February 2017 Book Club Book: The North Water by Ian McGuire

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by RegimentML, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    The North Water by Ian McGuire - Goodreads

    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, The North Water weaves a superlative story of humanity under the most extreme conditions.
     
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  2. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Truman I'll start this this weekend as well.
     
  3. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    If Hilary Mantel approves it must be good
     
  4. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Through Ch. 7 (about 30%)

    So far, just okay for me. It hasn't gripped me or anything, but it's holding my attention.

    I think it's pretty obvious there's going to be some sort of conflict between Drax and Sumner. Probably high stakes considering where they are.

    It's pretty interesting to read Sumner's flashback to British-occupied India. That's not a time era/location I've read a lot about--I'd like to see it expanded in the story, but I've got a feeling that delirium-induced flashback will be the majority of that setting.
     
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  5. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Im in the same spot as you. Agree w your post.

    1. I like the story, but hate the writing style. Everything being narrated as present tense is throwing me off.

    2. If you're interested in Colonial Era India, watch Indian Summers. It's a great show in that setting

    3. Pls capitalize the G in McGuire in the thread title. It's driving me nuts. TIA
     
  6. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Done.

    Also I too strongly dislike the present tense and I'm hoping the recent trend of it becoming more popular ends soon.
     
    #6 RegimentML, Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
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  7. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Chapter 10

    I always forget the hole in a keg is called the bunghole, but that's only after giggling like Bevis and Butthead for a good minute. Speaking of Damaged Bungholes... RIP Joseph. :warn: I think the plot is about to take off.

    [/spoier]
     
  8. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Will finish today. I really like the story and the grit of the characters. Hate the writing style.


    edit -

    Finished 7/10

    Liked it over all. Enjoyed the dialogue much more than the narration. As I said, the present tense was a turn off for me.

    Felt like they could have made the conspiracy to scuttle the ship a little more involved. idk.
     
    #8 Truman, Feb 5, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  9. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Through Ch 14 (~50%)

    I'm surprised they caught Drax so fast. I figured that would drag out a while. So where does the story go from here? Does the ship descend into anarchy? A sodomite's word vs a known mutinist who may be a child murderer. I'm assuming that's where it will go, though it's hard to know.
     
    #9 RegimentML, Feb 6, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  10. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Finished

    It was ok but I thought it really started to drag once they were stranded and he was with the Yaks. I also thought the ending with Drax was rushed. I did like that the book went in a direction I wasn't expecting. I thought the ship would split into two factions, one supporting Drax and the other not. I thought it was well-researched and had some intriguing plot ideas, but it just wasn't something I found myself really getting into. The grit and the description of the living conditions and the hardships they faced up north were the best parts of the story to me, outside of the murder intrigue. I'd probably rate it 6.5/10.
     
  11. rcragg82

    rcragg82 Well-Known Member

    I just started this. Pretty graphic / violent to start the book out but I like the setting.

    You guys read faster than me so I probably will need the entire month to knock this out since I don't have any flights lined up this month.
     
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  12. jkun

    jkun UGA, United, Falcons, Braves, Tennis, Chelsea
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    edit - probably closer to 6.5/6 actually
     
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  13. rcragg82

    rcragg82 Well-Known Member

    It was ok and felt the end unsatisfying.
     
  14. CoastalOrange

    CoastalOrange Well-Known Member
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    Posting here so I get a heads up on the book for next month. If a new thread is made would someone mind tagging me?
     
  15. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox This guy is a fucking disgrace
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    McGuire has a new book out in April

     
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  16. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    BBC is making a miniseries is North Water. Colin Ferrel is Drax.
     
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  17. DeToxRox

    DeToxRox This guy is a fucking disgrace
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    His new book the Abstainer is out today
     
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  18. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I’ll be starting it today or tomorrow