The World's Literature discussion

Richard Flanagan
This topic is about Richard Flanagan
23 views
Asia and Down Under 2015 > Reading Richard Flanagan (THE NARROW ROAD CHALLENGE)

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Betty (last edited Feb 08, 2015 07:03AM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments There's a-n-o-t-h-e-r annual Challenge upon us...Our 2015 agenda in Asia-Oceania includes SIX novels from this author. To meet the Challenge, just FOUR of them will successfully do it,

https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/...

The author's works of fiction described, http://richardflanagan.com


message 2: by Maggie (last edited Jan 22, 2015 11:18AM) (new)

Maggie | 177 comments Asma, have you noticed that Death of a River Guide is currently being reprinted and only available in e-book format? Unfortunately, that's definitely a book I want to read in paper in order to pass it along to some friends. I'm awaiting the reprint.


message 3: by Melaslithos (new)

Melaslithos | 40 comments Hi, the book is available as a paperback on bookdepository.com. That's where I got mine.


message 4: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Maggie wrote: "Asma, have you noticed that Death of a River Guide is currently being reprinted and only available in e-book format? Unfortunately, that's definitely a book I want to read in paper i..."

Didn't know that, Maggie, both that you preferred the printed book to the digital and that there's the paperback due in February. I 'always' check for availability in all formats. My copy came through Worldcat.org; I borrowed a hardcover from the uni. The Book Depository Melaslithos recommends I have bought from and have been satisfied. And, they don't charge anything for mailing and handling.


message 5: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Melaslithos wrote: "Hi, the book is available as a paperback on bookdepository.com. That's where I got mine."

Wonderful news, Melaslithos. Thanks so-o-o-o much.


message 6: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 177 comments Asma wrote: "Didn't know that, Maggie, both that you preferred the printed book to the digital and that there's the paperback due in February. I 'always' check for availability in all formats. My copy came through Worldcat.org; I borrowed a hardcover from the uni. The Book Depository Melaslithos recommends I have bought from and have been satisfied. And, they don't charge anything for mailing and handling"

I read in multiple formats, just as I read multiple books simuntaneously. I often buy digital because I can often get them cheaply, and I prefer large biographies, etc. in digital just because it makes them so much more comfortable to hold. Some books, however, I prefer in hardback (especially those by my favorite authors) or in trade PB because I find that a comfortable format to hold. My commute book is often in trade PB (currently The Death of Vishnu) and my home book in hardback (currently The Romanov Sisters-a doorstop of a book, which I was fortunate to get from the library), but my third book is often in digital (currently Villette for Book Club). Whenever I'm interested in purchasing a book that I think one of my friends might like I always get it in paper so I can share. All of the above, of course, is just my own bit of literary peculiarity.

Thanks to both you and Melaslithos for telling me about bookdepository.com and worldcat.org. I'll check both of them out.


message 7: by Sue (new)

Sue | 306 comments A good general source for books is bookfinder.com. They provide available information from many different online sources in hardcover and paper formats, used and new.

I have entered the Flanagan challenge and hope that I will be able to keep up with a year of amazing reading. (I also joined 2015: The Year of Reading Women which has led to a major shift in reading plans.) I've wanted to read his books for some time.


message 8: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Maggie wrote: "I read in multiple formats, just as I read multiple books simuntaneously...."

Maggie, did you locate a copy of Death of a River Guide? Just noticed, it's in stock earlier than they'd anticipated.


message 9: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Sue wrote: "A good general source for books is bookfinder.com...I have entered the Flanagan challenge and...joined 2015: The Year of Reading Women ..."

What a wonderful resource is bookfinder, Sue. You've convincingly introduced me to those two resources for readers. Thank you.


message 10: by Sue (new)

Sue | 306 comments Asma wrote: "Sue wrote: "A good general source for books is bookfinder.com...I have entered the Flanagan challenge and...joined 2015: The Year of Reading Women ..."

What a wonderful resource is bookfinder, Sue..."


Oh good,Asma. I'm glad you have checked them both out. Perhaps I'll see you around in TYORW.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm very interested in how you all react to the ending
(view spoiler) which I guess is why so many people describe this as grim.


message 12: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Don wrote: "I'm very interested in how you all react to the ending..."

Over one-third though and fascinated by the literary device of the somewhat omniscient narrator. The mental and physical factors of characters, the portrayal of differently minded characters, and the shifting, historical setting (Tasmania; genealogies) involve me in the story. Wonder how and if the storytelling will subtly change by the end.


message 13: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 177 comments Asma wrote: "Maggie, did you locate a copy of Death of a River Guide? Just noticed, it's in stock earlier than they'..."

I did find a copy. I'll pick it up this weekend. Now for finding time to read it. I have 6 library books currently, with another waiting for me to pick it up, and somewhere I need to read next month's book club selection. Yikes.


message 14: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Maggie wrote: "...Now for finding time to read it. I have 6 library books currently, with another waiting for me to pick it up, and somewhere I need to read next month's book club selection...."

A Herculean effort!


message 15: by Betty (last edited Feb 02, 2015 11:50PM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Don wrote: "I'm very interested in how you all react to the ending...which I guess is why so many people describe this as grim."

I saw a naturally occurring redemption in the ending when Aljaz's spirit briefly reconnects with his large family, who preceded him.

I agree that Aljaz's capabilities are nailed on the head by PigsBreath. I saw Aljaz as someone who was anguished about his lack of will to act courageously to help someone in danger. When he did throw caution to the wind at the end, he slipped into the river. As it turned out, Gaia Head survived the plunge without his help. Then, Aljaz's chances of survival nixed because someone had apparently dropped the air tube and because news media did not recognize his individual humanity.

I think you got it right with "a dying man discovers his awful origins". That discovery might resonate with some Tasmanian readers. Everything about this novel constantly changes and deals with danger and/or death. As for grim, it seemed to me he didn't care whether he was rescued or not; he Accepted his fate, which in the underwater rocks he could do nothing to save himself. But, he was then gifted with the visions of history. At the same time, it would be nice to be saved.

There's a lot of larger issues such as fate, will, living on an individual level, and among one's own people, here which could be spoken about. Also, maybe the other guide Cockroach was not like Aljaz, the former more able to protect himself and others from harm by his precision and knowledge. The part about the failed rescues accentuates the river's awesome power in flood.

History can be some nasty stuff when there is unequal power (natural or political). That is what makes this novel grim. Yet, characters in this book do not willingly submit to be ciphers, but challenge physical reality with songs, dreams, irrationality (to onlookers).


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Asma wrote: "I saw a naturally occurring redemption in the ending when Aljaz's s..."

Thanks Asma. That is a very interesting perspective.


back to top