Reviews of Australian Books #43

In some ways I hope David Malouf isn't reading all the reviews, of his short story collection Every Move You Make, coming out of the UK. Helen Brown's piece in "The Telegraph" would be enough to turn anyone's head: "'Meticulous' is a word that occurs often in reviews of Malouf's work. And, true, he gets words right and makes detail matter. But it is too small and inhibited a word for the broad scope of humanity he welcomes into his careful craft. He lets characters get on with their own thoughts which he transcribes for them like a sympathetic and secular sort of recording angel."

Diamond Dove, the debut novel by Adrian Hyland, has attracted some good notices since its release by Text Publishing in the middle of last year. Peter Rozovsky continues that trend: "I read so few mysteries that I'm always pleasantly surprised when I find myself in the middle of a good unabashed amateur-sleuth whodunit that works seamlessly as character study and as portrait of a setting that is probably unfamiliar to many Australians, much less to readers like me on the other side of the world."

Dean, on his "Happy Antipodean" weblog, has been reviewing up a storm of late. Of the Australian books he's read recently, he was very disappointed with The Service of Clouds by Delia Falconer ("I felt abandoned by the writer, cast adrift on an ocean of metaphors without a paddle"), and very impressed with David Malouf's Conversations at Curlow Creek ("There's plenty here to satisfy the most demanding reader").

Clive James reviews Robert Hughes's memoir, Things I Didn't Know, in the January 11 2007 edition of "The New York Review of Books". While that review is not on the NYRB website, you can find it, printed in full, on James's own. The NYRB has a reputation for picking just the right person to write their reviews, and that reputation is only enhanced here. James attended university in Sydney with Hughes and has stayed in contact since both left Australia at
different times in the 1960s. Normally you'd think that such a review would be an obsequious crawl-job or a chance to settle some old scores. This is neither. It spreads the praise where it is required and is equally willing to point out the memoir's short-comings.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 31, 2007 10:52 AM.

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