I really enjoyed this book. the second I have read by Peter Temple.
Very evocative of Victoria and the seedy side of Australia that never makes NeighbI really enjoyed this book. the second I have read by Peter Temple.
Very evocative of Victoria and the seedy side of Australia that never makes Neighbours, Home and Away et al.
Cashin, the flawed hero, is suffering from an injury and has been invalided out to a country town to run a 2 man police station there. It's his home town where he grew up. A big city homicide cop in a small town, trying to find his way back to his life after a near death experience.
This book is more about Cashin, because we inhabit his thoughts, than about the underlying crime, murder mystery plot.
Temple's style is sparse and may be an acquired taste. I definitely have made that aquisition....more
A lovely story about a young family learning how to cope with the loss of their father. It's told from the point of view of the little girl who hearsA lovely story about a young family learning how to cope with the loss of their father. It's told from the point of view of the little girl who hears her dead father's voice coming from the large poinciana tree in their garden. Her mother climbs the tree with her and the conversations start...
As they talk to him, the tree grows and becomes destructive. The roots grow under the house and destabilise the foundations, as the father hangs on to his family and they refuse to let him go.
This is a moving tale, simply told. It explores our feelings of grief and loss when a loved one dies and how we gradually learn to live without them in our day to day lives, but without cutting them completely from our memories. The emotions are raw and ring so true. I liked the way that Judy Pascoe uses the little girl's voice to bring a lightness and naive honesty to the tale. Well worth a read.
This book is about two kids in Australia who dice with death - mainly in the surf - but end up chasing the thrill of the adrenalin rush further afieldThis book is about two kids in Australia who dice with death - mainly in the surf - but end up chasing the thrill of the adrenalin rush further afield. The first part of the book is a fantastic evocation of those long days of childhood and the need for speed! Beautifully written. But of course the book needs to move on and takes the two boys in different directions in later life. The final stages are less thrilling to read, and I wonder if the book would have been more successful if left with less clarity about how it all turned out.
I liked the book, it stayed with me. But it felt like two books in one. The first part a poem to surf. The second the story of a damaged man.
Interesting and well worth a read. Three and a half stars....more
A powerful, highly charged, evocative book. Evocative of Melbourne in the heat of summer, those hot northerly winds, the feeling the city is a pressurA powerful, highly charged, evocative book. Evocative of Melbourne in the heat of summer, those hot northerly winds, the feeling the city is a pressure cooker about to explode. Everyone just waiting for the weather to break. If you were in Melbourne for Black Saturday in February 2009 you will know that feeling well.
But this is a great book regardless of one's familiarity with the Melbourne milieu. It is written so well. The sparse, perfectly observed dialogue and beautifully exact descriptive passages are a real pleasure to read. The plot, although multilayered and complex, grips the reader. I couldn't put it down. Not everyone will like the hero, Villani, but everyone will find something of themselves or their experience in him.
The Villani forest will remain an enduring image for me.
Warning! While this is excellent writing, if you are not familiar with Australian English, you will need a glossary.
This book is based in Sydney during WW2 at the time when the city feared invasion by the Japanese. This was a period of dramatic change for AustralianThis book is based in Sydney during WW2 at the time when the city feared invasion by the Japanese. This was a period of dramatic change for Australian society, with the presence of American troops, challenges to the old colonial relationship with Great Britain and the usual breakdown in traditional values that accompanies war.
The book follows a young, devout, yet innocent Catholic priest who gets way out of his pastoral depth for all the best reasons. He has a gift and perhaps a vocation as a confessor. Yet despite his devotion to his office, he gets drawn deeper and deeper into the maelstrom of human emotion and tries without success to put his experiences into the Catholic framework given to him in the seminary. The church, rather than throwing him a life belt and helping him through this with his faith intact, distances itself from him.
It's not a great book, but it has its strengths. It allows the reader to peep behind the curtains of Sydney suburban society in the forties and understand how the war challenged the old order. Worth a read. I gave it 3 stars and would probably have added a half if available....more
This a haunting story of lost boys on the fringe of today's modern world, living outside the norm, but peering back through the window pane to find aThis a haunting story of lost boys on the fringe of today's modern world, living outside the norm, but peering back through the window pane to find a way in.
Patrick Holland's writing is spare and quite beautiful.
We slowly get to know Grey North, his sister Irene, his father and the wild boys who are as much his family as those who share his blood. This is life on the edge, life that clings to existence by the finger tips, precariously surviving against the odds.
Grey will stay with me for some time. His love of Irene, his confused identity, his ambiguous longing for a future where he can make his way in the world and yet his fear of that world. Very well drawn.
