You don’t always need a plane ticket to travel; sometimes, all you need is a book. Often, fiction books can help us explore world’s outside our own, take us out of life’s everyday tangles, and allow us to widen our perspective. Fifth stop, Oceania! We hope you enjoy this discussion about ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ by Richard Flanagan.
Welcome to Australia. This week we read The Narrow Road to the Deep North, a book about war’s cruelties as well as the impossibility of love. The novel follows a single day in the life of Dorrigo Evans, an Australian doctor working as a slave in a Japanese labor camp in 1943. The novel jumps around in time and setting, journeying from Tokyo to the Burma railway, from the caves of Tasmania to a pre-war beachside hotel, ultimately providing the reader a view into just how challenging it can be to find meaning and love after an intense war experience.
In this episode Dan and I discuss memory, time, the dual nature of man, art, eastern vs western culture, ethnocentrism, and the challenge of love. It’s a dark, intense, poetically written book and a great stop for the Australia episode of this season.