David Malouf Watch #3

Reviews of Ransom

Psita Chakravarty In "The Telegraph" (Kolkatta, India): "He tells his story with a vital immediacy, picking out details in his lucent prose. The sharp edges of experience are made to gleam with a peculiar intensity. Malouf treats of lofty characters and situations...If at times he borders on the overly sentimental, the emotional impact of the story remains undiminished. For Malouf's readers share with his lead characters that most powerful thing -- the knowledge of mortality."

On the "A Momentary Taste of Being" weblog: "Ransom is a short book, an exquisitely carved book, a book of deep and harrowing emotion and a reminder of what is important in life.  I suspect that this is one of those books that will speak more to age than to youth--more to those who have had children and who know what it would feel like to make Priam's journey."

Anne Moore on the "Inform Enlighten Entertain" weblog: "In the original text, this ransom is mentioned in a few lines. Malouf takes that moment and opens it up, creating a character who discovers his humanity in the enemy's embrace. This is a lovely read."

Donald Brown in "The Quarterly Conversation": "Malouf delivers a lesson on how the novel, against epic conventions (or, perhaps, as social equality vs. hierarchy), aspires to a glimpse of individuality that is meaningful because we have to imagine it as our own, as something we too have seen and contain. We are both Priam marveling at Somax's way with an anecdote and Somax marveling at his daughter-in-law's skill. The fact that Somax also mourns a dead son is the kind of novelistic coincidence that lets us suspend disbelief for a purpose. We want to see that the grief Priam faces in outliving a son can be borne, must be borne, by all parents so afflicted, whether a ruler or a cartdriver. This lesson we might suppose we already know. But Priam doesn't, and seeing him grasp it is one of the payoffs of Malouf's account."

Also reviewed on the "Bibliojunkie" weblog.

Ransom has been shortlisted in the Fiction category of the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

Various Ransom book covers:

ransom.jpg    ransom_uk.jpg    ransom_us.jpg
Australia  United Kingdom  USA

Review of An Imaginery Life

On "BookCrossing": "Malouf has created a raw yet beautifully poetic novel. Malouf has artfully (almost cryptically) delved into the contemporary arguments 'How does one determine barbarian and civil' and 'How to inhabit a place without occupying it'? More powerfully, he shows how one man can loose himself in while being a member of a prestigious society yet discover himself on the outside of the known world and know the life he is supposed to live."


Malouf wrote about the power of music for "The Sydney Morning Herald".

In June, David Malouf was a guest of a fund-raiser for "Australian Book Review". Chong was there and reported on it for Crikey.  He was asked to take some photos of the event but wasn't pushy enough to get the best shots.  He decided to draw the writer instead.  A better solution in my mind.

For the BBC, Nick Bryant chose Malouf as one of eight "Famous Australians you've never heard of." For the BBC audience that is.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 4, 2010 11:52 AM.

Review: Advice to Young People on Leaving Home by Grace Lax was the previous entry in this blog.

Extract: Three Famines by Tom Keneally is the next entry in this blog.

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