The Narrow Road to the Deep North

  • by Richard Flanagan
  • Narrated by Richard Flanagan
  • 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

"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

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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- Margaret M. Bell


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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- Andrew Thomson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-01-2013
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd