The North Water (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Long listed for the Booker Prize, this is not one for the faint of heart. Whaling in the Arctic during the 1800's required verve and robustness; but with a murderer aboard ship, tension among the crew is taken to a whole new level. This is Moby Dick on steroids, and Mr. Drax, harpooner, is so evil he could make Captain Ahab cry.

— Mary T

Description


One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year

National Bestseller

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Winner of the RSL Encore Award

Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize

A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Named a Best Book of the Year by Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, New Statesman, Publishers Weekly, and Chicago Public Library


Behold the man: stinking, drunk, and brutal. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaler bound for the rich hunting waters of the arctic circle. Also aboard for the first time is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than to sail as the ship's medic on this violent, filthy, and ill-fated voyage.

In India, during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which man can stoop. He had hoped to find temporary respite on the Volunteer, but rest proves impossible with Drax on board. The discovery of something evil in the hold rouses Sumner to action. And as the confrontation between the two men plays out amid the freezing darkness of an arctic winter, the fateful question arises: who will survive until spring?

With savage, unstoppable momentum and the blackest wit, Ian McGuire's The North Water weaves a superlative story of humanity under the most extreme conditions.

About the Author


Ian McGuire grew up near Hull, England, and studied at the University of Manchester and the University of Virginia in the United States. He is the cofounder and codirector of the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing. He writes criticism and fiction, and his stories have been published in Chicago Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781627795944
ISBN-10: 1627795944
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication Date: March 15th, 2016
Pages: 272
Language: English