Reviews of Australian Books #41

Elena Seymenliyska reviews Will Elliott's novel, The Pilo Family Circus, in the "Guardian Review". She doesn't seem that impressed by the work: "...his gripe seems to be with 'ordinary' life, as lived by regular pie-munching breeders, but his critique gets lost in complex confabulations of alternate universes, mind-altering substances and shape-shifting characters." Sounds like another case of a reviewer being dazzled by the light-show and unable to see the work underneath.

In the same paper, Diane Samules is very impressed by Sonya Hartnett's The Silver Donkey: "Hartnett uses space as eloquently as she uses words. Her writing effortlessly touches on themes of great complexity without a hint of gravitas. Each character is vividly evoked with brushstrokes as light and clean as the illustrations...Every syllable crackles with meaning, encouraging the reader to reflect and contemplate, while the narrative compels you to read on. And the pleasure of holding this small volume affirms the special joys of having a hardback, too."

A bit old now, as it was written in August 2006, but worth a mention - Ken reviews Sean Williams's novel The Crooked Letter on his weblog, "Neth Space": "Imagine a classic, cliché fantasy beginning; now imagine it being turned upside down, inside out, twisted, altered, and finally you're left an alien hallucination flavored with almost recognizable myths from the world over. This is a good start for realizing The Crooked Letter by Sean Williams...It is as dark and gritty as a Miéville novel, as strange as Steven King, and more accessible than either." Ken later goes on to suggest that maybe the book should be nominated for a Hugo Award later this year.

David Malouf's new short story collection, Every Move You make, is reviewed on (second item), which seems a rather strange place for it. "The seven tales in David Malouf's new collection traverse the Australian continent, conjuring up an equally diverse cast...These plangent tales of longing and the consolation of passing time brim with ethereal mischief..".

Peter Bulkeley is impressed with Richard Flanagan's latest novel The Unknown Terrorist in his review of the book on his weblog, "Aussie Values". In particular, he draws attention ot the political side of the novel: "We have sacrificed so
much of what we say we are protecting and in the case of Iraq, trying to export. Flanagan has shown us this in clear relief. Politicians, police, journalists, bureaucrats - those who are supposed to be the 'goodies' have succumbed and have compromised their own values to create an Orwellian world where the forest has been overtaken by the trees."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 17, 2007 9:08 AM.

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