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Extended Audio Sample Far North: A Novel Audiobook, by Marcel Theroux Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.33 out of 54.33 out of 54.33 out of 54.33 out of 54.33 out of 5 4.33 (6 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marcel Theroux Narrator: Yelena Schmulenson, Yelena Shmulenson Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2009 ISBN: 9781427210197
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Far North is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

My father had an expression for a thing that turned out bad. He'd say it had gone west. But going west always sounded pretty good to me. After all, westwards is the path of the sun. And through as much history as I know of, people have moved west to settle and find freedom. But our world had gone north, truly gone north, and just how far north I was beginning to learn.

Out on the frontier of a failed state, Makepeace—sheriff and perhaps last citizen—patrols a city's ruins, salvaging books but keeping the guns in good repair.

Into this cold land comes shocking evidence that life might be flourishing elsewhere: a refugee emerges from the vast emptiness of forest, whose existence inspires Makepeace to reconnect with human society and take to the road, armed with rough humor and an unlikely ration of optimism.

What Makepeace finds is a world unraveling: stockaded villages enforcing an uncertain justice and hidden work camps laboring to harness the little-understood technologies of a vanished civilization. But Makepeace's journey—rife with danger—also leads to an unexpected redemption.

Far North takes the reader on a quest through an unforgettable arctic landscape, from humanity's origins to its possible end. Haunting, spare, yet stubbornly hopeful, the novel is suffused with an ecstatic awareness of the world's fragility and beauty, and its ability to recover from our worst trespasses.

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Quotes & Awards

  • How refreshing to meet Makepeace Hatfield, who faces a world gone wild with hope, humor, and a scrappy tenacity that manages to find beauty in a ravaged arctic landscape, and hangs on to humanity against all odds. Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness
  • Theroux is a master storyteller, and the narrative is as full of surprises as it is of murders. And in Makepeace he's created the moral centre of a heartless world: hardened by . . . experiences [yet] capable of great courage, friendship and loyalty, so that the bleak vision of this novel contains a glint of consolation. Brandon Robshaw, The Independent on Sunday (five stars)
  • An absorbing end-of-days fable. GQ
  • It's a great pleasure to fall into the pages of a natural-born storyteller. If you're looking for an unforgettable character, your search ends here. Russell Hoban, author of Riddley Walker
  • Imaginative and extremely well written. Kate Saunders, The Times (London)
  • An atmospheric tale of a near-future dystopia . . . One for fans of Margaret Atwood. Evening Standard
  • Marcel Theroux delivers a masterly sleight-of-hand . . . and after the third chapter deftly pulls the rug from under the reader's feet. I was completely duped. It is set in a cruel Siberian landscape that is dotted with slave camps and where ‘human beings are rat-cunning and will happily kill you twice over for a hot meal.' This is an action-packed, dystopian adventure story with cracking set pieces. Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler
  • Theroux's postapocalyptic road novel will inevitably be compared to that other postapocalyptic road novel Oprah liked, and while Theroux . . . is not the existential stylist McCarthy is, he is a superior plotter . . . Theroux succeeds in crafting a wildly eccentric and intelligent page-turner that's ultimately and strangely hopeful. Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Narrator Yelena Schmulenson escorts the listener on Makepeace's remarkable journey as she ventures beyond her vacant city to explore the tundra, searching for any life besides her own...Schmulenson interprets Makepeace's intelligence and fortitude with compassion, providing a rhythmic pace that bridges the heroine's insightful thoughts and brutal experiences. AudioFile

  • “Sublime…There is a satisfying sadness and finality to Theroux’s vision.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The first great cautionary fable of climate change. Marcel Theroux’s homespun tale about a solitary frontier survivor conjures up a monolithic world that's ominous and deeply memorable.”

    Washington Post

  • “A suspenseful, gripping vision of catastrophe wrought by the warring human impulses of greed and imagination.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Imaginative and extremely well written.”

    Times (London)

  • “An absorbing end-of-days fable.”

    GQ

  • “An atmospheric tale of a near-future dystopia…One for fans of Margaret Atwood.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “Theroux is a master storyteller, and the narrative is as full of surprises as it is of murders. And in Makepeace he’s created the moral center of a heartless world: hardened by…experiences [yet] capable of great courage, friendship, and loyalty, so that the bleak vision of this novel contains a glint of consolation.”

    Independent on Sunday (starred review)

  • “Theroux has managed to pull off a macho novel that would appeal to both male and female readers…Who would have thought that a novel of doom could be so interesting…so…enjoyable?…A surprising romp beyond despair.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Theroux’s post-apocalyptic road novel will inevitably be compared to that other post-apocalyptic road novel Oprah liked, and while Theroux…is not the existential stylist McCarthy is, he is a superior plotter…Theroux succeeds in crafting a wildly eccentric and intelligent [novel] that’s ultimately and strangely hopeful.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A 2009 National Book Award Finalist
  • Among shortlisted titles for National Book Awards - Finalist, 2009

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cassie | 4/15/2011

    " Easily the best post-apocalyptic novel I've read since Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Bleak, haunting, and beautiful, with an unforgettable heroine. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip | 3/15/2011

    " Not at all what I had expected but a wonderful post-apocalypse novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 3/7/2011

    " If you enjoyed the grizzled survival march aspect of McCarthy's The Road but were as troubled as I was by the Women are Evil/Faulkner in the Thunderome/Messianc machismo thing he had going on, this will probably be right up your alley. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 2/7/2011

    " I need to take a moment after reading this. It was a lot to take in. Theroux throws a few curves at the reader starting in about the third chapter. The dystopian, post-apocalypse story stirs up emotion, challenges assumptions, and--best of all--tells a darn good story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 1/30/2011

    " Loaned to me and recommended by a co-worker who interviews authors and reviews books for Sci-fi London. Fantastic story, really enjoyed it. Didn't want to put it down. If I were independently wealthy, I would have skipped working to finish this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katy | 1/9/2011

    " Intriguing story. Superb writing style.. Unexpected storyline and an amazing ending. Typically not the subject matter I generally read, but I have a feeling it's a book that I would re-read time and time again as the world continues to change. "

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About the Author
Author Marcel Theroux

Marcel Theroux is the author of many books, including A Blow to the Heart, A Stranger in the Earth, and The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes: A Paper Chase, which won a Somerset Maugham Award. He lives in London.

About the Narrator

Yelena Shmulenson, an actress and audiobook narrator, is a four-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. She emigrated to the United States with her family in 1993 from Ukraine. Her theater credits include five seasons with the Folksbiene, two seasons at the Ellis Island Theatre, Enemies: A Love Story in Russian, and The Essence: A Yiddish Theater Dim Sum. On film, she can be seen in The Good Shepherd, Romeo & Juliet in Yiddish, Fire at the Triangle, and A Serious Man.