Reviews of Australian Books #31

I've mentioned over the past couple of weeks that Lian Hearn's novel The Harsh Cry of the Heron been receiving some positive reviews, and this trend continues with Tim Martin in "The Independent". Though his review is (how can I put this gently?) a strange mixture of styles: "The moral atmosphere is chilly and remote and the austerity of style invests both the peripatetic story and its arresting set-pieces with a palpable sense of destiny at work...It's rare, too, that such an extended narrative, especially one sustained over more than a single volume, plays out so gratifyingly." Those two sentences are separated by no more than a paragraph break. But urine-extraction aside, the review does end well for Hearn: "The Otori sequence is already a considerable achievement. Cheeringly, it looks as though it will only get better."

"The Daily Telegraph" tackles, along with just about everyone else, David Thomson's bio of Nicole Kidman: "It's not uncommon for a biographer to fall for their subject. But it's rare they declare their lust as frankly as David the book progresses so Thomson's hold on reality seems increasingly wobbly." Which should give you a decent idea of the book's problems, at least as perceived by Catherine Shoard.

Clive James has released the fourth volume of his autobiography, North Face of Soho, but, according to Nicholas Clee in "The Times"' he really shouldn't have bothered: "His prose, once so lively, is flat." The volume covers the period from he arrival in London from Cambridge, through to his appearance on Parkinson to publicise the first volume, Unreliable Memoirs. Now, there's a book. Fantastic stuff.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 9, 2006 1:43 PM.

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