Review: Far North - Marcel Theroux

Title Far North
Author Marcel Theourx
Year 2009
Stand Alone or series I read in some site that this would be a trilogy.
Pages 288
Rating 7/10

Makepeace calls himself sheriff of his hardscrabble town, but he is also its only resident - the last of a group of settlers who have fled the poisoned cities of the West. The miraculous appearance of a refugee from the vast emptiness of the forest awakens this loner to a longing for life among others, but when he takes to the road, Makepeace finds a world unraveling: deserted cities with trees shooting up through the asphalt; stockaded villages enforcing a rough and uncertain justice; mysterious slave camps laboring to harness the little-understood technologies of an expired civilization. On his side, Makepeace has resilience, a sense of humor that comes to life at the diciest moments, and a well-concealed core of humanity: a resource that will be his salvation.

Far North leads the reader on a quest through an unforgettable arctic landscape. Suffused with an ecstatic awareness of the fragility of the world, and its sometimes unexpected ability to recover from our worst trespasses, Far North is a muscular, visionary novel of retribution and forgiveness.

I bought this novel because I enjoy reading the various interpretations and creations of an post-apocalyptic world. I noticed in other blogs/websites that the reviews were mixed. My opinion of the novel is also a mixed of ideas... Unfortunaly this novel came out at the same time at the movie "The Road". Having read the novel in question I can see why people says that they are similar. But this post apocalyptic novel has nothing new. There are hundreds of books with this theme. Of course one of them has taken some ideas from others. Unfortunally the Road got a great review because of Oprah. Which is very unfortunatly. This genre has always released a dozen books per year. Now because of that many more were released. And most of them followed the same path of the Road. Please. Has if it was the first. Who has read the Jack London novel called Scarlet Plague? That was one of the first novels. The book the Road copy some of the ideas from that book. Well... now for the real review...

Makepeace is a loner, an outsider who is trying to surive the apocalypse that befallen the Far North (Siberia). During the novel she mets some interesting characters that makes her change her ways. This novel also takes some influence from some westerns. I remember reading some small books with westerns and the writing style reminds of that.
The visions of our present (her past) are very interesting as she steps throught tundras and cold artic wind as she visits some relics from our own time.
This novel is not as bleak as other post-apocalpytic novels and our heroine is a strong woman that doesn't let men take her. It's a good dark novel mind me but not as dark as others I have read in the past. Neverthless is a great story of self discovery. My discovery was that all life is unreal. The world continues even after a disaster. There is no minute, hour or year. The world will exist even after us...

If I have a complain is the lack of a plot. There isn't a plot per se. This novel is a character work. The book being in the first person perspective contribuies even more to that. Makepeace travels and as soon as she arrives at a place another journey began... So the book never had an ending. Maybe that's why I read somewhere that it should have a sequel. I will read it if it comes out.
In the end I was satisfied with the ride even if I felt that the lack of plot was a little bit of disapointment. I read a review of this book and I became aware of so much that people get from this book. I felt sad that I couldn't connect as well as that reviewer did. Check his review here. Maybe I can't read a novel...

Notable Quotes
I lay down t sleep thinking that as much as I missed what was gone, maybe this was the best thing: for the world to lie fallow for a couple of hundred years or more, for the rain to wash her clean. We'd become another layer of her history, a little higher in the soil than the Romans and the people that built the pyramids. Yes, Makepeace, I thought, maybe one day your mandible will show up under glass in a museum. Female of European origin. Note the worn incisors and the evidence of mineral deficiency from a poor and unvaried diet. Warlike and savage. And beside it some potsherds."

"The cranes lurch south each fall. Each year the wilderness reclaims a little more. Each year taiga riots on another tract of the city. Each month that goes brings closer the time of your departure."

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