The North Water

  • by Ian McGuire
  • Narrated by John Keating
  • 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A 19th-century whaling ship sets sail for the Arctic with a killer aboard in this dark, sharp, and highly original tale that grips like a thriller.
Behold the man: Stinking, drunk, brutal and bloodthirsty, Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaling ship bound for the hunting waters of the Arctic Circle. Also aboard is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than to embark as ship's medic on this ill-fated voyage.
In India during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which a man can stoop and imagined he'd find respite on the Volunteer, but now, trapped in the wooden belly of the ship with Drax, he encounters pure evil and is forced to act. As the true purposes of the expedition become clear, the confrontation between the two men plays out in the freezing darkness of an Arctic winter.


What the Critics Say

"Fast-paced, gripping. A tour de force of narrative tension and a masterful reconstruction of a lost world." (Hilary Mantel)
"Utterly convincing and compelling, remorselessly vivid and insidiously witty. A startling achievement." (Martin Amis)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

North Water shimmers & shines

Haunting story. Absolutely gripping. Characters unforgettable, richly drawn, very human, all male cast but that's the whaling industry.
The reader is Irish, so works well with story line as Sumner is Irish late of the British army.
John Keating really made the story come alive. Book is a little bloodthirsty but again like the whalers
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- Ballina Beach


A refreshing, clever story. It has some interesting details about whale fishing. Humans can really be barbaric so be prepared for some ugly scenes. Overall I enjoyed it. It had a satisfying ending.
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- Loveredshoes

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-06-2016
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK