Weekend Round-Up 2008 #2

The Age

Thuy On seems to have had his review of A History of the Great War: A Novel by Peter McConnell, rather heavily cut for size: "Despite its subject matter, this is a gentle love story. McConnell forgoes all the grisly details of wholesale massacre, concentrating instead on the small happenings of a small country town." You get the impression there's a lot more to be said here. I have the book at home waiting for review, so I'll make sure more is actually said.

The Australian

If the reviews are there I can't find them.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Andrew Reimer wonders, before starting Peter Carey's latest novel, if the author has finally abandoned Australia for an American setting. It certainly starts that way: "The opening chapters are a tour de force, a virtuoso performance by a writer fully confident of his powers and, in a way, of his ability to get away with anything. Everything is seen through the eyes of a child -- as Henry James made us see everything through the eyes of a young girl in What Maisie Knew. Here are vivid though almost always perplexing images of American life: the ceremonies of upper east side WASPs, the teeming chaos of subway stations and Greyhound terminals, seedy hotels and pizza parlours, and, almost subliminally, the political and ideological ferment of the student protests of the 1960s." But as we have probably all figured out by now the novel's characters end up in Australia after all. But is it any good: "The blurb promised that I would cry more than once and that my spirits would then lift. Neither of that happened. Fortunately, I think, His Illegal Self doesn't try hard to tug at the heartstrings. Instead, it relies on Carey's narrative wizardry, his penchant for grotesquery and on his considerable skills as a puppet-master." I'll take that as a yes.

Clare Scobie is very impressed with Toni Jordan's debut novel: "The publishers were right in their glowing accolades for Addition. Toni Jordan has created such a real character in Grace that you are cheering her on, willing her to get to the top of the staircase, intact and unharmed. Jordan's voice is distinctive, refreshing and very Australian."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 6, 2008 8:47 PM.

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