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.
"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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Insert hyperbole here
Yes. I was obsessed by this book, and counted the minutes until I could resume listening.
So many, so few. Any book that makes you think. Anything that makes you consider shadows and blurred lines is worthy.
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.
I wouldn't presume to rename it.
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.
- Margaret M. Bell "ravenousreader"
- Andrew Thomson