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The Conversation

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A novel brimming with mystery, confessions, food and philosophy

An older man and a young woman meet quite by accident – a freak gust of wind – at a restaurant in the great Piazza Unita in Trieste and find themselves dining together. He is an Australian engineer living in Paris, in Italy for a round of meetings; she is a translator, normally resident in Turin.

The food and w
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 29th 2012 by University of Queensland Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Aug 22, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
Be warned! This book is bad for the waistline. It will send you rushing to your nearest Italian restaurant.
I won this book in a GR giveaway, this has not impacted on my ability to review this critically and honestly.

7/11 - First I would like to comment on the lovely hardcover edition I recieved. The book has a lovely dust jacket with a very European/cosmpolitan painting showing a traditional, ceramic water jug on what looks like a scarred wooden table or bench surrounded by apples and pears. Immediately it transports me to Italy or France and a house with a family living a more traditional life; maki
Oct 16, 2012 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-yes
This was a really interesting book. The conversation that it contained were really thought provoking. I even started some of the conversations with my own children to get their spin on the them. Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for the chance of winning this book. The conversations that the book contained were interesting and not the usual conversation that people would have. But I do agree that sometimes it is easier talking to complete stranger than it is to your own family or friends. When ta ...more
Blue Mountains Library
Stephen Mitchell, an engineer, has been posted to a job in Monfalcone, a city in Italy’s north-east, just north of the Gulf of Venice. He’s wandering about this particular afternoon, missing his wife and daughter, when he decides to dine at the Caffe Cosini. He is seated outside and is writing some postcards when a sudden gust of wind changes the nature of the evening he thought he was going to have. The novel is as its title suggests – a conversation, about the complex life experiences we all t ...more
The idea is interesting but just didn't seem to be in the mood. A man and a woman meet while both eating on their own. End up having a very long conversation about relationships and adultery. The man is twice the age of the woman and he has married twice whereas she has never married though she has had several relationships. Interesting to heat a man's ideas about why he has affairs. I wonder if Brooks imagined the woman's responses or talked to a woman about them. Tended to skim a lot.
May 12, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it
Who would think someone could write a whole book about a conversation! This is so cleverly written, with little asides, deep thoughts, questions and answers that normally one would never share with a stranger. The waiter, the food and the wine are the background to what turns out to be a very special night. What a perfectly clever ending!
Jul 04, 2013 Krissy rated it did not like it
I had high expectations for this book but I am afraid it just did not rate. The conversation felt stilted and fairly insincere. Was hoping it would be a sensitive book that provoked thought, but just found it unnatural. The subject matter (love, sex, life etc...) may have been more sincere if written by a female.
Dec 29, 2012 Trish rated it it was amazing
Rarely do I finish a book and want to immediately go back to the beginning and read it again. For me, The Conversation is a perfect novel - big themes delicately woven into a conversation - about love, desire, politics, history, food and so much more - over the many courses of an intricately-described Italian meal. Beautifully written - so light and yet complex. Loved it.
Shani Hartley
Jun 21, 2013 Shani Hartley rated it it was amazing
The Conversation by David Brooks

Like the characters in the book I didn't want it to end. I was scared the author would ruin it all with a stupid twist. He didn't.
Corrinne Hills
Jun 16, 2013 Corrinne Hills rated it liked it
Different, not sure I enjoyed it. Not a book that had me thinking about it for days after. Struggling to recall any 'moments' even now. To sum up in a word 'nothing'.
Mar 17, 2015 Alison rated it liked it
Yeah, great idea but it sort of runs out of steam. If only you could have dinner conversations like this though!
Barbs Lodge
Oct 11, 2012 Barbs Lodge rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book although I suspect the author was trying to impress us all with his intelligence. Interesting ending.....
Nov 26, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it
A really interesting idea, but for some reason it didn't quite engage me as much as I was expecting it to? It did grow on me as the novel went on, and I liked it much more by the end.
Alana Hb
Alana Hb rated it it was ok
Sep 22, 2013
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Jan 29, 2015
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Karin Vah rated it it was amazing
Oct 25, 2015
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Dec 15, 2012
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David Brooks has published several collections of poetry, short fiction and essays, and four novels, The House of Balthus (1995), The Fern Tattoo (2007), The Umbrella Club (2009) and The Conversation (2012). His work has been highly acclaimed, widely translated and anthologised, and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin, New South Wales Premier’s, Adelaide Festival and many other awards. In 2011 he p ...more
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