Audiobooks, ratings, reviews (beta)

The North Water


Author: Ian McGuire –

Publisher: Simon & Schuster –

Genre: Fiction, Adventure –

Overall rating: 4/5 –

Writing: 4/5 –

Duration: 9:39 (medium) –

Narrator: John Keating –

Narrator/performance: 5/5 –

Impressions: 3/5 –

Performance errors: 0/5 –

Complexity/reading level: 2/5 –

Audience: Adult


This is an enjoyable adventure story about survival. The main character faces wild sins, wild swearing, the wild cold seas and blind, wild chance. The book’s main advantage is probably the ambiance, strongly reminding of the black-and-white video game Return of the Obra Dinn. The plot is painted with such bold strokes that it seems unreal. It is loud and easy to follow, like a comic book. The narrator has a pleasant accent, making the performance interesting and dynamic.

The main character is a doctor who is too sensitive for his own good. Despite his flaws, his addition, or perhaps thanks to them, it is possible to identify or sympathize with him which makes the story matter, as short and action-filled as it is.

The book is certainly not for everyone. It depicts a number of afflictions, murder, slaughter of animals. It is a rough story filled with a lot of dialogue between tough men. Yet there is a precarious balance to it, probably achieved with parts depicting odd philosophies, rites and customs. Survival has a romantic side and the book strangely focuses on it, delivering the story in quick, valiant expressions. An adventure story for busy, energetic readers.

North Water, Ian McGuire, audiobook cover

The cover has fantastic colors. It is not an audiobook cover but a rather artistically rendered book cover related to the tv series. It does not show a ship yet it alludes to one in a way which I found fascinating. It is also very balanced, symmetrical. If it were made into an audiobook cover, it would be a great one. The letters are of course too small for audiobook purposes.

Cover Photo by Gabriel Vasiliu on Unsplash