Young Hugh Dixon believes he can save his father from ruin if he asks his estranged great-uncle Walter - a wealthy lawyer who lives alone in a Tasmanian farmhouse passed down through the family - for help. As he is drawn into Walter′s rarefied world, Hugh ...more
‘Late in life, I’ve come to the view that everything in our lives is part of a pre-ordained pattern.’
This novel is organised as three books: the first and third are the fictional memoir of Hugh Dixon in the 1950s, the second looks back a century earlier to a part of the life of Hugh's great-grandfather Martin Dixon. The two are connected by Hugh's great-uncle Walter, and elderly lawyer living alone at Leyburn Farm, owned by the Dixon family since colonial times and now being encroached upon by t ...more
The choice of narrative persp ...more
The biggest problem I had with LOST VOICES was the punctuation. When the characters speak to each other there was no punctuation to indicate they were speaking; and it drove me to distraction! I guess as an award winning literary figure such as the late Mr Koch should know more about writing than me – but he obviously ch ...more
The narrator is looking back at his life in Hobart, first as a child and then as a young man and an aspiring painter. He meets his great uncle who relates the family story that connected his father with bushrangers.
The story of the bushrangers could have been a novella, well written with descriptions of life in the 1850s, and of the hills and valleys around Hobart. This was where the book was most interesting.
There w ...more
Highways to a War and Out of Ireland are Booker-quality. Perhaps Koch's passion for storytelling doomed him in the lit-crit crowd, but his novels work on multiple levels. When I first traveled to Australia I asked a friend to recommend a novel that ...more
I did like the book without raving about it. I enjoyed the middle section the most. I found the writing a little stiff, clinical perhaps, which made it hard for me to warm to and care about the characters in a meaningful way. In the third section I didn't see the point of relating the events as the elderly Hugh Dixon looking back some 50 years to his time as...more
It tells two separate but similar stories of idealistic young men, their relationships with their respective mentor figures, and ultimately their transition into awareness of the darker side of human ...more