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Closing Down

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  33 reviews
No matter how strange, difficult and absurd the world becomes, some things never change. The importance of home. Of love. Of kindness to strangers. Of memories and dreams.

Australia's rural towns and communities are closing down, much of Australia is being sold to overseas interests, states and countries and regions are being realigned worldwide. Town matriarch Granna Adams
Paperback, 280 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by Hachette Australia
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Clare found comfort in walking – every night she walked the quiet and lonesome streets of Myamba, two hours north of Melbourne until almost dawn when she returned home to sleep. Her thoughts were constant; the main topic in her head was the closing down of hundreds of towns; of rural communities throughout Australia. The devastation was taking over huge areas with people deciding their own ways of coming to terms with what was happening to them.

Robbie and Ella loved each other but often their jo
Deborah Ideiosepius
Flawless storytelling and beautiful writing combine in this book to make a reading experience I will not soon forget. The story deserves every grain of sand in those five stars I gave it, but whoever put together the blurb on the back deserves to be out of a job.... more on that later.

Actually, no, I will START with the blurb on the back and I will copy and paste it, which I almost never do but I have a point to make: No matter how strange, difficult and absurd the world becomes, some things ne
Michael Livingston
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved parts of this - the climate dystopia is terrifyingly plausible and the corporate takeover of government already feels basically complete - but I got a bit frustrated by it in the end. The magic realism elements felt out of place to me, and the story centred itself on a fairly privileged group of people without really engaging much with the stories of any of the individuals whose suffering formed the backdrop to the story. There's a lot to like here - Abbott's imaginative and writes well, ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘How has it all come to this?’

There are three main characters in this dystopian novel, set in an Australia which has largely been sold off to overseas interests. Rural towns are being closed by a remote central government, people are being displaced and dispossessed. The land is dry and food is limited. But the problems are not just confined to Australia: the countries and regions of the world are being realigned. Who cares about the human cost?

The main characters are Clare McDonald, Granna Adam
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, australia, sf
Aurealis Award Best SF Novel short list 2017
Rural Australia...this could happen!

May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. Beautifully written, with authentic characters and a deep heart to its exploration of a (terrifyingly plausible) environmental apocalypse. While the effects of the speculative elements are deftly drawn, it's primarily a deeply-satisfying character-driven story. At times it reminded me of David Mitchell's stunning The Bone Clocks.

My curiosity wanted a little more filling in of details about the wider world (especially given the main characters were all relatively privileged within
Kathryn O'connor
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, terrifying story about Australia in the near future. The characters and images stayed in my mind long after I finished reading. Abbott completely nails the Zeitgeist with this one. Highly recommended.
Jacqui-Lou Read
I signed up for a speculative fiction story set in the near future: the premise of Australia's rural areas being 'closed down' was unsettling and alarmingly plausible. I did not, however, sign up for magical realism, which is not so much woven into the central narrative as dumped indiscriminately throughout. It's perhaps the fault of the publisher for touting Closing Down as something that it's not, but the magical realism parts felt maddeningly irrelevant. Why are there bones falling from the s ...more
Rachel Watts
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian
I loved this novel, a broad but intimate apocalyptic future in regional Australia.
Amid rampant inflation, water shortages and mysterious bones falling from the sky, the Australian government enacts the Energising Rural Australia policy - A New ERA! - and starts closing down country towns, forcibly shifting the inhabitants into ever more overcrowded cities.

Desperation, waves of refugees and overcrowded, murderous, internment camps are the new normal. But the devastating vision is lifted by rema
Emily Briggs
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 - A terrifying glimpse into our future. I just needed more answers!
rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2017
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A thought provoking book that had me thinking about it for weeks afterwards. A great read and excellent book group choice with lots to discuss.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Closing Down is a really interesting work of "cli-fi". Set in the near future, it imagines a world that is struggling with the effects of climate change, and the social, political and economic difficulties associated with it. Rather than a plot-driven novel, the story meanders, slow and steady as one of the three main characters on her nightly walks through town - she doesn't walk to get anywhere, specifically, but just to move and observe.

