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The Ancestor Game

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In this novel--winner of Australia's top literary prize--the lives, the pasts, and the imaginations of the three central characters are powerfully and poetically interwoven. As the riveting history of each unfolds, the reader is drawn into an intricate, often mysterious series of paths traversing centuries and continents. ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Allen & Unwin (first published January 1st 1992)
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  133 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all australians, English teachers
An interesting variation of the Australian international experience by both going back into the history of the characters and by the fluidity of movement between places and times of these cultural links. This is truer of my own experience of Australia as third and fourth generation of British ancestry than all the books foisted on me through and education paralleled by the European influx post WWII.
The depth and complexity of characters, and the development of their connections and discomforts,
I found reading this book somewhat as a labour
Alex Miller is to praised as a wordsmith and his prose at time is a delight but too often I was not sure what he was saying and meaning But that of course may be due to my baser appreciation of literature

I found the characters tedious,the story when I could understand it tedious and for the last 100 pages wished wholeheartedly for it to end
Denise White
Too complicated for me.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
To be honest, I have only read about halfway through and am disappointed. In many ways, I'm also disappointed that I'm disappointed. I've met Alex Miller, have heard him speak on a couple of different occasions, and have enjoyed some of his other writings and lectures. The Ancestor Game, while its themes of time, place, and belonging are intriguing, just didn't do it for me. I felt as though the characters were uninteresting and whiny. After months of trying to make myself read through the whole ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it liked it
I found this a very difficult book to read. Its theme was real and interesting - where do we belong - where we are born or where we live. However, I had a lot of trouble following the characters, the time, the story. I am glad that I read the novel as it is highly regarded and a Mile Franklin award winner.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written novel. Raises questions of Australian identity and our ties to our ancestors. How important is our own heritage or can we break free from it and create a new identity in a new country?
Maggie Xipolitos
I found the theme of cultural displacement really interesting and the characters and story weaving intriguing but I was left absolutely mystified by the ending. I thought I was following quite closely but obviously I was mistaken. This is one novel I can't quite make sense of. ...more
Leah Cripps
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I'm glad I read this on a device so that I could keep checking the dictionary for unfamiliar word definitions. The characters were somewhat hard to follow but this was an enchanting story, if not a little too highbrow for me. ...more
Margaret Small
I actually gave up about a third through, very disappointed after reading Coal Creek, which I thought was wonderful. The main character was so unappealing and I really couldn't come to grips with the story at all. Normally I enjoy novels which move backwards and forwards in time, but not this one. ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
drivel. merits less than one star. so far up it's own ambition as to be unbearable ...more
Lyn Elliott
Miller writes prose as a poet and it was his writing that kept me in the book for two thirds of the way through. Then I tired of the plot mechanism and switched back to nonfiction.
Lesley Moseley
Must re=read such a dense richness is not possible to grasp all his sutle nuances.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still my favorite Miller book.
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Alex Miller is one of Australia's best-loved writers, and winner of the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2012.

Alex Miller is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. His fi

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