Monday, May 29, 2017

The North Water

By: Ian McGuire
30255227Location: 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.”


A nineteenth-century 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 voyage.

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.”
― Ian McGuire,
The North Water

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