Book Review:The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

For the world did not change, this violence had always existed and would never be eradicated, men would die under the boot and fists and horror of other men until the end of time, and all human history was a history of violence.
132.Richard Flanagan-The Narrow Road To The Deep North cover
Memory is a strange thing. Some you want to treasure forever, while others are hard to let go no matter how you try.This is a story, a memoir of epic proportions. Of recollections and the frailties of it. How good memories sail us through the darkest of times. While some others haunt us for eternity.

Man Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan writes this more as a memoir for his father, who served in the Burma Death Railway as an Australian prisoner of war. The book is centred around the camp doctor Dorrigo Evans who struggles throughout in a shared memory of forbidden love, while struggling to save the men under his command from the follies of war and hardship.

 

Forever after, there were for them only two sorts of men: the men who were on the Line, and the rest of humanity, who were not

This is an important book. A savagely beautiful one that keeps on searching life amidst the dead. Much like its central character. The graphic descriptions of the prisoners life and death hits you where it should. And maybe just it will leave you feel helpless, just like the doctor Dorrigo Evans.

As the war ends and Dorrigo Evans is hailed as a hero; deep inside he knows he lost something. Much like the death in the camps, a part of him dies. For the rest of his life the decorated doctor keeps on searching for those lost pieces of his love and soul.

This book compels you to think. To search within for the various forms of love and death in our lives.To know what makes us and destroys us at the same time. How often do such books come?

When it does, it deserves the applause. It deserves every single one of those stars and more.

A good book … leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul

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