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Some Tests

2.97  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  22 reviews
It begins with the normally healthy Beth—aged-care worker, wife of David, mother of Lettie and Gem—feeling vaguely off-colour. A locum sends her to Dr Yi for some tests. ‘There are a few things here that aren’t quite right,’ says Dr Yi, ‘and sometimes it is these little wrongnesses that can lead us to the bigger wrongs that matter.’

Beth is sent on to Dr Twoomey for more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 29th 2017 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 2.97  · 
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May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some Tests is the fifth novel by Australian author, Wayne Macauley. At thirty-seven, Beth Own is happily married mother of two young daughters. She has a nice house on Blossom Street in Heatherdale and works in aged care. On Monday afternoon, Beth is feeling a little off colour, feeling something is not quite right, so she leaves work early.

David takes care of Lettie and Gem and, when Beth feels no better the following morning, and unable to get an appointment with their usual GP, organises a
Text Publishing
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australian, fiction
‘Macauley has published some of the most memorable fiction going in this country. His books and stories are satirical fables in which the properties are recognisably contemporary and Australian…His narratives [can] take off into the bizarre without ever losing their cool.’

‘Some Testsis a completely unique offering among the recent spate of books about illness, death and Western medicine. With eerie touches of strangeness that quickly progress to the surreal, Macauley turns the mundane
Jaclyn Crupi
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Wayne Macauley's fiction. His books are always full of ideas and questions. And he never explores or answers them how you expect him to. Beth is feeling 'a bit off' and is quickly referred from doctor to doctor for some tests. Through Beth, Macauley takes a scalpel to medical advancements and the seemingly endless cycle of tests and diagnoses available. After all, 'the more faults we look for, the more we find.' His critique of the medical and pharmaceutical industries is timely and ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A few years ago, I decided to get to the bottom of my frequent migraine headaches. It was the beginning of an eight month process of tests (mostly 'ruling things out'), visits to four doctors, and various medications and procedures. My experience ended with an iron infusion which ultimately made all the difference to my migraines, however, there were moments on this medical merry-go-round when I thought I was wasting my time and money.

Wayne Macauley captures this exact situation in his strange
Wayne Macauley is an entertaining satirist who mercilessly exposes Australian follies, and I like his novels very much. I’ve read Blueprints for a Barbed-wire Canoe (2004, satirising our obsession with home ownership); The Cook (2011, it parodies foodies); Demons (2014, which exposes the inane narcissism of middle-class Melbourne ); and I have Caravan Story (2007) somewhere on the TBR. (Links are to my reviews). Macauley’s latest target, in Some Tests, is the medicalization of normal life…

Michael Livingston
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 probably. I've loved some of Macauley's older books, so I was surprised how much of a chore I found this. It's surreal and unsettling, as you'd expect, but the main character didn't connect with me at all, and the writing was so unadorned as to be a bit dull. Having sat on this for a day or so I'm getting more out of the book - he's tackling big topics like death, illness, and how to approach them - but I didn't enjoy the actual process of reading it all that much.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Well, by the time I was half way through this book I felt thoroughly creeped out. Elements of it are uncomfortably close to reality for many people (like being passed from one practitioner to another without understanding why). Towards the end it became evident what was really going on - and I'm not going to spoil the story for you. If you enjoy dystopian stories you'll likely enjoy this book.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beth Own (not Owen, as I read it for about two-thirds of the book!) wakes up one morning not feeling particularly well, and decides to stay in bed. Her husband calls in a locum doctor who sends her off for some tests. And the next doctor sends her off for more tests, and so it goes. Until she discovers that she’s been pulled off the grid, as it were, and is being cared for (and tested) by a kind of underground medical movement which treats its patients as individuals and not as numbers.

