3.53 (2,501 ratings by Goodreads)
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1841. In the remote penal colony of Van Diemen's Land, a barefoot aboriginal girl wearing a red silk dress sits for her portrait. She is Mathinna, the adopted daughter of the island's governor, Sir John Franklin, and his wife, Lady Jane, and the subject of a grand experiment in civilization - one that will determine whether science, Christianity and reason can be imposed in place of savagery, impulse and desire.

A quarter of a century passes. Somewhere in the Arctic, Sir John Franklin has disappeared, along with his crew and two ships, on an expedition to find the fabled Northwest Passage. England is horrified as reports of cannibalism filter back from search parties, no one more so than the most celebrated novelist of the day, Charles Dickens, for whom Franklin's story becomes a means to plumb the frozen depths of his soul.

As several lives become conjoined by unexpected events and tragedies, Wanting transforms into a remarkable meditation on the ways in which desire - and its denial - shape our lives.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 18mm | 205g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1848870779
  • 9781848870772
  • 39,326

Review quote

One of the best novels of this year... Flanagan's cast of virtuoso characters... are vivid, memorable beings, burnt into the retina of the imagination long after the novel comes to an end... An irresistibly good story. * Rachel Holmes, The Times * In confident, expert hands, fiction can liberate the past... Richard Flanagan is an exemplary case in point. Through his fiction, flat, conformist portraits of individuals become rich and three-dimensional, new witnesses provide fresh testimony about the past, and Tasmania's silences resound with voices. * William Boyd, New York Times Book Review * The best novel I have read this year or expect to read for several more * Sydney Morning Herald * Exquisite, profoundly moving, intricately structured * Los Angeles Times * Brilliant... A captivating tale of cruelty and disappointment... Dazzling * Ron Charles, Washington Post *
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About Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan is the author of three novels which have all been published to international acclaim: Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping and Gould's Book of Fish. His latest novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North won the Man Booker Prize 2014. He lives with his family in West Hobart, Tasmania.
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Rating details

2,501 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 17% (430)
4 38% (945)
3 30% (759)
2 11% (264)
1 4% (103)
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