The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Reviewed by
October 2013, no. 355
Buy this book
James Ley reviews 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

by Richard Flanagan

Vintage, $32.95 pb, 467 pp, 9781741666700

Buy this book

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Reviewed by
October 2013, no. 355

The past two decades have seen Richard Flanagan stride confidently into the first rank of Australian writers. His novels are notable for their historical reach, the boldness of their conception, and their willingness to tackle big subjects. They have won him many admirers. But they have also tended to divide opinion, often quite sharply, and this would seem to be a consequence of the fact that they have not always lived up to their promise. The grotesque comedy of Gould’s Book of Fish (2001) proved to be more fun in theory than in practice; while The Unknown Terrorist (2006) was an unhappy example of an author using a novel as a bully pulpit – not a purpose to which it is well suited. There was audacity in the attempt to contain the book’s outsized intellectual pretensions and finger-wagging condemnations within the populist form of a generic thriller, but ultimately it succeeded only in grinding its political message into unconvincing simplicities.

James Ley reviews 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

by Richard Flanagan

Vintage, $32.95 pb, 467 pp, 9781741666700

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.