For the
Anne Fenn
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This another unusual book. A woman feels a little unwell - her husband gets a doctor in. She is to have some tests. It doesn't take very long for the reader to think that, like the woman's health, 'there's something not quite right'. At first, like Beth, I fought a bit, wondered where it was going, but then the writing became mesmerising, soporific without sending me to sleep. I followed her up hill and down dale, meeting so many people , moving through so many places. The author says he was ...more
Josephine Quealy
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
An excellent satire on the health 'industry' and a very interesting reflection on our approach to death. And if that sounds off-putting, this is simply a very very good story about a woman who feels vaguely unwell and her quest to discover what is 'wrong' with her.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Anyone who has been for “some tests” might feel an immediate connection with this novel. One of the best elements in it is the detailed descriptions of the waiting rooms in doctor's surgeries, each a little different but the same (I could write at length here about my arguments with receptionists about the tyranny of daytime TV in these locations but it is a distraction from the novel).

The feelings of waiting, of uncertainty and powerlessness are really effectively evoked though the experiences
Jackie Mcmillan
Dec 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not my cup of tea - journey without an end, problem without a solution, unlikable protagonist.
Paul Adkin
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wayne Macauley is one of Australia’s greatest ironists. He writes from within the great bubble of Australian society in order to reveal the soapiness of that bubble. Some Tests is Macauleyan irony in its purest form, and the soapiness is everywhere.
Some Tests is also Macauley’s most Kafkaesque work, a comparison which Macauley himself could not complain of, for Kafka runs thick through all his work since his adaptation of “The Hunger Artist” in the early 80s.
Some Tests is in fact a kind of
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some Tests is a pretty weird book that defies definition.

Beth Own is a 37 year old mother, wife and aged-care worker who feels a little under the weather. So her husband persuades her to see the doctor. Beth’s regular doctor is not there, and the locum doctor decides to send Beth off for some tests just to conform that there’s nothing wrong. But Dr Yi decides to refer Beth off for more tests, which in turn lead to more tests.

Initially this is a fairly conventional journey around Melbourne’s
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This would've made an awesome, spooky short story. As it is, the last 50 pages just drag even though things may finally be becoming clearer. Or not. The endless descriptions of Doctor's surgeries becomes a chore to get through, & I really started feeling the boredom of endless waiting. I hate Doctor's surgeries without at least a trashy magazine less than 2 year old & if the Doctor keeps me waiting beyond the end of the magazine, then I may start banging my head against the wall.
I guess
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Wow, I'm a little speechless. This book completely surprised me in more than one way. I genuinely wasn't expecting the writing style nor the overall emotional toll this book would have on me.

I did spend a while contemplating whether to give it a 3 or a 4/5 but decided on the latter simply because of how enthralled I was. I finished the entire book in less than 24 hours! That being said, I can understand why this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. The writing style is incredibly stilted at
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit abstract in that there’s no depth to the characters.

Beth isn’t really diagnosed with a particular disease...she’s just sent from doctor to specialist & no one will tell her what is wrong.

I would like to have known her ailment & hf she had a chance of recovery.

Overall an easy read which I enjoyed
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book starts in the everyday but soon takes us somewhere else, yet not very far away from normal. Anyone who has been in the medical system will empathise with Beth’s journey and may relish its conclusion.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perplexing and finely honed, this dystopian fiction is not without brightness and humour. It reads a little like a parable, with an interesting philosophical idea just beyond grasp. I really enjoyed the way we're taken step by step into a maddeningly plausible near future.
Rachel Bookish
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Existential story about navigating the health system. I love the cover art - it's the best part of the book.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Anne Treasure
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Jul 17, 2018
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Jan 06, 2019
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Jul 06, 2019
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Jan 26, 2018
Andrew Fraval
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May 09, 2019
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Sep 28, 2017
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Jun 17, 2018
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Jun 11, 2018
Iain Colquhoun
rated it it was ok
Jul 05, 2019
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Wayne Macauley is the author of the highly acclaimed novels: Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, Caravan Story and, most recently, The Cook, which was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award, a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award. His new book Demons will be available in August 2014. He lives in Melbourne.
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