The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan..anyone read it?

(8 Posts)
Pukkapik Thu 18-Jun-15 18:59:09

I have just finished it and it is one of the most powerful books I have read in a long time. Just extraordinary. I am almost speechless about it.
It's about an Australian doctor who ends up in a Japanese run labour camp during the Second World War. I know the book is big in Australia. but I haven't met anyone here who has yet read it. I would love to know if it affected any mumsnetters as much as it did me.

ArthurMcAffertyhastwocats Thu 18-Jun-15 19:03:52

I found the sections on the railway almost unbearably moving - nothing I've read in a long time has had such an impact on me. But the rest of the book left me a bit cold - I didn't dislike it but it didn't engage me, nor did I particularly care for the central character. I did find the stories of some of the other men very moving but there wasn't enough of that.

I've just read The Railway Man which was again a very moving read. Think I might stop there with tales of the railway and try something less harrowing next.

OllyBJolly Thu 18-Jun-15 19:06:44

I've read it recently.

Yes, powerful stuff. It really does knock you for six in places. It's quite a harrowing read in places, but not gruesome. Glad I read it.

Pukkapik Thu 18-Jun-15 19:18:46

(Spoilers..warning.)
Yes, I thought the camp section was harrowing in parts, but I didn't feel the author was ever milking the hardship for impact, which made the story so effective.
I was actually moved to tears when the guys released the fish at the fish restaurant once home again, and again when the owner forgave them and fed them.
I found the depth of emotion Dorrigo felt with Amy very touching too.
I felt it was a novel where a lot of the loose ends were tied up without it ever feeling contrived.
Am still reeling!

piebald Thu 18-Jun-15 20:21:25

I really stuggled with it to begin with but then was completely blown away by it. It is not often a books affects me so deeply and even more so when i learnt that the writers father had been a survivor of the Burma Death Railway

hackmum Fri 19-Jun-15 09:44:40

We have had some discussions on here about it if you want to have a search - I am unusual in that I was a bit disappointed after all the hype. Thought the plot went in a fairly predictable direction and the main characters (especially the love interest) weren't very convincing. The best bits were the descriptions of life on the railways.

On the other hand, I do agree with Arthur that The Railway Man is an excellent and moving read - and definitely worth reading if you had your interest piqued by the Narrow Road to the Deep North.

ladydepp Sat 20-Jun-15 00:12:01

I loved this book, and the character of Dorrigo has stayed with me. I found it very harrowing but so very moving. I really look forward to reading it again. The writing is just astonishing, a very worthy award winner in my opinion. I still think about this book and often recommend it.

auberginesrus Wed 24-Jun-15 21:28:30

I loved it, I was expecting it to be harrowing and put off reading it for a while. It was, but it was also beautiful and the harrowing bits snuck up on me when I was already so embroiled in the narrative I had to keep going. Even the really hard to read bits were beautifully written, and I liked the way that we saw it from the point of view of all the protagonists. A very moving book and all the more so for knowing these events really happened.

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