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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Flanagan Narrator: David Linski Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2014 ISBN: 9781483021430
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A grave and lovely novel…Flanagan manages these shifts in time and perspective with extraordinary skill. They’re never confusing but they are dizzying and demand the reader’s full attention in a way that reminds me of Conrad. I suspect that on rereading, this magnificent novel will seem even more intricate, more carefully and beautifully constructed…A scene in which Dorrigo tries to cut away a soldier’s gangrenous leg is worthy of Zola…His language carries a sinewy incantatory power…The Narrow Road to the Deep North is both unforgiving and generous, a paradox that should earn it some fame of its own.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Some years, very good books win the Man Booker Prize, but this year a masterpiece has won it…A magnificent novel of love and war…Written in prose of extraordinary elegance and force, it bridges East and West, past and present, with a story of guilt and heroism. This is the book that Richard Flanagan was born to write and which now takes its place in the canon of world literature.”

    A. C. Grayling, Chair of Judges, Man Booker Prize 2014

  • “Flanagan’s portraits of the Australians in this camp are drawn with heartfelt emotion, showing how these ordinary men cope and fail to cope with the horrific circumstances of the war and how they draw sustenance and courage from one another…It is the story of Dorrigo, as one man among many POWs in the Asian jungle, that is the beating heart of this book: an excruciating, terrifying, life-altering story that is an indelible fictional testament to the prisoners there.”

    New York Times

  • “Daring…Captivating…Often unbearably powerful…The Narrow Road to the Deep North [will draw you] into dark contemplation the way only the most extraordinary books can. Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has shaken me like this…This is a classic work of war fiction from a world-class writer…[There is] a series of blistering episodes you will never get out of your mind…The prose is as haunting and evocative as the haiku by seventeenth-century Japanese poet Basho that gives this novel its title. No other author draws us into ‘the strange, terrible neverendingness of human beings’ the way Flanagan does.”

    Washington Post

  • “I don’t believe I’ve ever said this before, but here is a writer who is a serious contender for the Nobel Prize.”

    Alan Cheuse, NPR’s “All Things Considered”

  • “An extraordinary new novel…Flanagan has written a sort of Australian War and Peace…After setting down this eccentric masterwork of a novel, full of deep insight, afflicted love, and cosmic passion alongside painful, even horrendous suffering, Flanagan’s music still plays on and on in my head.”


  • “The book Richard Flanagan was born to write.”

    Economist (London)

  • “An unforgettable story of men at war…Flanagan’s prose is richly innovative and captures perfectly the Australian demotic of tough blokes, with their love of nicknames and excellent swearing. He evokes Evans’ affair with Amy, and his subsequent soulless wanderings, with an intensity and beauty that is as poetic as the classical Japanese literature that peppers this novel.”

    Times (London)

  • “A masterpiece…A symphony of tenderness and love, a moving and powerful story that captures the weight and breadth of a life…An extraordinary piece of writing and a high point in an already distinguished career.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “The stories of these casualties of fate catch at the soul…a haunting story.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “Immensely moving…Charged with a hypnotic power…Flanagan’s father was a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. He died on the day this devastatingly beautiful novel was [finished]. His son could not have done him a greater honor.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “A novel of extraordinary power, deftly told and hugely affecting. A classic in the making…Takes us deep into the secret heart of the war…Masterful.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Exhilarating…A huge novel, ambitious, driven, multistranded…[written] with mordant gusto, lyricism, and astonishing tenacity…With less rhetorical mannerism than Cormac McCarthy, but an equivalent ability to animate the specifics of place and time in an operatic sentence, Flanagan gives us a context, a demotic history for these men who went, hapless, to war…Life affirming.”

    Sydney Morning Herald

  • “Possibly the year’s most beautiful and moving novel.”

    Sunday Canberra Times

  • “In an already sparkling career, this might be his biggest, best, most moving work yet.”

    Sunday Age (Melbourne)

  • “Profound…It’s not just the big characters but also the minor ones who strike their perfect notes.”

    Herald Sun (Melbourne)

  • “The luminous imagination of Richard Flanagan is among the most precious of Australian literary treasures.”

    Newcastle Herald

  • “Richard Flanagan is an extraordinary writer and this sixth novel is a masterpiece…A marvelous book.”

    Australian Women’s Weekly

  • “Despite the novel’s epic sprawl it retains the delicate vignettes that characterize Flanagan’s work, those beautiful brush strokes of poignancy and veracity that remain in the reader’s mind long afterwards.”

    West Australian News

  • “At its core it is simply about the human spirit—in all its guises. You emerge from reading Flanagan, walk out to the veranda into the sunlight, and stand there, changed.”

    Courier Mail (Brisbane)

  • “Nothing could have prepared us for this immense achievement…The Narrow Road to the Deep North is beyond comparison…Intensely moving.”


  • “A supple meditation on memory, trauma, and empathy that is also a sublime war novel...Pellucid, epic, and sincerely touching in its treatment of death, this is a powerful novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator David Atlas’ performance is true to the tone and spirit of Flanagan’s account…Atlas perfectly captures the Australian character as well as conveying the stomach-churning horror of the death camps.”


  • “Extraordinarily beautiful, intelligent, and sharply insightful…Flanagan handles the horrifyingly grim details of the wartime conditions with lapidary precision and is equally good on the romance of the youthful indiscretion that haunts Evans.”


  • “[A] eulogy to Australia’s servicemen and the war era…Flanagan is to be lauded for the empathy he shows to both prisoners and wardens…‘Lest we forget,’ as Kipling put it.”


  • “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

  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a big, magnificent novel of passion and horror and tragic irony. Its scope, its themes, and its people all seem to grow richer and deeper in significance with the progress of the story, as it moves to its extraordinary resolution. It’s by far the best new novel I’ve read in ages.”

    Patrick McGrath, author of Constance

  • “I loved this book. Not just a great novel but an important book in its ability to look at terrible things and create something beautiful. Everyone should read it.”

    Evie Wyld, author of All the Birds, Singing

  • Shortlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Award
  • Winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize
  • An August 2014 Amazon Best Book of the Month for Fiction
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Washington Post Top 10 Book of 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
  • An Amazon Best Book of 2014
  • A Huffington Post Best Book of 2014
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About the Author
Author Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan is the author of the novels Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting. He lives in Tasmania.

About the Narrator

David Linski (a.k.a. David Ligudzinski and David Atlas) is a graduate of the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, Australia. He has numerous voice-over credits, an extensive theatrical résumé, and has starred in short and feature films both in the United States and Australia.