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Richard Flanagan (1) (1961–)

Author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North

For other authors named Richard Flanagan, see the disambiguation page.

20+ Works 8,445 Members 335 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Richard Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. He received a Master of Letters degree from Oxford University. His first novel, Death of a River Guide, won Australia's National Fiction Award. His works include The Sound of One Hand Clapping, The Unknown Terrorist, and four history books. show more He has received numerous awards including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Gould's Book of Fish, the 2011 Tasmania Book Prize for Wanting, and the 2014 Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North. He directed a feature film version of The Sound of One Hand Clapping. He was also shortlisted for the UK Indie Booksellers Award with The Narrow Road to the Deep North. This same title was won the Margaret Scott Prize for best book by a Tasmanian writer 2015. In 2018, The Narrow Road to the Deep North will be made into an international television series. The University of Melbourne has appointed him as the Boisbouvier Founding Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne, a new professorship to 'advance the teaching, understanding and public appreciation of Australian literature'. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013) 3,175 copies, 146 reviews
Gould's Book of Fish (2001) 1,707 copies, 45 reviews
The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997) 749 copies, 16 reviews
The Unknown Terrorist (2006) 639 copies, 29 reviews
Wanting (2008) 564 copies, 39 reviews
Death of a River Guide (1994) 497 copies, 23 reviews
Australia [2008 film] (2008) — Screenwriter — 405 copies, 3 reviews
First Person (2017) 267 copies, 11 reviews
The Living Sea of Waking Dreams (2020) 235 copies, 12 reviews
Question 7 (2023) 74 copies, 5 reviews
Toxic (2021) 35 copies, 3 reviews
Notes on an Exodus: An Essay (2016) 19 copies, 1 review

Associated Works

The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection (2011) — Contributor — 29 copies, 1 review
The Best Australian Essays 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 22 copies, 1 review
The Best Australian Essays 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 16 copies, 1 review
Hebbes 2 : 15 smaakmakers voor het voorjaar — Contributor — 3 copies
Home : drawings by Syrian children (2018) — Foreword — 2 copies


2015 (33) 21st century (55) Australia (477) Australian (180) Australian author (72) Australian fiction (120) Australian literature (156) Booker (25) Booker Prize (115) Booker Prize Winner (46) Burma (65) Burma Railway (38) contemporary fiction (26) drama (26) DVD (39) ebook (37) fiction (965) historical (53) historical fiction (211) Japan (66) Kindle (43) literary (27) literary fiction (34) literature (70) magical realism (26) novel (185) POW (27) prisoners of war (66) read (60) read in 2015 (26) Roman (30) romance (25) signed (36) Tasmania (194) terrorism (44) Thailand (31) to-read (523) unread (32) war (66) WWII (258)

Common Knowledge



ANZAC Challenge January 2015- Richard Flanagan and Fiona Kidman in 75 Books Challenge for 2015 (January 2015)
Richard Flanagan's 'Wanting' in Australian LibraryThingers (December 2009)


The story of a survivor of the Japanese Prisoner Camps told in three particular moments in his life: Immediatly before the war, after being captured, and as an old man.

It is a great book which I did not like much.

Wonderful prose. It "tastes" like Man-Booker Prize which is starting to be all about a particular style.

Like other Booker prizes, I found it a pleasure to read just out of the style. I also liked (or felt moved) by the description of life and the consumption of the POW. It was very well made.

There were also things I did not like. The jumping around the three time periods at the beginning of the book is annoying. Most are too short to get the reader engaged to that part of the story and actually they take some lines to know that you have jumped the scene.
The love story is inane and it becomes pathetic as it tries to "elevate" or "humanize" the protagonist by making it thatshe was the reason why he survived.
The identity of one of the prisoners is revealed in the end, when the protagonist is old. This is a card in the sleeve of the author and it is pointless. I guess it tries to shock, but failing to do so, it shows that he failed to make us care for the other characters.
The author gets too much in the middle of the story with his opinions and bias, as an all-seeing author. Mostly by pontificating philosphies about life. They are very good, but they are not the character's views, or memories. They are just the author trying to enlighten the readers and happening again and again, I had the feeling of a certain desdain for the reader.
On the other hand the author shows strong hate for the japanese people, all understandable from his father's life. But such a strong bias gets on the way of the story. Actually, the writer gets out of the story to show to us that the cruelty did not come from the war, but because they are cruel people, individually and as a society.
I hated that conversations are not marked by any orthographic sign. It makes reading very tiring. They are there for a reason, like the seriff in the type fonts. To guide the reader.

If there are so many things I did not like, why I value this book highly? Because anyone can engage in a beautiful story, bu it is proof of a good writer to have you hooked to a story you dislike.
… (more)
cdagulleiro | 145 other reviews | Jul 3, 2024 |
HG Wells meets a young woman and begins a torrid affair that influences his later writing. A talented scientist realises that the power of the atom could be uses to create a devastating weapon. The crew of a bomber plane release a bomb which kills thousands and changes the direction of world history. An Australian prisoner of war struggles to survive in a Japanese camp. A young boy starts life in poverty but grows to be a writer. An island is conquered and destroyed.
This is an amazing read! Partly a series of short stories and musings, partly a treatise about the effect that humans have on society, the whole is just wonderful. Flanagan is a great writer and here his passion for his homeland shines through. The themes are disparate and shouldn't work but they do and the whole is powerful and profound.… (more)
pluckedhighbrow | 4 other reviews | Jun 9, 2024 |
Overblown. Delectable. I love it. I will never read it again. Very fun in its concrete literature genre. Exhausting. A very good author. A subpar example of his work. All of the above. (Yep, I'm confused.)
therebelprince | 44 other reviews | Apr 21, 2024 |



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