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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  10 reviews
There can be no straight road home.

A young man is released from a Sydney prison, his hands empty, his identity gone. He catches a southbound train out of town, then hitchhikes west. He hasn’t been home for fifteen years.

For days Frank rides the highway through an unforgiving landscape, surviving on what he finds and the kindness of strangers. As he edges closer to a home
Paperback, 303 pages
Published February 2011 by Unversity Of Queensland Press (UQP) (first published January 1st 2011)
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Gone, by Jennifer Mills, is a remarkably good book. I couldn’t put it down, and now I’m sorry I’ve come to the end of it.

A man, nameless, is on the road after his release from an institution. At first it’s not clear whether it was a mental institution or a prison because he is disoriented and confused. He’s been released into the void with a voucher for a government support agency that – by the time he gets his act together to use it - is past its use-by date. He’s directed to a charity that giv
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Lauren Murphy
This isn't your typical roadtrip novel. Mills takes us on a psychological journey as we tag alongside the mysterious young man released from prison. He assumes the name Frank, collects some clothing, a backpack and sleeping bag from a Sydney charity service and then begins to head west. Thumb out to hitch a ride, Frank makes his way into the outback by accepting rides from a variety of folk with their own stories to share. Although, Frank is quite reserved and wants to leave his past behind, it ...more
It has been some time since there was a book I just wanted to keep reading not because I needed to find out what happened, but because it was just such a good book to be in. I felt like that about Gone. The writing was so precise, the things it described largely so alien to my own experience. I got to be someone else for a while, to see the world in an entirely different way.
‘Frank’ is the ultimate unreliable narrator: he has no idea who he is or what’s real or how he got here or what has happe
Jo Case
Taciturn loner Frank is just out of prison for an unnamed crime, hitchhiking from Sydney to his childhood home, in the far west of Australia. This is a psychological thriller of sorts; the narrative driven by a desire to discover what Frank is running towards, and what he’s running from. The reader must piece the story together from shards of inherently unreliable information: Frank’s memories and reflections, and the observations of strangers.

Gone is a classic road story, as much about the jou
Sean the Bookonaut
I have been delighted by Mills writing since I bought a chap book of her poetry, Treading Earth. Large parts of Gone remind me very much the writing contained within that collection, particularly her observations of the minutiae of human interaction.

Another spill over from her poetry are the raw observations that are both economical and evocative.

Gone is both a road trip and a mystery. The road trip is an examination of an Australia that most readers, I would argue, are not used used to reading
Jennifer Mills's second novel gone is a downbeat tale both grim and wry in its delivery. The story goes of a man named Frank who is recently released from Prison, Frank is destitute but not broken as he sets of from Sydney across the country. Franks seeks closure by going to his childhood home and trying to find his family. The story is tolled with the present day of Frank going by any means possible to go west towards home including trains, buses and hitchhiking.

Frank passes through many a town
Mills’ style is just amazing. Her attention to detail, her very careful placement of words and concepts, is so minute. So painstaking. I enjoyed her tone and the way she allowed the reality, memory, misremembered ideas and forgotten past to swirl together, all eddies in the same river. She crafts a story that is out of focus, but intense. Suspenseful. A little disturbing.

Full review here: http://leatherboundpounds.wordpress.c...
Book Bazaar
I feel bad giving this a low mark, but I really had trouble finishing it - kept putting it down and going on to other things. Some of the language is beautiful and the premise is clever, but I just couldn't get in to it.
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Jennifer Mills is the author of the novels Gone (2011) and The Diamond Anchor (2009) and a collection of short stories, The Rest is Weight (2012). In 2012 she was named a Best Young Australian Novelist by the Sydney Morning Herald. She lives in Beijing and is working on her third novel.
More about Jennifer Mills...
The Rest is Weight The Diamond Anchor Sharks / Kalgoorlie (RAF Vol 10 issue 5) Transparency / Afternoon Tea at the Q (RAF Volume 4: Issue 1) Treading Earth

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“Maybe he’s become addicted to living, he thinks, its gentle terror like the rush of insect wings against his face.” 0 likes
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