I was really impressed with Australian Richard Flanagan's Booker Prize winning novel Narrow Road To The Deep North (2013) mainly focuses on the life of an Australian former Burma Railway POW and doctor Dorrigo Evans. It is a compelling novel on several levels. Evans is a lover of poetry and it gets its title from a famous book of poems by the 17th century Japanese haiku master Matsuo Basho. This is very much a novel of big ideas-what is the meaning of life, how does one live after experiencing unspeakable evil and other mysteries. It is a historically based novel that doesn't let the Japanese off the hook for their atrocities committed during the war. The Japanese are portrayed as human, but Flanagan includes the many evil and unethical acts that took place during the war including decapitations by samurai sword (which was documented in the war), forced labor and poor treatment/starvation of POWs, the use of stimulants (known as shabu), the existence of comfort women (brothels organized by the Japanese staffed mainly by Koreans), unspeakable medical experiments on POWs by the Japanese, cannibalism, and the use of conquered colonials in their army from Korea and Taiwan. The victor's justice is also portrayed in the novel as a lowly Korean guard is executed while his Japanese commanding officer is goes free and gets to live along life as a private citizen before succumbing to cancer at an old age. There is also a love story between Evans and his aunt by marriage as well as examinations of long friendship between soldiers who survived on both sides. The novel is epic in scope and executed in an impressive fashion-powerful and true to life.