Combined Reviews: The Gift of Speed by Steven Carroll


Reviews of The Gift of Speed by Steven Carroll

From the publisher's blurb: "Set during the glorious summer of 1960/61, The Gift of Speed chronicles the lives, fates and fortunes of a memorable group of characters in a fictitious outer-Melbourne suburb in the post-World War II era. The roads and footpaths may have been paved, the houses painted and the gardens grown - but the suburb still hovers between town and country.

"We catch up with Michael, 16 and obsessed with cricket; his parents, Rita and Vic, whose marriage is on the rocks; Vic's 70-year-old mother, who comes to stay; and the mysterious factory owner who hurtles around the suburb at night in his sports car ...

"For one unforgettable summer, the closed community of the suburb opens up to the outside world. And it is not - as in the past - a war that allows this, but rather a carnival of cricket, music and colour."

Steven Carroll writes the non-fiction column for "The Age" Review pages, and The Gift of Speed is a sequel to his earlier novel, The Art of the Engine Driver, which was shortlisted for the 2002 Miles Franklin Award.

Michael McGirr in "The Age" is impressed with Carroll's gifts as a writer: "Part of Carroll's skill is the ability to create a strong sense of the presence of characters who, emotionally at least, are some place else. There are times in this book where I paused to admire the subtle craft of what Carroll is doing. Every piece of this book is sanded and planed and perfectly joined. But there is no mistaking the knots in the raw material with which he is working...The Gift of Speed is a meditative book in which words such as Somme and Larwood 'are their own story. Complete miniatures'. Rarely has such an arid place as suburban Melbourne in the heat of 1961 evoked such graceful and tender prose."

Kabita Dhara, fiction buyer at Dymocks Melbourne, finds that: "If you enjoyed Steven Carroll's The Art of the Engine Driver this latest offering is a must-read. While readers will recognise some recurring characters, be assured that this is not just a sequel. Carroll's gift for evocative storytelling reaches new depths here and the result had me captivated."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 7, 2005 9:23 AM.

2005 London Book Fair was the previous entry in this blog.

And so it goes... is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en