sure what they were thinking, monotone voice with lots of little full stops

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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