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The Danger Game

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
'The danger game is not a winning game'Alice and Louise are sisters united by a distant tragedy - the house fire their brother died in and the disappearance of their mother immediately afterwards. Fourteen years later, that day still affects everything they do. Alice teaches dirt-poor students in a school the government wants to close - when she's not pursuing a relationsh ...more
ebook, 385 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Tindal Street (first published 2009)
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Benjamin Solah
Jan 05, 2011 Benjamin Solah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kalinda Ashton's debut novel, The Danger Game has been talked about around the Australian literature scene as one of the key texts in the last few years and it is easy to see why as it deals with issues of class in such a compelling way with Ashton's gift of metaphor and description. I definitely should have read this earlier.

The Danger Game deals with the lives of three siblings in a clearly working-class family, each from a unique point-of-view. Jeremy's story is in the past as children and hi
Jul 20, 2012 Philippa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
This book had a most interesting and promising beginning, which drew me in. A dysfunctional family unravels after the death of the son and the narrative switches back and forth between the past and the present, and between character perspectives, as the two surviving children try to make sense of what happened. Some of the writing at the beginning is quite exquisite and shows a lot of depth and understanding of human relationships, particularly infidelity. However, the story itself began to unra ...more
Spirited Stardust
It started off well but I quickly began to lose interest as the book just seemed to meander uneccessarily. The only thing I really wanted to learn about was Jeremey's death but in the end it was all a bit of a letdown.
Mar 06, 2013 Alicia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
The amount of times I wanted to just put this book down and quit... It was a mix of depressing and boring. The book started off being about these two sisters who had lost their brother when they were children, after this incident their mother had left without so much as a word. Interesting, I thought, I mean I read the back of the book before I bought it and it did attract me. The story started off pretty depressing, but still somewhat interesting. Then halfway through the book the main storylin ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I decided to read and review as part of the Australian Women Writers challenge. It's been sitting on my bookshelf for quite sometime as a friend gave it to me. I enjoyed the first few chapters until I made the mistake of reading the backcover blurb which basically gave away two major plot points: the death of the brother and the disappearance of the mother (don't feel like these are spoilers as they are also in the plot description). Was a little disappointed to have the ...more
Sally Whitehead
They say you should write about what you know and Ashton (who previously worked as a union campaigner) seems to have taken this a little too much to heart in her debut novel. What starts out as a fairly promising story, of two adult sisters trying to piece together the whys and wherefores of a dysfunctional family tragedy in their childhood, soon loses all sense of direction and the subplots regarding Alice's relationship and work life take over.

The focus on Alice's involvement with a union camp
Lizzy Chandler
Recently I downloaded a collection of Aussie short stories in an iPad app put out by Sleepers, a small press based in Melbourne. Among the hundreds of stories lay the bright shard of Kalinda Ashton‘s short fiction. Its sheer painful brilliance prompted me to hunt down her 2009 debut novel, The Danger Game, which I found in Blue Mountains library.

To say The Danger Game is a “worthy” book sounds lame. But it’s true. It is worthy. It depicts suffering with compassion, doesn’t shy away from the comp
May 01, 2012 Marnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I also read this book a couple of years ago for my literature class at uni and although I can't remember very much of the storyline I can remember that this book kind of confused me. The storyline jumped all over the place and I had trouble keeping track of which character was which and why they were important. I gave it two because I understand that I may have enjoyed it more if I could follow the storyline better, that might just be me.
Sally Boocock
Jan 30, 2011 Sally Boocock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Not the most uplifting book I have ever read. The story follows a family which falls apart after the tragic death of the son. His twin sister turns to drugs and his other sister fights to keep her job in a school thratened to be closed.Running through this is the story of their lives and how unravelled they became. A sad but enlightening read.
Sep 21, 2009 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
A pretty bleak telling of a family destroyed by alcohol, drugs and poverty in suburban Melbourne. It has moments of first-novel awkwardness and self-referentialness, but overall it's a pretty smooth read. I just found the content too depressing: if you like disintegrating lives undone by circumstance you might enjoy it more.
Jul 18, 2014 Loong rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Danger Gave started off promisingly but it became too whiny, boring and going in every direction. The book could be better if Ashton focuses primarily on piecing together Jeremy's death and let off the details about how one of its characters, Alice is trying to save the school she is teaching in from closing down.
This book was strange to read. I was pretty invested in the mystery and the characters at the start but halfway through it just started going slower and became more predictable, almost none of the characters were really likeable in the end. It wasn't really bad but I'm not sure if I would recommend it to anyone.
Oct 24, 2010 Katherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this book was very boring, but it did have some interesting aspect, like how each of the three characters were written in different ways, one was first person, one was second person and the last was third person. Clever, but still a boring book, i only held on because i wanted to know how the brother died and if someone killed him or if it was just purly as accident
Wendy Bridges
Nov 11, 2013 Wendy Bridges rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Contemporary Australian fiction at it's best. Loved the use of first, second and third person perspectives for Alice, Louise and Jeremy. I'll be carrying these three around with me for some time I expect. Look forward to reading more from Kalinda Ashton.
Andrew Barnes
Oct 11, 2015 Andrew Barnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I don't like shifting narrators in a novel, but it worked really well this time!

I enjoyed this novel immensely, though it moved slowly at points. I found myself constantly wanting to finish and reading so intently that I got off at the wrong tube stops!

Overall a great read!
As many have said previously, this book started out promising and then slowly fizzled out to the point where I found myself skipping not only paragraphs, but pages towards the end.
I really wanted this to be great but overall it just wasn't engaging enough.
Oct 16, 2009 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I thought this was an accomplished debut novel. Skilled writing, believable characters. good contemporary Australian stuff
Daniella Hofinger
Daniella Hofinger rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2015
Stel Bee
Stel Bee rated it it was ok
Jun 21, 2016
Vicky Lodge
Vicky Lodge rated it did not like it
Jan 15, 2017
Karen Pearman
Karen Pearman rated it it was ok
Dec 12, 2013
Daja rated it did not like it
Feb 24, 2014
Sky rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2009
Cathy rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2012
Joelyn rated it it was ok
Jul 23, 2012
Mosquitoeditor rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2011
Lisa rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2013
Janet rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2014
Thomas rated it did not like it
Oct 06, 2015
Tlcbr1 rated it liked it
Nov 01, 2012
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Kalinda Ashton is an Australian writer and academic based in Melbourne, Victoria. She holds a doctorate in professional writing from RMIT, and has taught literature and creative writing at various universities in Australia. She has written fiction, poetry and plays.

Kalinda's first novel 'The Danger Game' was published in 2009 to popular and critical acclaim. It has been praised by authors such as
More about Kalinda Ashton...

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