The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: August 2014
Duration: 15 hours 2 minutes
From the winner of Australia’s National Fiction Prize, author of the hugely acclaimed Gould’s Book of Fish, comes a magisterial, Rashomon-like novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present.
In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand–Burma Death Railway in 1943, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings—until he receives a letter that will change him forever.
Moving deftly from the POW camp to contemporary Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo and his comrades to those of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of death, love, and family, exploring the many forms of good and evil, war and truth, guilt and transcendence, as one man comes of age and prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
“Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Australian author Flanagan has anticipated writing this novel much of his life, working on it for twelve years and completing it on the day his father died. His father had been a survivor of a Japanese POW camp and the brutal building of the Thai-Burma death railway, famously depicted in The Bridge on the River Kwai, as is the protagonist here. In the POW camp, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans struggles to protect his men, even as he recalls an illicit affair from the past. A letter from home changes everything, and the story is brought up to the present day. Reviews from Australia and the UK have been, not surprisingly, ecstatic.”—Library Journal