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Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

haven t always found RichaRd guards. It must have been very
I Flanagans books easy to read. diffcult.
His Goulds Book of Fish was too
out there for me, but The Sound of The book is about Dorrigo Evans,
One Hand Clapping was a rip- who sounds on the surface rather
per. This new book is defnitely like a Weary Dunlop character.
in the ripper category. From the He is a surgeon and soldier, and is
frst page I was drawn in by the put in charge of some POWs. His
beautiful writing. There are some men look to him for guidance and
sentences that I read and re-read, leadership, and he came home to
just because they were so lovely. be called a hero. But he image he
I heard Richard speak at a book- has of himself is not the one other
sellers conference earlier in the people see. In his own eyes, he is
year, and he talked about this no hero to be mytholigized. The
book, which was then still a few novel goes back and forth in time,
months away. It came about part- and its at times through different
ly because of some talks he had eyes. Its a love story, an homage,
had with his father, towards the end of his fathers a war story, and a character study of great empathy
life. Flanagan senior had served during WWII and and wisdom. They are all heroes but there are no he-
became a POW under the Japanese. As Richard roes. War is a bastard and its effects on the people
talked, the room was silent. He is a mesmerising who serve, and their families, dont stop when the
speaker and he conveyed just how important it was peace agreement is signed.
to him to get this story right, partly because of his
father, but also because it is a story told from the The Narrow Road to the Deep North is, in short,
point of view of other prisoners and the Japanese wonderful. Read it. $32.95

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