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My Brilliant Career: My Career Goes Bung
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My Brilliant Career: My Career Goes Bung

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  321 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Miles Franklin's classic of 1901 follows the unconventional life and struggles of one of Australia's most memorable female characters. Sybylla's passion and rebellion bring her no end of trouble, in life and in love. Included in this edition is the sequel, My Career Goes Bung.
Paperback, 450 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by HarperCollins Australia
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Best Modern Australian Literature
70th out of 410 books — 486 voters
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Community Reviews

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Nerida Hart
Nov 11, 2012 Nerida Hart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to believe that this novel was written by a young woman in her teens. it's even harder to believe that it was written in the late nineteenth century. So much for Victorian attitudes... Sybylla rages against her parents, shuns marriage in favour of a career, sees class-ism and injustice as it truly is, and at one point questions the existence of God. The result is an entertaining story. Sybylla is a worthy literary sister to Anne of Green Gables, or the March sisters. The story has a li ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
I'm well aware that many people find Miles Franklin's work a little slow-going, but My Brilliant Career is one of my absolute favourite novels, and one I've reread several times since my first time as an impressionable teenager. I love the main character, Sybylla, and I've had a massive crush on Harry Beecham for roughly twelve years now. Do read it - it's not the most exciting book, nor the happiest, but it's beautifully written, truly evokes that sunburnt Australia we love to imagine (it's not ...more
Apr 26, 2011 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm usually a strict urban fantasy reader but I had to read this book as part of a course I was doing. I was pleasantly surprised. Definately recommend it.
'My Brilliant Career' has not gained, I think, from its reputation as an 'Australian classic', or even from Gillian Anderson's very good film, which launched both her brilliant career, and those of Judy Davis and Sam Neill. The film, in particular, might lead one to expect a relatively serious treatise on the condition of women, bathed in a romantic 'magic hour' outback glow. It doesn't really prepare one for the quirky construction, conversational tone and offbeat humour of the first book, and ...more
Michele Minor
Aug 20, 2009 Michele Minor rated it really liked it
This book tells of one girl's experience in the Australian outback interested in art and literature when no one else in her area is interested in such things, where the women are expected to marry and have babies to forgo any interest in a career instead of a home and husband.
Oct 13, 2010 Kelv rated it really liked it
Important follow up. Book shows that the failed relationship with Harry Beecham was the best for everyone and that it would all work out. How is happiness found or measured is definitely one for the reader.
Mar 26, 2012 Sundra added it
Ok, I didn't finish it. May someday.....No place to say that I just quit?
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
I actually finished this one about three weeks ago, and just kept on forgetting to actually review it. Whoops.

