Weekend Round-Up #33

Robert Drewe leads off "The Age Review" this weekend with a piece describing his experiences over 20 years at the Melbourne Writers' Festival. His story of the Margaret Atwood panel is a classic.

The big Australian review is of Peter Temple's latest crime novel The Broken Shore. Any review that starts as this one does leaves you in no doubt as to the feelings of the reviewer: "If you only read one crime novel this year, read The Broken Shore. It's not just a good yarn - there are plenty of those - what Peter Temple achieves here is much, much more, capturing a specifically Australian perspective in prose as spare as it is precise. This book is the best yet from a writer who has already won a well-deserved reputation as one of our finest crime writers." Which gives me the impression that Temple is moving away from the "standard" crime novel template into an area occupied by few and the best of the current crime-writing crop anywhere in the world. I'm thinking Mankell, Rankin, Connelly and their ilk. These writers transcend genre. "In then end, it's all about family: the one you're born with and the one you make. But most of all it's about the writing, and in that regard The Broken Shore might just be a great Australian novel, irrespective of genre. Read it for what Temple does with words."

Carrie Tiffany, for that is her name, is getting an amazing amount of coverage lately for a first-time novellist. Her novel, Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living, is reviewed by Judith Armstrong.

Short notices are given to: Gallipoli: The Fatal Shore by Harvey Broadbent which "is a book that puts the Anzac contribution in context, seeing it as part of a multinational battle...This is a balanced, highly informed, simply but very well written account of what has gone down in history as a heroic stuff-up"; Ten Pound Poms by A. James Hammerton and Alistair Thomson: "The significance of post-war immigration cannot be exaggerated too much...The English contribution is rarely examined, and this very readable, well overdue and often quite moving account redresses the imbalance"; Every Eighteen Minutes by Ellen Flint: "...if people gone missing is common, Ellen Flint's account of her brother's disappearance is anything but. What would be an interesting enough book because of the subject matter becomes a compelling narrative in the hands of a skilful writer"; and 100 Years Old: 24 Australian Centenarians Tell Their Story by Tina Koch, Charmaine Power & Debbie Kralik: "One of the characteristics of the 24 centenarians who were interviewed for this book is their willingness to find the joke, both in the present and the past."

"The Weekend Australian's" major item this week concerns those Australian writers who, while not so well-known at home, sell extremely well overseas. Juliet Mariller's Celtic-infused historic fantasies are getting six-figure sales in the US, and she has also been published in Britain, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, China, Poland and Portugal. Gold Coast writer Patricia Shaw is published in 12 languages and enjoys foreign sales that run into the millions. The article covers such writers as Winton, Perlman and Grenville, but it is the lesser known ones that I'll have to keep an eye on. I am aware of such writers as Emily Rodda, Garth Nix, John Marsden and James Valentine, but who are Deb Abela, Celstine Hitiura Vaite and Kate Constable? Time to find out I think.

Christopher Bantick reviews Road Story by Julienne van Loon, winner of last year's "Australian"/Vogel Award. This award continually throws up writers of promise and van Loon seems to be no exception. "As much as Road Story shows a skilled writer at ease with plot and charcaterisation, it also has awkward moments of contrived incident...Apart from these minor flaws, this is a toughly written, insistent novel that leaves us tasting red dust and the bitterness of unfulfilled, damaged lives."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 15, 2005 8:20 PM.

Poem: Our Mutual Regret by L.A. Sigsworth was the previous entry in this blog.

Children's Book Week 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