Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

2014 Booker Prize Winner

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

       
 

Publisher: Chatto & Windus

Length: 464 pages

About: Australian POWs working on Burma railway

Style: 3rd person

Where: Burma 1943

 

 

Publisher’s synopsis:

Forever after, there were for them only two sorts of men: the men who were on the Line, and the rest of humanity, who were not. 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, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. Hailed as a masterpiece, Richard Flanagan's epic novel tells the unforgettable story of one man's reckoning with the truth.

 

Extract:

Why at the beginning of things is there always light? Dorrigo Evans' earliest memories were of sun flooding a church hall in which he sat with his mother and grandmother. A wooden church hall. Blinding light and him toddling back and forth, in and out of its transcendent welcome, into the arms of women. Women who loved him. Like entering the sea and returning to the beach. Over and over.

Bless you, his mother says as she holds him and lets him go. Bless you, boy.

 

Reviews:

Good:

It is a novel of extraordinary power, deftly told and hugely affecting. A classic in the making. 

To see full review click here

The Observer, Alex Preston, 20th July 2014

 

Not so good:

Flanagan’s writing courses like a river, sometimes black with mud, sludge and corpses, sometimes bright with moonlight. Danger is omnipresent, even after combat recedes; nature careless and monumental in its rains, its bushfires. The hallucinations caused by privation, be it physical hunger or erotic yearning, are unapologetically evoked. The stories of these casualties of fate catch at the soul.

For full review click here

The Daily Telegraph, Catherine Taylor, 14th October 2014

 

About the author

Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961, the fifth of six children. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen's Land in the 1840s. His father is a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. One of his three brothers is Australian rules football journalist Martin Flanagan. He grew up in the remote mining town of Rosebery on Tasmania's western coast.

Flanagan left school at the age of 16. He returned to study at the University of Tasmania, where he was president of the Tasmania University Union in 1983. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours. The following year, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship at Worcester College, Oxford, where he was admitted to the degree of Master of Letters in History.

His father, who died the day Flanagan finished The Narrow Road to the Deep North, was a survivor of the Burma Death Railway.

 

 

LAST         

 

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Ratings

Adventure

  9

Filmability

  9

Historical

  8

Humorous

  2

Intellectuality

  5

Life-changing

 9

Page turner

  6

Readability

  8

Romance

  1

 

Age guide: 15+

 

Novels by same author:

  • Death of a River Guide (1994)
  • The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997)
  • Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish (2001)
  • The Unknown Terrorist (2006)
  • Wanting (2008)

 

Adaptations:

  None to date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© PWF.co.uk

 

 

 

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here

 

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