Teaser Tuesdays: The Narrow Road to the Deep North


132.Richard Flanagan-The Narrow Road To The Deep North cover

This book is all kinds of difficult and all kinds of awesome all at the same time. It’s hard to read but I think it’s very much worth the effort it takes.

Here’s a teaser where two World War 2 Japanese officials in charge of a prison camp in Siam (present-day Thailand) are quoting bits and pieces of poetry to each other. This they do after a long day of supervising prison labor (involving torturing, beating, and starving POWs under their control).

They recited to each other more of their favourite haiku, and they were deeply moved not so much by the poetry as by their sensitivity to poetry; not so much by the genius of the poem as by their wisdom in understanding the poem; not in knowing the poem but in knowing the poem demonstrated the higher side of themselves and of the Japanese spirit – that Japanese spirit that was soon to daily travel along their railway all the way to Burma, the Japanese spirit that from Burma would find its way to India, the Japanese spirit that would from there conquer the world.

~ The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Just reading that sentence made me laugh and gave me the chills all at the same time.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
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