Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
This book is the tale of a man's life told from before WWII, through his time in a concentration camp, and then what happens afterward. I would say a good third of the book is set in the Japanese jungle prison camp with the task of building a railroad without machinery or food using prison labor. It is grim. Man's inhumanity to man is rampant and sanctimonious and hardly anyone gets out alive. But another third or more of the book is about what happens after that kind of trauma. It is an intimate look at the way PTSD affects people and how it ripples out across a person's life and into the next generation. Beautifully done, and painful to read.