Reviews of Australian Books #3

"The New York Times" leads off a large review of Eliott Perlman's latest novel The Seven Types of Ambiguity by Daphne Merkin with:

It feels distinctly odd -- almost surreal -- in this fragmented, self-consciously wink-wink, nudge-nudge, deconstructed post-Derridean moment, to come upon an enormous and enormously time-consuming 19th-century novel, informed by up-to-the-minute issues like pederasty and rampant consumerism, that is prepared, in all its sweaty aspiring, to take on the world whole-cloth. It makes you wonder about the nature of literary ambition and the immense vulnerability of any writer who attempts not just to describe the cacophonous everyday universe we live in but to impose a pattern -- a semblance of meaning -- on it.
The review heaps a lot of praise on the book while at the same time stating that Perlman isn't quite "there" as yet. This might just be his breakthrough. Keep an eye out for the film version of his earlier book Three Dollars featuring David Wenham and Frances O'Connor, which has just completed filming here in Melbourne.

Justin Cronin reviews Michael Faber's new book The Courage Consort in "The Washington Post". This is a collection of three novellas which wouldn't have difficulty in a genre such as science fiction, where the novella has a long and distinguished tradition, but is the "misunderstood middle child of the literary world" according to Cronin. After his previous sprawling novel The Crimson Petal and the White maybe Faber just needed a bit of a break.

Peter Singer's book Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna is reviewed by Jeremy Adler in "The London Review of Books", but the full review doesn't appear on the website.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 17, 2005 10:32 AM.

Reviews by Australians #2 was the previous entry in this blog.

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