Far North

Far North

Book - 2009
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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, Makepeace--sheriff and perhaps last citizen--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 journey--rife with danger--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 trespasses.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780374153533
0374153531
Branch Call Number: FIC Ther
Characteristics: 314p

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PearlyBaker
Oct 26, 2015

Just a brutal, dark, dank, horrible, wretched, depressing tale with such a beautiful ending. I loved the very noteworthy prose that had me e-highlighting throughout. For instance there was this gem, "It was hope. As much as I badmouth people in general and think the worst of them, I'm secretly waiting for them to surprise me. Try as I might, I haven't been able to give up on them wholly. Even though they are nine and nine-tenths dirt, now and again they are capable of something angelic." Or this one mayhap, "He said the truth of a man is the opposite of what he wants you to know about him. If you want to understand someone, you have to find a way to catch hold of his shadow. By Bill's reckoning, the man to fear is the one always harping on about goodness." I'm not so sure I'd recommend this book to just anyone. I think most peoople tend to be less misanthropic than I am and I have never heard anyone else fess up to a last man on earth fantasy as their oldest dream in life. Who knows though, maybe someday I will cross paths with my spiritual doppelganger reading a book in between innings at the World Series with me or something. I came close in game two of the playoffs but this joker was reading, and enjoying the Martian.

i
IV27HUjg
Jun 12, 2015

Many months later...as an audio book I have repeatedly listened to this & never grow tired of it. Excellent reader. The more I listen the more I find in common with our lives today & a very real possibility.

j
jbrovold
Feb 12, 2011

I really liked this book. Similar theme as "The Road" but thankfully, not as gruesome.

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