Weekend Round-Up 2006 #47

Last week it was Christmas functions and this week it was a disk overflow at the ISP. Stay tuned for more unusual excuses next week. Tired and emotional seems a pretty good bet at this time.

The Age

Lorien Kaye finds a number of gems in the latest annual collection from Black Inc, The Best Australian Stories 2006, which is edited this year by Robert Drewe. "There is a balance between stories set in the city, the bush and overseas; between realist and more speculative approaches; between flights of imagination and what seem to be barely disguised fragments of memoir."

In reviewing Robert Admanson's new poetry collection, The Goldfinches of Baghdad, David McCooey finds that the poet has made use of some major universal themes in his work: "At least since Rainer Maria Rilke, Orpheus has been a source of fascination for modern poets, and Robert Adamson is one of a number of Australian poets (such as A. D. Hope, Kevin Hart, and Michael Brennan) who have found the myth attractive...The powerful merging of the mythic and the contemporary illustrates the book's larger project of merging apparently disjunct categories. In particular, Adamson has a genius for showing the deep interconnections between the real and the imaginary." These blokes even review poetry in a different way.

Short notices are given to: Tomorrow is Today: Australia in the Psychedelic Era, 1966-70 edited by Iain McIntyre: "It looks at the times from a political and sociological perspective (from Sharpies to the House of Merivale) but it's mostly a musical study written somewhat in the spirit of Go Set but recollected in tranquility"; Rose By Any Other Name by Maureen McCarthy: "The best young adult authors - and Maureen McCarthy is one of them - get into their teenage characters' heads. It's not about merely regurgitating the current teenage idiom but rather capturing the complexity of this time of life and the intensity of feeling that accompanies it."

The Australian

Margo Lanagan has Red Spikes, a new collection of stories out and about, and the paper's resident sf and fantasy reviewer Terry Dowling is pretty impressed with the final result: "Almost without exception, these 10 new stories are marked by an engaging, idiosyncratic, often earthy blend of the mundane and the bizarre, full of the consequences of being in the world...the reader comes away from Red Spikes knowing that Lanagan, like every really good writer, is set on shaking the storytelling tree." If this one gets even close to her two previous collections, White Time and Black Juice, it will be very good indeed.

Luca Antara by Martin Edmond sounds like a rather strange and intriguing book. Jennifer Moran certainly thinks so: "Martin Edmond quotes Mark Twain's well-worn 'beautiful lies' remark about Australian history to suggest the way we should read his book, a long conversation about quests and origins, about the intersections of personal and social history, about literature and the nature of truth...Edmond's book evolves as an entertaining, erudite tale, with snippets of history and literary discussion as well as Edmond's somewhat salacious youthful affairs woven into the narrative of his developing love for the history of seafarers in the Pacific and the south."

The Sydney Morning Herald

The general view that Bryce Courtenay's new novel Sylvia isn't up to scratch is continued with Sophie Masson's review of the novel: "The story is told in the first person, yet Sylvia, as a living, breathing person, does not inhabit the novel's plodding, wordy pages. She is just a ventriloquist's doll for a well-meaning, earnest 21st-century author with a message...There's no sense of a real person in the devout, pragmatic, gifted girl, seen as a saint by some and a witch by others. Not only does the way she (and other characters) speak and think seem stilted and unlikely, there is no sense of that religious centre."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 19, 2006 11:46 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #43 - The Mule's Foal by Fotini Epanomitis was the previous entry in this blog.

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