Reviews of Australian Books #55

John Simon reviews Clive James's non fiction collection, Cultural Amnesia in "The Washington Post". "Let us concede some things to Clive James right away. He is, or can be, a brilliantly original thinker; he is, or can be, a brilliant writer. He has read voraciously and multifariously on any number of subjects and put it all to excellent use. He has taught himself several languages, including some Japanese, by means of serious reading with the dictionary by his side. And having journeyed all over the world and sojourned in many places, this Australian is truly cosmopolitan." Which reads like a set-up for a harsh put-down later, but it doesn't appear. Simon has some quibbles though not a lot.

Damien is maintaining his high review rate of Australian crime fiction on his "Crime Down Under" weblog, and recently looked at The Shadow Maker by Robert Sims, a thriller set in Melbourne. He's pretty taken with it right off the bat: "A good thriller will grab your attention early on with a memorable hook and maybe an unusual twist that sets the story apart from the many others out there. That probably has to go double if it's a debut novel. Robert Sims appears to have taken this mantra to heart in no uncertain terms in his highly impressive psychological thriller The Shadow Maker." And that feeling continues on till the end: "As an action-based psychological thriller, The Shadow Maker succeeds in delivering a power-packed story. And although the main characters are still as largely unknown quantities at the end of the book as they are at the start, there is a sense that there will be more to come featuring the strong-willed, but enigmatic, Detective Sergeant Rita Van Hassel."

Susanna Yager makes a brief mention of Peter Temple's novels An Iron Rose and Black Debts, in "The Telegraph": "The laconic dialogue in both books is terrific and the characters are brilliantly realised."

Sorry by Gaul Jones has now been published in the UK by Harvill Secker and is reviewed by Maya Jaggi in "The Guardian", who finds that the "influence of theory is occasionally obtrusive. Yet when characters and events are left to speak for themselves the story proves powerful and poignant."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 30, 2007 9:51 AM.

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