Steve's Reviews > The Voyage

The Voyage by Murray Bail
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's review
Oct 07, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: novels
Read from October 06 to 07, 2014

An absolute beauty of a novel. This may be Bail's masterpiece, though Homesickness is still probably my "favorite." This is a quiet novel, with little to nothing in the way of "action," but something in the interplay between past and present (past being the protagonist's efforts in Vienna to sell his New World version of a piano, present being his sea voyage back to Australia) created a gentle momentum. At times I though of it as the back and forth of left hand and right hand on a piano, and at others as the way a mind wanders away from then back to a piece of music being listened to. But whatever the metaphor The Voyage just... gets something about New World v. Old World tensions and anxieties, Australian in this context but resonant to my US experience, too, and without ever lapsing into didacticism or lecture this is a novel as much about questions and ideas as it is about character and and atmosphere. Superb.
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