Halloween Giveaway – The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Happy Halloween Everyone!

What are your plans for tonight? Are you going trick-or-treating? I’m baking a very spooky cake and in the evening I’ll transform the waiters at a local bar into scary creatures. 🙂

As I’m in a celebratory mood because of Halloween I thought we might as well do a little giveaway. I’ve been talking a lot about this year’s Man Booker Prize and I’ve even read some long- and shortlisted books (you can find the links below), so I thought let’s celebrate Halloween with someone who has something to celebrate: The Man Booker Prize Winner of 2014 Richard Flanagan and his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

I have to admit that I haven’t read the book yet, but I will do so soon. Penguin Random House UK have been so nice as to offer me five copies of Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize winning novel to give away. Thank you so much!

The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Image provided by Random House UK¹
What is the book about?¹

Forever after, there were for them only two sorts of men: the men who were on the Line, and the rest of humanity, who were not.

In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, 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.

Hailed as a masterpiece, Richard Flanagan’s epic novel tells the unforgettable story of one man’s reckoning with the truth.


Like I’ve said before, you can win one of five copies of Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Please read the Terms & Conditions before entering the giveaway! In the Giveaway Tools form, you will be asked to state what country you come from. I need this information as this is an EU wide giveaway (+ SUI & LIE) with three copies going to winners from German-speaking countries and two copies to winners from any EU countries. The second question will be the very tricky 😉 quiz question. So all you have to do to enter is read the Terms & Conditions and, if you are eligible, do everything Giveaway Tools asks you for. Fingers crossed!

Terms & Conditions:

  • This giveaway is open to residents of all EU countries, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
  • You have to be 16 or older to participate.
  • The giveaway runs from October 31, 2014 until November 7 , 2014.
  • Be fair! One entry per person/immediate family/household.
  • Neither Penguin Random House UK nor I are responsible for lost or damaged items. There will be five winners who will each receive one English language copy of Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North, sponsored by Penguin Random House UK.
  • Three books are allotted to residents of German-speaking countries (1 book: Austria, 1 book: Switzerland and Liechtenstein, 1 book: Germany). If there is no entry from one of the aforementioned countries, this country’s allotted book will be added to the EU lot.
  • You have to enter through Giveaway Tools.
  • The winner will be selected at random and notified via e-mail. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, another winner will be drawn.
  • The personal information you enter will only be used to contact you in case you win. It will be deleted after the giveaway.
  • I can amend and interpret these official rules at any time, and terminate, suspend or cancel the giveaway at any time for any reason.
  • All decisions are final.
Enter the Giveaway
The Man Booker Prize 2014 books I’ve read:

If you like my blog, I would be very happy if you’d come back from time to time! Happy Halloween!

¹ http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/editions/the-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north/9780701189051

Review – Touch by Alexi Zentner


Today I’ve got another book review for you (to be honest, I’ve still got two more to write). Lovelybooks and btb (Random House) provided me with the German Edition of Touch by Alexi Zentner called Das Flüstern des Schnees. I read it in a Lovelybooks reading group where we also got the chance to ask Mr. Zentner questions. If you’re interested in them, just head over there. They are in English :).

Image provided by Chatto & Windus¹
Summary provided by Chatto & Windus¹:

On the eve of his mother’s funeral, Stephen, a middle-aged priest, sits down to write her eulogy. But as the evening creeps into night, he is haunted by memories from his childhood: birthday trips to the cuts with his father; the moment his sister slipped under the thick winter ice forever; and the memorable day his grandfather, Jeannot, came home after a thirty-year absence with a bundle of bones in his pocket and a mission to raise the dead.
Masterfully weaving the stories from three generations of one family, Touch tells the founding tale of Sawgamet – originally a gold-mining village – where deep in the forest reign golden caribou drinking from a honey-sweet river. Yet also in the forest lurk malevolent shapeshifters disguising themselves as friends, storms raging against foolhardy settlers, and the forest taking back the land for itself, branch by branch and root by root.
Touch is a singular, startling debut as enchanting as it is unnerving. In this darkly sinister fairy tale Alexi Zentner builds a magical world as distinctive as a grown-up Narnia, and marks himself out as a real talent to watch.

My Thoughts:

Touch is set in the fictional town of Sawgamet somewhere deep in the woods of Canada. The book spans the life of three generations of a family living there from the second half of the 19th century onwards. I am fascinated by the world that Mr. Zentner created in Touch! You can feel the chilly ice and snow, you can see it glitter. You fear the dark woods but you are also fascinated by how vast they are. And while you walk through them, you can even see your breath against the light shining through the trees.

I’d say there are two important characters in Touch, the first one being the narrator, Stephen. The second is his grandfather Jeannot. The reader accompanies Jeannot through many years of his life. He is a tough and fearless man. But it seems like almost all men who come to Sawgamet are tough and fearless. I can’t really remember a feature that would distinguish Jeannot from any of the secondary characters. The same happens with the women in Touch. They are all quite similar. I’d guess this could be interpreted as a means of showing that the characters in the book could be exchanged for anyone.

The plot of Touch is very fascinating as it leaves room for interpretation. It is a work of magical realism after all. My theory is that Jeannot fights nature itself, as he came into the woods and took from them. Touch isn’t a book you’ll quickly read and put back on the shelf, it is a book that will make you go back and think about it.