Tag: Australian literature

A review of Daintree by Annie Seaton

It’s obvious that Annie Seaton has put great efforts into researching this story and she is well at home with this genre. The characters throughout are all well honed, coming across as credible, and the immaculately portrayed places fully loaded with poisonous snakes, aggressive cassowaries, amusing characters, exotic parrots, random crocodiles, and a selection of assorted frogs. The writing reveals a majestic and ancient rainforest.

A review of In My Skin and The Romantic by Kate Holden

Reading Kate Holden’s In My Skin and The Romantic together is a little unsettling. It almost feels as though a third part in the trilogy is missing: the story where the protagonist finds peace. The character arc from one book to another is quite powerful, taking Holden through a series of major changes – some terrifying and some quite wonderful Both books are confronting in very different ways.

A review of Wild Things by Brigid Delaney

Though it is an intense and sometimes brutal read, Wild Things reveals its truths slowly, showing rather than telling, in the spaces between the story. The mystery of what exactly happened to Alfred is what drives the narrative forward, almost with a detective story pace,but in terms of its themes and the development of the characters, the story cuts deeply. The multi-layered narrative structure with its reversing arcs between Ben and Toby is particularly effective.

A review of The Life of Houses by Lisa Gorton

Though the book reads quickly, it’s denser than it feels. As a reader, I felt it was necessary to slow down my reading so I could notice all the descriptive detail and the power in each word in The Life of Houses, allowing the story to unfold at its own rhythm and get fully under the skin. This is an utterly beautiful and somewhat sad story that grows in power with re-reading as it strikes at the heart of human relationships, families, self-perception, and how we make meaning in our lives.

A review of Street to Street by Brian Castro

Though Street to Street often presents a bleak view, with university bureaucrats stifling creativity, talent thwarted and wasted, and beauty and love destroyed through lack of focus, it does seem to me to end on a very positive, and deeply tender note. The real richness of this novel begins and ends with language and the power that attentiveness to it has to overcome the foibles and day-to-day emptiness that seems to take hold of the two protagonists in this book.

A Review of My Life As a Fake by Peter Carey

The slick post-modern magic realism narration never interferes with Carey’s first and greatest strength, which is that of a terrific storyteller. Although the story moves quickly, the writing is almost always tight, beautiful, and compelling, interlaced with delicate puns, and…

A Review of Abaza by Louis Nowra

This approach frees the narrative from the mainstream pattern of beginning, middle and end. In some ways this is no different from the controlled narrative disclosures of such books as John Banville’s Eclipse or Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. But there is in the case…

Interview with Karen Sedaitis

Interview with Karen Sedaitis  The author of Soul Dark Soil talks about her book, the process of writing, the benefits of being published by a small press, on inner life, on the dangers of writing about subjects close to home, literary heroes,…

A review of Tom Keneally’s Bettany’s Book

 Bettany’s Book has just been released in paperback. The generosity of Bettany’s Book leads us to not only follow the strivings of the Bettany family and those whose paths they cross, such as Sharif and Felix, the “Europeanised, educated natives”,…