So. My Brilliant Career. It's the story of Sybylla, a teenage girl growing up in rural Australia in the 1890s. Her father makes bad decisions and ends up dirt poor. The family try to scrounge a living together, but the drought hits and all the animals start dying. So Sybylla's reasonably rich grandmother takes her off her parents' hands with the hopes of marrying her off or turning her i
Oct 09, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
Miles Franklin had a runaway success with her first novel
"My Brilliant Career" published in 1901 but after that her
output was sporadic - of her 8 novels (published under her
own name) the last "On Dearborn Street" about her years in
Chicago co-editing a Trade Union magazine, was issued in 1981.
"My Career Goes Bung" was written and ready for publication in
1902 but the sequel to "My Brilliant Career" had her publisher,
George Robertson, running for cover. A thinly disguised account
of Franklin's own i
Aug 23, 2008 El rated it liked it
Stella Marie Sarah Miles Franklin was only sixteen when she wrote My Brilliant Career, the story of a young girl, Sybylla Melvyn, in Australia in the late 19th--century. Sybylla is a precocious girl with no desire to become her mother, a woman with high expectations and no dreams or desires. Due to Sybylla's father's failing financial situation, she is asked to become an adult earlier than she had anticipated by helping the family by doing labor on their farm and later by being taken to another ...more
Arabelle Carlton
Nov 10, 2014 Arabelle Carlton rated it it was amazing
I read this as a 16yr old & felt Sybylla was my kindred spirit. I could relate to the fire burning inside of her. A yearning for something more that not even she could fully articulate. Frustration at the narrow & confining society she found herself & the moments of despair when her own gauche & absurb behaviour failed to measure up. A much loved coming of age tale set in a world of old world homesteads, lively jackroos, Australian drought and uptight Victorian drawrooms.
I think I liked My Career Goes Bung even better than My Brilliant Career, It was fascinating to see the repercussions of the original publication. I think this book seems to be much more autobiographical than the former, and even though it is a bit confusing at first, if you accept "My Brilliant Career" as the fictional autobiography within this fictional novel, it begins to make sense. It was very interesting to see the "society life" of Sydney in the early 1900's, and see how that was contrast ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Alan rated it liked it
This book had been hailed as a must-read Australian book, so it seemed required reading for my trip. The depictions of the challenges of early Australian rural life were excellent - the heat, the financial struggles, and the harshness of the geography. The narrator at times annoyed me with her self-pity, but after some additional reflection, her honesty is refreshing and only a teenager when she wrote this, she is amazingly self-aware and I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to l ...more
May 21, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
Can't help but wonder if Margaret Mitchell read this years before she wrote "Gone with the wind." Personalities of Sybylla and Harold remind me of Scarlett and Rhett! I haven't "My Career Goes Bung" yet. I enjoyed this novel thoroughly, but have to take a vacation from the harsh Australian bush!
Oct 09, 2015 Rosemary rated it it was amazing
I read these a long time ago and loved them. I need to read them again. Australian classics and deserving of the status and so readable and engrossing.
Sep 18, 2014 Joanne rated it it was ok
Read for book club at main library. Written by an Australian and published in 1901. These two facts are the most interesting part of the book.
Jan 25, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it
I read My career goes bung
Found it amusing...loved the language, so many words we don't use anymore yet describe something exactly.
Sep 19, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing
Loved both of Miles early books, now onto her others!
Nov 03, 2013 Smagoo2 rated it it was amazing
I loved "My Brilliant Career". ("My Career Goes Bung" seems to be an almost entirely unrelated book, almost a satire, which is being packaged as a "sequal" but isn't and which I put down after reading just a few pages.) I adored the narrator, and the writing - so fresh, compelling and hard to put down. The movie is lovely but the book is even better.
Jcamille Wyatt
Oct 01, 2008 Jcamille Wyatt rated it really liked it
My Brilliant Career is a great novel from the early 20th Century. Miles Franklin's second novel, a response to the first is not quite as great. My Brilliant Career is an honest representation of a young girl's feelings about life and her pursuit of a career. The second novel is more of a parody, not quite as honest and fresh as the first.
I still haven't gotten around to My Career Goes Bung, but I mean to read it some day. My Brilliant Career is quiet enjoyable, though the main character can be quite frustrating in her behaviour sometimes, especially as she is the narrator so it's written from her feeling that she's right.
h. jane
Feb 07, 2008 h. jane rated it really liked it
This book..

was great. I would classify this book in the same realm as Anne of Green Gables. Read this when I was young and felt a kindred connection. Precocious much? Yes!
Jun 07, 2008 Quinne rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites! Great book and wonderful movie if you can find it. Love, love, love it!
Jun 17, 2015 Alyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
honestly, this book is so great. enjoyed it even more in my second rereading.
Apr 22, 2008 Karen marked it as to-read
Recommended to Karen by: Jenny
Shelves: fiction, aussie
I received this book as a gift many years ago. I need to read it.
Aug 02, 2007 Christine rated it it was amazing
If you like this book, try Dodie Smith's "I Capture the Castle."
Jodi rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2016
Irene Davenport
Irene Davenport marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
Amanda marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
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Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin was born in 1879 in rural Australia. My Brilliant Career, her first novel, was published to much excitement and acclaim. She moved to Sydney where she became involved in feminist and literary circles and then onto the USA in 1907.

She was committed to the development of a uniquely Australian form of literature, and she actively pursued this goal by supporting write
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