9780385352857_cd8abThe winner of the Booker, announced Oct 14, The Narrow Road To The Deep North, by Richard Flanagan (RH/Knopf), arrives on the 11/2/14 NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #10.

It’s the ninth Booker winner in a row to hit the list, as the NYT BR‘s “Inside the List” column notes (the most successful of those, of course is Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, followed by Anne Enright’s The Gathering).

The award has had a major impact on the author’s life. Flanagan recently told the Telegraph that the prize money saved him from turning to a “life down the mines,” adding, “I’m not a wealthy man. This means I can continue to write.”

Based on reviews, it may be difficult to find a way to recommend the book. Even fan Ron Charles warned in the Washington Post that this “story about a group of Australian POWs during World War II will cast a shadow over your summer and draw you away from friends and family into dark contemplation the way only the most extraordinary books can,” hardly a way to encourage potential readers.

Wendy Bartlett, head of collection development at Cuyahoga P.L, Ohio, offers another way to look at it:

If your readers engaged with Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, or are fans of the timeless love story in Garcia Marquez’ Love in the Time of Cholera, they will absolutely love The Narrow Road To The Deep North, one of the most readable and emotionally available Booker winners in years.

It follows the story of an Australian doctor, Dorrigo Evans, who served in WWII and was captured, surviving several years in a POW camp. Through flashbacks, we learn about Evans’ long marriage as well as his true love. The latter part of the book reveals the fates of the various people from the POW camp — the story of which is the crux of the narrative.

It’s amazing and wonderful, and your customers will thank you. Book groups who don’t mind the shifting time periods will find much to talk about here, particularly if they’ve read Unbroken.

2 Responses to “Readers Advisory: THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH”

  1. June Seppi Says:

    Hi Nora – Thanks for this wonderful resource. I have a comment, as I have read EarlyWord for some time. It seems that your only contact in the public library world is Wendy Bartlett of Cuyahoga County PL in Ohio. While I trust your judgment and often agree with the comments and decisions made by Ms. Bartlett, there are so many other smart and opinionated materials and collection librarians that could be tapped for information. Would you consider consulting with other librarians as well, from various parts of the country and world and various sizes of libraries? Thank you.

  2. Nora Rawlinson Says:

    Absolutely! EarlyWord wants to hear from other collection development librarians, so bring it on.

    I hope you haven’t overlooked the great contributions EarlyWord also gets from Robin Beerbower our GalleyChatter about forthcoming adult titles (with quotes from a wide range of other librarians who are regulars on our monthly GalleyChats), Lisa Von Drasek on children’s books and our coverage of books that Nancy Pearl highlights.

    Yes, please, more, more, more (see my note in the gray box on the upper left on how to contact me).