By: Ian McGuire
Location: FIC McG
Genre: Historical Fiction
Prizes: Long listed Booker Prize 2016
Whaling, it is something that has made me curiuos from a kid as I holidayed in Kaikoura amongst the harpoons and big bellied pots. A whalers life was hard, yet full of adrenaline and adventure, but is that romantic and a kids eye view...
“Cleverness, he thinks, will get you nowhere; it is only the stupid, the brilliantly stupid, who will inherit the earth.”
whaling ship sets sail for the Arctic with a killer aboard in this dark,
sharp, and highly original tale that grips like a thriller.
Behold the man: stinking, drunk, and brutal. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer,
a Yorkshire whaler bound for the rich hunting waters of the arctic
circle. Also aboard for the first time is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army
surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than
to sail as the ship's medic on this violent, filthy, and ill-fated
In India, during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he
had experienced the depths to which man can stoop. He had hoped to find
temporary respite on the Volunteer, but rest proves impossible
with Drax on board. The discovery of something evil in the hold rouses
Sumner to action. And as the confrontation between the two men plays out
amid the freezing darkness of an arctic winter, the fateful question
arises: who will survive until spring?
With savage, unstoppable momentum and the blackest wit, The North Water weaves a superlative story of humanity under the most extreme conditions.
“The most important questions are the ones we can't hope to answer with
words. Words are like toys : they amuse and educate us for a time, but
when we come to manhood, we should give them up.'
Sunmer shakes his head.
' The words are all we have,' he says.' If we give them up, we are no better than the beasts.'
Otto smiles at Sunmer's wrong headedness.
' Then you must find out the explanations on your own, if that is what you truly think.”