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Far North (2009)

by Marcel Theroux

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6165238,064 (3.8)49
Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:

Far North is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

My father had an expression for a thing that turned out bad. He'd say it had gone west. But going west always sounded pretty good to me. After all, westwards is the path of the sun. And through as much history as I know of, people have moved west to settle and find freedom. But our world had gone north, truly gone north, and just how far north I was beginning to learn.

Out on the frontier of a failed state, Makepeaceâ??sheriff and perhaps last citizenâ??patrols a city's ruins, salvaging books but keeping the guns in good repair.

Into this cold land comes shocking evidence that life might be flourishing elsewhere: a refugee emerges from the vast emptiness of forest, whose existence inspires Makepeace to reconnect with human society and take to the road, armed with rough humor and an unlikely ration of optimism.

What Makepeace finds is a world unraveling: stockaded villages enforcing an uncertain justice and hidden work camps laboring to harness the little-understood technologies of a vanished civilization. But Makepeace's journeyâ??rife with dangerâ??also leads to an unexpected redemption.

Far North takes the reader on a quest through an unforgettable arctic landscape, from humanity's origins to its possible end. Haunting, spare, yet stubbornly hopeful, the novel is suffused with an ecstatic awareness of the world's fragility and beauty, and its ability to recover from our worst tres… (more)

  1. 50
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (klarusu)
    klarusu: Far North is less harrowing than The Road but equally thought provoking
  2. 10
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (booklove2)
  3. 00
    Cold Earth by Sarah Moss (kehs)
  4. 00
    The Republic of Trees by Sam Taylor (kehs)
  5. 00
    Drop City by T.C. Boyle (booklove2)
    booklove2: Cecil Harder and Pamela from Drop City are similar characters to Makepeace.
  6. 00
    Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg (mendhamt)
  7. 00
    The Ice People by Maggie Gee (imyril)
    imyril: Although very different, each novel envisions a near future in which civilisation has broken down following rapid climate change. The Ice People focuses on the breakdown of traditional relationships; Far North rejects traditional gender roles with its androgynous protagonist. Far North is more rounded apocalyptic fiction; Ice People is perhaps best tagged as gender apocalypse.… (more)
  8. 00
    Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton (sturlington)
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» See also 49 mentions

English (50)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Climate change is here; we worked so hard at it, we should be happy. I'm old enough that I'll probably be gone, before things get really bad. But I have two daughters. They're survivors, but I worry about their safety, and the quality of life they'll have, when the sh*t really hits the fan.
Far North is a different kind of post-apocalyptic story. It takes place in Siberia, and other parts of Russia. It's a tale of loneliness, but also of a very different kind of hope. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
A powerful, compelling read for me. Recommended to read in the dark days of winter. ( )
  caimanjosh | Dec 20, 2020 |
Really enjoyed this book. Loved Makepeace. ( )
  nick4998 | Oct 31, 2020 |
Wow, a really good post-apocalyptic cowboy novel. Yes, you read that correctly. Coherent in style and content even if the intellectual concept is not. Contains the essential elements of all these tropes, the wild brutality of the post apocalypse, the mythical history of the gone world and the simple morals of the cowboy. All woven together with such skill that it soon takes shape in your head as a post-apocalyptic cowboy story.

YeeHaa
( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
I liked the book but the last chapter ruined it. Seems like the last chapter was added to an unfinished book by someone else just to get it over with and get the book sold. ( )
  dahoon | Mar 26, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Deep into this unbearably sad yet often sublime novel, Makepeace says: “Everyone expects to be at the end of something. What no one expects is to be at the end of everything.” There’s nothing left to say after that — yet Makepeace keeps going, and the reader follows her, if not hopefully then in the hope that she will win out and that her life will have meaning to someone, somewhere.
 
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Every day I buckle on my guns and go out to patrol this dingy city.
Quotations
"The world is a scaly old snake. She is a cunning old woman ... and the last human being that draws a breath on this planet will be a cunning old woman, who raises chickens and cabbages, has no illusions, and has outlived all her children."
It's habits that keep you straight when everything around you is falling apart.
By now I saw that I'd made myself as unwelcome as a juggler at a funeral.
There's plenty of things I'd like to unknow, but you can't fake innocence.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:

Far North is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

My father had an expression for a thing that turned out bad. He'd say it had gone west. But going west always sounded pretty good to me. After all, westwards is the path of the sun. And through as much history as I know of, people have moved west to settle and find freedom. But our world had gone north, truly gone north, and just how far north I was beginning to learn.

Out on the frontier of a failed state, Makepeaceâ??sheriff and perhaps last citizenâ??patrols a city's ruins, salvaging books but keeping the guns in good repair.

Into this cold land comes shocking evidence that life might be flourishing elsewhere: a refugee emerges from the vast emptiness of forest, whose existence inspires Makepeace to reconnect with human society and take to the road, armed with rough humor and an unlikely ration of optimism.

What Makepeace finds is a world unraveling: stockaded villages enforcing an uncertain justice and hidden work camps laboring to harness the little-understood technologies of a vanished civilization. But Makepeace's journeyâ??rife with dangerâ??also leads to an unexpected redemption.

Far North takes the reader on a quest through an unforgettable arctic landscape, from humanity's origins to its possible end. Haunting, spare, yet stubbornly hopeful, the novel is suffused with an ecstatic awareness of the world's fragility and beauty, and its ability to recover from our worst tres

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