Likewise, the main focus of this novel is world-buildin
Vickey Foggin
This is a chaotic combination that mixes a climate-change based dystopia in the year 2040ish and a magical realism that includes Chinese ghosts, intelligent cats and a mysterious man who drugs people with scents. There are also dashes of libertarian grumbles that imply that the world is going to hell because of government meddling. No one is happy in this future world but the characters are trying to get by as best they can. The non-magical characters are very well crafted, and the depictions of ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did love this book, and maybe 4.5 stars is more accurate, although I'm finding that there were so many unanswered questions that it actually has been very frustrating upon contemplation. Where did the bones come from? Who was the little blond girl? What was the significance of the forbidden house in Greece? It is definitely one of those stories that stays with you.

Great characters, including several strong and flawed females (my favourite). The writing was beautifully descriptive, (but not to
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rural Australia is both developing and narrowing. The selling out of Australia to foreign interests has resulted in multitudes of country towns closing down and officially ceasing to exist. Centralizing the displaced has become the solution to the increasing shortage of food and resources. Generational land ownership comes to a forced end, and for the residents of the bush communities, the country of their birth is becoming unrecognizable.

Clare is eking out an existence in country Myamba, depend
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book with no answers so if that's going to bother you I'm going to direct you away because the questions it raises are pretty damn pressing.

Outside of that, this is a beautifully crafted little snap shot of the world completely and utterly going to shit. It's also way more graphic and horrifying than what it sells itself as. Also, if you're sensitive to animal suffering this is not a book for you. That first chapter alone had me sobbing for ten minutes and I was only five pages in.

Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Closing Down, Sally Abbott imagines a dystopic Australia in the not-too-distant future. Australian land has been sold off, from the Northern Territory to rural land and small country towns. Paid a pittance for their land, people are forcibly moved out, told to try their luck in the city, where they live in small, cramped apartments, never seeing the sun. It is in this world that we meet Robbie, a disillusioned journalist who travels the world, and Clare, who is stuck in the rut of unemploymen ...more
Michelle Barraclough
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this novel in a weekend. The sad, at times confronting, images of a future dystopian Australia were juxtaposed with some gorgeous imagery and descriptions of all the things we love about our country as well. I felt nostalgic for my own home!

The story was compelling and I fell in love with the characters who all became very real to me. A beautiful novel. Well done Sally Abbott - a deserved winner of the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bizarre, horrifying, and almost unbearably melancholy. I've been in a strange mood ever since I finished it. The dystopia wasn't particularly dystopic - it was so easy to see that this is where our world is going to end up. Very unsettling.

I do wish it would have answered the question about the bones, and the drawings.
Grace McCaughey
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written book has excited my need to do something more about climate change before it is too late. Fabulous characters, some mysterious brought to life the potential reality of future life on this planet Earth. Particularly relevant to those now living in rural areas and those who would. A great read with a meaty story. Everyone needs to read this.
Deborah Moreheart
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dystopian Australia set in near future; society struggles to hold itself in the wake of political/ economic decisions with profound consequences for daily life. Well drawn characters try to find reason, love, and community. Throughout we are cognisant of all that have walked this fragile land, older spirits are with us.
Very satisfying layered themes, both scary and hopeful.
Ivana Dawe
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Survival in an apocalyptic world and the importance of family and great people necessary to survive. Great descriptive insight to where Australia and the world could potentially end up if we leave it in the hands of corruption and dictators. Unnerving
Sandra Shannon
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dystopian novel with a hint of the supernatural. I really enjoyed this novel about the possible Australia of the future, in fact the possible state of our future planet. Loved the characters surviving in a small country town in Victoria.
Wendy Orr
This is an amazing debut novel, which won the Richell prize for Emerging Writers in 2015. The apocalyptic future it depicts is horrendous, but the novel escapes being too bleak because of the humanity of its characters.
Arda Gezdur
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Australia in the new future
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the style of writing, reads well and interesting characters. A future of the world? I sincerely hope not.
Libby Brickell
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book felt truly original to me. At times fantastical (like a Murakami novel) but anchored in a future that felt frighteningly possible. Characters absorbing. Loved it.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting and though provoking story with an all-too-possible feel about it.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I felt this fizzled out a bit at the end but I loved the first half/three quarters so much that it deserves four stars
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Foreign ownership of Australian property 1 1 Jul 21, 2017 07:02AM  
Sally Abbott is a former journalist and a PR Director who lives in Melbourne with her partner. She was the winner of The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers 2015. Closing Down is her first novel.
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