The narrow road to the deep north / Richard Flanagan
Publication year: 2014
Shelf mark: F/FLA
Media class: Book
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus
ISBN: 9780701189051 0701189053
Originally published: Australia: Knopf, 2013
An amazing tale of heroism, very ordinary life, huge life changing events, emotions, dreams. It's sparse and, despite the enormity of its scope and breadth, it conveys accurately a clear sense of atmosphere and feeling. The heat and lassitude of an Australian summer can leave the reader feeling spent. The awfulness of the invasive, life-sapping Siamese jungle leaves one with a sense of claustrophobia. The lack of humanity shown by the Japanese guards in the P.O.W camps is truly shocking, but it gives the reader an insight into a mind-set that is alien to the West. Dorrigo Evans is a young medical doctor. He achieves huge success in his career, which is out of character in his passivity. It is as if things happen despite himself. Especially as a POW, he displays the grit and sense of purpose, but is less than likable: he marries a woman for whom he has no real feeling and has affairs. He addresses medical conferences and accepts plaudits whilst appearing almost unconnected to them.