Reviews of Australian Books #39

Donna Marchetti, in the "St. Paul Pioneer Press", looks at The Turning by Tim Winton: "Much depth is packed into Winton's spare but beautiful prose. Critics have compared this celebrated Australian's writing to John Steinbeck's in its ability to probe the frailties of ordinary people."

In "The Independent", Marianne Brace reviews The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, as it is published in the UK in both adult and YA editions. The review compares the book to Mark Haddon's successful The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: "While ambitious and knowingly post-modern - it includes typographical symbols, illustrations and handwritten passages - The Book Thief has an innocent sensibility. There are no hidden depths. It wears its heart on its sleeve, which feels entirely appropriate for a novel about a child."

Bryce Courtenay's novel Whitethorn is reviewed by Toby Clements in "The Telegraph", who compares it to the author's previous work: "It is fair to say that if you enjoyed The Power of One or, even better, if you have forgotten how much you enjoyed The Power of One, you will enjoy Whitethorn. Courtenay is a terrific storyteller and, of course, fairly well-practised at telling this particular story. If the plot ain't broke, don't fix it...Right from the start he grabs your attention in a no-nonsense fashion, like some sort of brutal wrestling hold, pitting good against evil, innocence against corruption, Briton against Boer, so that you are more or less left with no choice but to follow and find out what happens (although, if you are familiar with Courtenay's earlier work, you already know what happens)."

Sally, on her weblog "Books and Musings from Downunder", is disappointed with Chris Nyst's novel Crook as Rookwood. You might remember that this novel was announced as the co-winner of the 2006 Ned Kelly Best Novel Award (the other novel was The Broken Shore by Peter Temple). "This was not the greatest read for me. It is an Australian book - and it is written in the same style that a lot of Aussie writers think they need to write in - humorously boring. I just don't like this style and there are quite a few Aussie writers who write this way." She gave the book a D rating.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 4, 2007 11:49 AM.

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