The Australian Book Review Fan Poll just turned ten. To celebrate, they’ve published another poll – this time limited to Australian novels released since 2000. With the original poll’s fan favourite, Tim Winton’s 1991 novel Cloudstreet, ineligible this time, at Penguin Random House we’re delighted that another of our authors has picked up the top gong.
This time, congratulations goes to Richard Flanagan for his towering wartime classic, 2013’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Astonishingly, Tim Winton’s Miles Franklin Award-winning Breath polled identically this time around, finishing a more than respectable fourth; and Fellow Penguin Random House-er, Peter Carey, came in at sixth for his 2000 novel (and Man Booker Prize-winner) True History of the Kelly Gang.
An exploration of the many forms of love as the highest expression of hope, The Narrow Road to the Deep North draws influence from Flanagan’s father’s experiences as a Japanese POW in World War II. For the book, Flanagan won the 2001 Man Booker Prize.
Congratulations to all nominees.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.
Breath by Tim Winton
When paramedic Bruce Pike is called out to deal with another teenage adventure gone wrong, he knows better than his colleague, better than the kid's parents, what happened and how. Thirty years before, that dead boy could have been him.
True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
As he flees the police, Ned Kelly scribbles his narrative in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose. To his pursuers he is a thief and a murderer. To his own people he's a hero for opposing the English. Ned, who saw his first prison cell at fifteen, has become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over towns and defying authority. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.
Tim Winton's Breath, winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, is a story about the wildness of youth and learning to live with its passing.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014. A novel of the cruelty of war, tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.
True History of the Kelly Gang is Peter Carey's stunning, Booker Prize-winning novel about Australia's most famous outlaw.