Death of a River Guide by Richard Flanagan
A Novel

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“Death of a River Guide makes good on a truly soaring ambition and flirts with literary greatness. . . . An indelible vision of how surely the history of a land plays its part in shaping the interior landscape of the human beings who occupy it.” —The Chicago Tribune

With Death of a River Guide, Richard Flanagan gives us an extraordinary novel as sprawling and compelling as the land and people it describes. Beneath a waterfall on a remote Tasmanian river, Aljaz Cosini is drowning. Beset by visions, he relives not just his own life but that of his family and forebears. He sees his father, Harry, burying his own father, Boy. He sees Boy himself as a young man, and his Auntie Ellie, chased by a cow she believes is a Werowa spirit. In the waters that rush over him Aljaz finds a world where his story connects to family stories that are Aboriginal, Celtic, Italian, English, Chinese, and East European—what he ultimately discovers in the flood of the past is the soul history of his country.

About Richard Flanagan

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RICHARD FLANAGAN was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. His novels--Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping and Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish (winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Overall Best Book)--have been published in 26 countries. He also directed the feature film of The Sound of One Hand Clapping and most recently collaborated with director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) on the screenplay of Luhrmann's forthcoming epic, Australia.
Published May 13, 2014 by Grove Press. 336 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The Aboriginal and European antecedents and origins of the remote Australian state of Tasmania are powerfully evoked in Flanagan's superb (1994) debut fiction, preceded in the US by his equally impressive later novel, The Sound of One Hand Clapping (2000).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Death of a River Guide: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The whole river is like a huge army on the march, overrunning the countryside, taking all before it, collecting ever greater strength from every dripping moss-lined rock face, from every overexcited

Mar 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Death of a River Guide: A Novel

Book Reporter

A river guide makes a desperate choice: In order to save the life.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Death of a River Guide: A Novel


Aljaz's fellow river guide, the Cockroach, crops up as a seemingly insignificant companion yet evolves into a fully developed character, helping Aljaz ferry a group of vacationers down the storm-swollen river even as it menaces their party.

Jan 10 2014 | Read Full Review of Death of a River Guide: A Novel

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