"Winner of the 1972 Miles Franklin Award, The Acolyte is a novel about genius, and those who are drawn into its radiant orbit. Paul Vesper is the acolyte, follower of the great blind musician Jack Holberg, who returns his admirers' devotion with a particularly cruel indifference."
"Astley's achievement so far has been impressive, and this book illustrates one of the main reasons why: her abilitiy to render scenes and characters with scrupulous honesty and in dazzling detail." - Judith H. McDowell, World Literature Today
"In The Acolyte Astley has experienced an absolutely extraordinary coincidence between a discovered real life situation and her own deepest human interests and obsessions." - Brian Matthews, Southern Review
"The world of the The Acolyte ... is richly precise, painfully funny and both compassionately and wittily realized." - David Gilbey, Southerly
"A brilliant, nerve-tingling novel" - Joan Flanagan, Age
"Credible?" he asked, swivelling his dark glasses round on the chair where he had supposed Neilsen to be sitting. But the chair was empty and Neilsen, shoving his sticky proboscis critically over a port, had ambled across the room to the piano and spoke his mercantile rubbish straight into the back of the questioner's head.
"It's a splendidly crafted little score," he conceded. "Splendidly. Bubbling. Active. Mildly sardonic at times, I think you'd agree, Holberg, but only mildly. And always utterly credible."
From the UQP paperback edition, 1985.
This novel was awarded the 1972 Miles Franklin Award.
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Last modified: Novembr 16, 2004.