Reviews of Australian Books #53

Arabella Edge's novel, The God of Spring is reviewed by Stephen Peterson who finds a lot to admire: "Edge's research is evident on nearly every page of this book--she spent four years examining GĂ©ricault's life, his work, and the account of two survivors of the shipwreck. She has filled the interstices with fiction that, while sometimes forced, is never dull...In prose that is often as muscular as GĂ©ricault's painting, The God of Spring gives a detailed account of a miraculous period in art history. Further, you have an abiding sense that the same problems that plagued artists in the 19th century are still around today--a thought of simultaneously boundless comfort and depthless horror."

Somewhat later than most reviews, Mai Wen has a look at Tom Keneally's novel Schindler's Ark (the title was changed on a lot of editions after the release of the Stephen Spielberg film): "By the end of the book I was attached to the characters and Schindler and was finally feeling the emotional pull that the movie had invoked throughout. While the book isn't written in the descriptive manner that usually pulls the emotions from me, the facts are strong enough to stand on their own and to pull the feelings from your soul. Overall, Schindler's List is a strong and educational read. Something I think everybody should read because although I've read many fiction novels about The Holocaust, I learned more about it than with any other book while reading Schindler's List."

In "The Independent", John Tague examines Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist and finds a lot of emotion: "Richard Flanagan, it seems, is an angry man, and The Unknown Terrorist is a very angry book. The Australian writer has turned his back on the playfully sophisticated structure of his last work, the excellent Gould's Book of Fish, and taken a jaundiced look at contemporary society. He doesn't like what he sees. His new novel forgoes the complex structural games of his previous work and instead launches a stinging attack on the powers that foster and prosecute the so-called 'war on terror'. This is a bitter polemic brimming with a disbelieving contempt for the cynical maneouvering of those in authority. You wouldn't exactly describe it as a happy-go-lucky read."

In other reviews of Richard Flanagan's novel The Unknown Terrorist, "The LA Times" describes him "as the premier artist of brutalized flesh in our era"; "The Sunday Book review" from BlogTo out of Toronto says: "To call this book a thriller is to diminish it. It does thrill but it's much more like 1984"; and "The Phoenix" from Boston finds it "little more than a simplistic fable". So the reviews are as mixed overseas as they were in Australia.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 9, 2007 3:42 PM.

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Australian Literary Monuments #16 - Tom Keneally is the next entry in this blog.

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