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The North Water by Ian McGuire
  

The North Water

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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016.

Chair of the 2016 judges Amanda Foreman commented: "This is a very exciting year. The range of books is broad and the quality extremely high. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be. It is a longlist to be relished.”

The shortlist will be announced on 13th September, and the winner will ultimately be named on 25th October, at a black-tie dinner at London’s Guildhall, as broadcast by the BBC.

A 19th-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

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Synopsis

The North Water by Ian McGuire

'Fast-paced, gripping. A tour de force of narrative tension and a masterful reconstruction of a lost world' Hilary Mantel 'Utterly convincing and compelling, remorselessly vivid and insidiously witty. A startling achievement' Martin Amis A 19th-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, brutal and bloodthirsty, Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaling ship bound for the hunting waters of the Arctic Circle. Also aboard is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money and no better option than to embark as ship's medic on this ill-fated voyage. In India during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which a man can stoop and imagined he'd find respite on the Volunteer, but now, trapped in the wooden belly of the ship with Drax, he encounters pure evil and is forced to act. As the true purposes of the expedition become clear, the confrontation between the two men plays out in the freezing darkness of an Arctic winter.

Reviews

'A stunning achievement, by turns great fun and shocking, thrilling and provocative. Behold: one of the finest books of the year'
James Kidd Independent

'McGuire delivers one bravura set-piece after another ... The North Water has, in places, a Conrad-Melville undercurrent, but for the most part it is Dickens's influence that is most keenly felt ... This is a stunning novel, one that snares the reader from the outset and keeps the tightest grip until its bitter end'
Financial Times

'Horrifically gripping. Such fine writing might have been lifted from the pages of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick'
Independent on Sunday

'Terrific, seamed with pitch black humour and possessed of a momentum that's kept up to the final, unexpected but resoundingly satisfying scene ... Inspired'
Stephanie Cross Daily Mail

'As a storyteller, McGuire has a sure and unwavering touch, and he has engineered a superbly compelling suspense narrative ... As a stylist, too, McGuire is never less than assured ... a writer of exceptional craft and confidence'
Paraic O

'Connell Irish Times 'Raw and compulsively readable ... think The Revenant for the Arctic Circle'
The Millions

'This book is quite a ride ... The powerful story and the riches of the setting do not romanticise the past'
Erica Wagner New Statesman

'The North Water has exceptional power and energy'
Nick Rennison Sunday Times

'Brilliant, fast-paced, gripping. A tour de force of narrative tension and a masterful reconstruction of a lost world'
Hilary Mantel on The North Water

'A stunning novel, one that snares the reader from the outset and keeps the tightest grip until its bitter end'
Financial Times on The North Water

'Riveting and darkly brilliant ... The North Water feels like the result of an encounter between Joseph Conrad and Cormac McCarthy in some run-down port as they offer each other a long, sour nod of recognition. McGuire has an extraordinary talent'
Colm Toibin New York Times on The North Water

'A novel that takes us to the limits of flesh and blood. Utterly convincing and compelling, remorselessly vivid and insidiously witty. A startling achievement'
Martin Amis on The North Water

About the Author

Ian McGuire grew up near Hull and studied at the University of Manchester and the University of Virginia, USA. He is a founder and co-director of the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing. His stories have been published in the Chicago Review, Paris Review and elsewhere, and his first novel was Incredible Bodies. The North Water is his second novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Ian McGuire

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Author 'Like for Like'
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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9781471151248

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