Far North Review in NYTBR

The New York Times Book Review just ran my review of Marcel Theroux’s Far North. It’s a really interesting novel that has some flaws, but it’s one of the few novels I’ve read this year that stuck with me, and the main character is a miraculous creation.

Doing work for the NYTBR was a very pleasant experience–in fact, the review passed through the editing process with no real changes and I should have another assignment soonish.

Here’s a short excerpt:

The harrowing account of Makepeace’s journey to the work camp has the full weight and context of 20th-century history behind it. But when she reaches the camp, personal revelations again dominate. Transferred from hard labor to garden work, Makepeace is unable to bear “the ghost of what might have been” and is “mired in the shame of what I’d become.” If shackles can break you when you’ve suffered, then small pleasures, like gardening, can also break you — by making you foolishly believe you have a chance at normal life.


  1. says

    Congratulations on the appearance. I read the piece this morning and was surprised that you hadn’t mentioned it in advance. Just curious: How far in advance of publication did you submit this?

  2. jeff vandermeer says

    They assigned it to me in June I believe and I turned it in that month. I think. Can’t really remember. I did mention it here and on facebook.

  3. Ryan says

    I really enjoyed this review. it was fair, honest and balanced. sounds like a good book, too. Best of luck getting more work with NYT – I’ll look forward to it.