But where Holland really excels is in his descriptions of the natural forces, wind, water, fire, the eternity of the stars.
My rating just makes it to 4 stars. This reads like an early novel, but an early novel from a writer with depth and real potential.
Have a read and make your own view. Holland deserves to be widely read.
A very enjoyable book. It tells the life story of a famous West Australian character, Red Dog. A dog who lives his own life, lives with people and lovA very enjoyable book. It tells the life story of a famous West Australian character, Red Dog. A dog who lives his own life, lives with people and loves them but is not owned by them. A lovable rogue.
What impressed me was LdB's ability, as a non Australian, to write so effectively in the Australian voice. There's a little glossary in the back of the book for those who don't know what a "swag" is etc. The Aussie lingo was used appropriately and rang true throughout.
**spoiler alert** Kate Grenville tells the story of a Thames lighterman who is caught stealing and condemned to transportation to Australia for the te**spoiler alert** Kate Grenville tells the story of a Thames lighterman who is caught stealing and condemned to transportation to Australia for the term of his natural life. We follow our "hero", Will Thornhill, from the slums of London to the penal colony in Sydney and watch as he creates a new life for himself and his family on the other side of the world.
Her assessment of man's ability to abandon his morals and tread on those below him in order to make his own way up the ladder rings so true it is disturbing. The meeting of cultures - British colonial and Australian indigenous - is simply portrayed. Will cannot understand them - why don't they work to earn their keep and yet remain better fed than the struggling emancipists? Long Jack, the aborigine, does not understand Will and his compatriots. Why would you pull up food plants that grow naturally along the river, to replace them with corn that requires long hours of weeding and watering to successfully come to harvest once a year?
Grenville's writing is superb in places as she conjures up the otherworldliness of the Australian landscape when seen through the eyes of a Londoner, and describes his growing love for his new home. She effortlessly evokes the natural beauty and underlying danger of the beautiful Hawkesbury river with its towering cliffs and powerful tidal rips. This one may well become a classic of Australian literature.
This was a enjoyable read, but leaves the reader wondering whether it would have been possible to find another way to live harmoniously with this new land and its people. How much we could have learned.......more
An Australian fairy tale - lyrical story telling. A father grows a plantation of Eucalypts. A daughter's fate rests with the man who first names themAn Australian fairy tale - lyrical story telling. A father grows a plantation of Eucalypts. A daughter's fate rests with the man who first names them all. A beautifully written book, evocative of rural Australia. I liked it....more
Tally Youngblood is the heroine in this dystopian world where everyone must undergo cosmetic surgery at the age of sixteen to become "pretty". Teens yTally Youngblood is the heroine in this dystopian world where everyone must undergo cosmetic surgery at the age of sixteen to become "pretty". Teens younger than sixteen who have not had the surgery are known as "uglies". The book throws up some issues on our obsession with beauty and attaining the perfect body (ever seen that show "Extreme Makeover"?) and where that may take humanity. It adds in a few environmental issues for good luck, when explaining where the "rusties" (that's us) went wrong and what caused their civilisation to fail.
Sounds interesting? Yes, but....
I found this book very disappointing. The way it was written was ultimately very, very unsatisfying, like a junk food meal. "But this is YA fiction, not a Pulitzer prize winner" I hear you cry... OK, but YA fiction does not require the use of a limited vocabulary, simplified plot and poor characterization. Look at what J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins do in the Harry Potter books and the Hunger Games trilogy as two examples.
So it was disappointing, but in defence of the book I did finish it and I'm sufficiently interested in what happens next to check out the spoilers. I won't be picking up the next two books in the trilogy. Life is too short....more
This tells the story of Edith, Leopold, Aram and Jim. The action moves from London at the end of the Great War to early settler life in Western AustraThis tells the story of Edith, Leopold, Aram and Jim. The action moves from London at the end of the Great War to early settler life in Western Australia through to Armenia in the Second World War. A fascinating tale of travel, how it changes the traveller and how it redefines the meaning of home. The book also demonstrates the importance of myth in helping us make sense of our world.
The myth of Gilgamesh was new to me. It is used as a thread throughout the book. It talks of travel, friendship, home and the finding of wisdom through disappointment and adversity. I'd like to find out more.
The book was a delight to read. The blurb on the cover of the book describes London's "spare prose". "Spare" is right, but she says all that needs to be said. I was engrossed, caught up in Edith's world. I particularly loved the way "Armenia" came to describe Edith's ideal, her nirvana. I remember when "Australia" meant the same to me!