Richard Flanagan, Booker Prize winner, guest review

Richard Flanagan won the Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North a few weeks ago. The Book Accumulator read it in April and raved about it then, and I have put below a very brief guest review. I’d better get myself a copy!

I judged it a serious contender for the title of the GAN, the Great Australian novel.  I was surprised after reading the Miles Franklin winner that the Flanagan novel missed out (though All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld was not an unworthy winner of the Miles Franklin).

Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013), a serious attempt to take the title of the Great Australian Novel, as it comes to slippery grips with big themes of suffering, death, love and loyalty, while also depicting the terrible life of the prisoners on the Burma railway in the Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. Disturbing is the hero’s inability to love, even though he has scores of romantic relationships as well as a family, and even though he as doctor and officer is deeply committed to the soldiers under his care and command in the camp. A book that moves at vastly different speeds, often too tediously in parts which needed editing.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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