The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Richard Flanagan

The horrors of war, the beauty of love and the frailty and nobility of human nature are woven together in this absorbing novel covering an Australian doctor's life before, during and after World War II. The characters are realistic in their complexity and the excellent descriptions are hugely atmospheric. A very worthy winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize. Don't miss it.

Extract

It is true this war is cruel, Lieutenant Fukuhara translated. What war is not? But war is human beings. War what we are. War what we do. Railway might kill human beings, but I do not make human beings. I make railway. Progress does not demand freedom. Progress has no need of freedom. Major Nakamura, he say progress can arise for other reasons. You, doctor, call it non-freedom. We call it spirit, nation, Emperor. You, doctor, call it
cruelty. We call it destiny. With, us or without us. It is the future.

Parallels
  • The Bridge over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle
  • The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard