Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Death of Noah Glass” as Want to Read:
The Death of Noah Glass
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Death of Noah Glass

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The art historian Noah Glass, having just returned from a trip to Sicily, is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment block. His adult children, Martin and Evie, must come to terms with the shock of their father’s death. But a sculpture has gone missing from a museum in Palermo, and Noah is a suspect. The police are investigating.

None of i
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 2nd 2018 by Text Publishing (first published 2018)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  243 ratings  ·  61 reviews

Sort order
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“As she stood on the deck of the ferry at Circular Quay, Evie was conscious of storing up things for future recollection. Here was the lustily gleaming harbour, the absurdly golden midday, and the bridge, swinging away like a door on brass hinges as the ferry executed a slow turn. Above was an infinity of blue-becoming-black reaching far into space, almost shocking after the grey security of Melbourne. The scale of things was all wrong, too lavish, too sunny, too geared to applause.”

The Death Of
Text Publishing
‘The Death of Noah Glass is a transportive novel, dreamy and evocative, and full of richly-drawn characters. It’s sure to send first-time readers of Gail Jones on a journey through her extensive back catalogue.’

‘Jones writes with perception on the emotional chaos wrought by grief, and how difficult it can be to operate within relationships when there is so much that will remain unknown.’
Otago Daily Times

‘Jones displays a formidable, eclectic knowledge that she distributes among her c
Carolyn Mck
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I needed time to reflect on this novel before writing a review. I so admire Gail Jones’ work but in this novel her brilliant use of language tended to distance me from the story. She packs so many ideas into her books and her style is cerebral too. I’ve heard it described as ‘cool’ (and not in the popular meaning of the word).

In this novel Jones takes a familiar scenario - the death of a parent and the reactions and interactions of adult children. Following the unexpected (but ultimately not sus
Seema Rao
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Literary ~ Gentle ~ Weighty

tl;dr: Adult children learn their father might have been an art thief after his death.

Being an adult child is a bit like double exposure, all your childhood standing with your adult self. Your parents remain your parents, and in this book, the baggage sticks with you. Noah Glass is an academic, described fairly stereotypically, as measured and interior. After death, his children learn he has been implicated in a crime. Art history is a large part of my professional li
Michael Livingston
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it

This is a complex, allusive book about grief, art, and memory. I struggled at the start to really connect with it - there's more concentration required here than I was really giving it and I felt throughout as if a lot of the art-world references were slipping past me unnoticed. The book speeds up a bit as the plot unfolds, even if the central heist is as far from a page-turning art-crime thrill-ride that it's possible for an art theft to be. The complex relationships between the three family
Lesley Moseley
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nearer to 5, but not quite as I too had to backtrack to be sure who was 'thinking'. (Not that easy with an EBOOK.), a few times.

However, absolutely love her work. Still pondering the final chapter, and have decided it's a case of 'did you pay attention'....

Debbie Robson
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Gail Jones is a wonderful but I believe a neglected Australian novelist. One of the reasons I think that she doesn’t have a larger following is that she is constantly changing her writing subjects. She switches effortlessly from contemporary settings such as The Death of Noah Glass or Guide to Berlin (which I have yet to read) to Sixty Lights set in the late 19th century. I was planning to read Guide to Berlin next but I think Five Bells sounds more intriguing. I have recently written a short st ...more
Kirsten McKenzie
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautiful, beautiful writing.
Stunning prose with glorious imagery. The colours! And the lists. The lists were especially wonderful.
The cast of characters is small, and beautifully rendered. The dual settings of Australia and Italy lent themselves to picturesque views and commentary about the weather.
The plot was a little slower than I usually enjoy, but that is par for the course for literary fiction.
I can't gush about the plot, because there were too many threads left unwoven. I didn't feel tha
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Noah Glass was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1946.’

Noah Glass is dead. His body is discovered, floating face down, fully clothes in the swimming pool of his apartment block in Sydney. Noah Glass, widowed, the father of two adult children – Martin and Evie, an art historian and specialist in the fifteenth century artist Piero della Francesca, had just returned from a trip to Palermo. Noah Glass seems to have died of natural causes, but as Martin and Evie find out, he’s a suspect in the th
Jaclyn Crupi
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The grief and loss Jones summons here is so palpable, visceral and beautiful that it feels as though it has to have come from lived experience. I’ve read a lot of #auslit about grief and art, but here the writing was good enough to elevate. She captures Sydney and Palermo (Sicily), and to a lesser extent Melbourne, perfectly. I love Gail Jones’ writing and there was a lot here to really sink into. This is how to write about grief and Jones gathered feelings, memories, ideas in me that I didn’t r ...more
Robert Lukins
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Elegant prose, compelling characters. I'm at the beginning of a Jones binge.
Angela Elizabeth
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Please note that an edited version of this review appears in Books+Publishing and is quoted by the publisher Text Publishing in their entry also. Full review below.

In her seventh novel, The Death of Noah Glass, acclaimed Australian author Gail Jones returns to familiar territory with a narrative grounded in a strong sense of place and character. Esteemed art historian Noah Glass has been found dead at his Sydney apartment building, and his children are devastated by the loss. Martin, a successf
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My expectations were high at the outset of this 7th novel by one of my favourite Australian authors. Though there was less poetry in her fluid writing of this highly engaging narrative, there were the meticulous descriptions of time and place that I find enthralling in her work. She delves within the inner thoughts of her 3 complex characters (art historian Noah Glass + his two emotionally burdened adult children), as well as presenting the unfolding of an art theft. While the reader is drawn by ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description for this book leads a reader to expect a literary mystery. Two adult siblings trying to figure out whether their father, who has recently passed away, was potentially involved in an art theft. And in theory the book delivers on both accounts, it’s highly literary and there is something of a mystery to unravel. But, sadly, it didn’t really work for me on either account. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t a good book, objectively it was, it featured some genuinely great writing, linguist ...more
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gail Jones is a genius. I absolutely loved Five Bells and I didn’t think she would or could match it but she has. Her writing is melodic and poetic yet never ever somnolent. There is energy and spirit and deep reflection. The beauty in her phrasing is high literary and yet never feels contrived. In descriptions, she captures humanity’s profound mundaneness amid deep tragedy and loss.

She changed the pace of my reading. I read and reread lines describing the everyday: After a funeral - ‘Outside,
Pam Tickner
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I felt I should like this book due to Gail Jones' reputation as a writer, but I failed to engage with the story or the characters. It had interesting quirky parts- especially Noah's early days living in a leper colony, but that wasn't enough to keep me fully engaged in the story.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I so enjoyed this story with its stunning prose, beautiful and dreamy imagery and deeply touching story of three grief-stricken lost souls looking for meaning through love and art. While the plot sagged a bit in the middle for me, overall this was an enchanting read and I highly recommend it to lovers of literary fiction.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read and review this novel.
Cherise Wolas
This is the first novel I've read by award-winning Australian writer, Gail Jones. While there is a mystery at the core - did newly dead Noah Glass, 67 years old and just back from a trip to Italy, steal a valuable work of art? - this isn't actually a mystery or a thriller. Instead, it's a meditative, sometimes lyrical, look at a family, at grief, at the power of a visual image, art, and the complexity of time, the way it can both loop and fold over on itself, while the body itself moves forward ...more
Alison Hardtmann
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

While Noah Glass's two adult children are still making funeral plans and coming to terms with the sudden death of their father, the police arrive to let them know that he is suspected of having stolen an Italian statue. Noah Glass was an art historian and he had recently been in Palermo, but his area of expertise was far removed from the relatively recent sculpture and his personal views made such an accusation unthinkable to his children. Evie, who has traveled to Sydney from her home in Melbou
Anne Fenn
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Why isn't Gail Jones on top of our radar and best seller lists?! She's a fabulous writer. Australians can be proud of her writing, she blends our city and country experiences into plots extending far into the world. Every book I've read by her is so interesting. She has lots of awards for her work but I never see much about her in the media.This novel is about a sister and brother, Evie and Martin, and their lives in the aftermath of their father Noah's death. It ranges forwards and backwards in ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
So evocative and so many details woven into the tapestry of the three characters' lives. While it is an understated story, the plot manages well until the end where it rushes forward then ends rather abruptly.
I went to hear the author speak at Monsalvat last year when the book came out. So glad I did, i wonder if I would have liked it as much without hearing about the art in it and more about Palermo.
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Gail Jones’s writing as I feel slightly mesmerised by the rhythm and language of her words and am continually amazed with her precision in depicting places. In this novel Palermo comes alive with its seedy underbelly and labyrinth streets.

This novel has a cast of characters who are introspective in their examination of what ties family together and the tenuousness of these relationships.The unexplained death of Noah and the secrets he may have kept causes his children to reflect
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! I'm now wondering how come I've never heard of Gail Jones before this. Such a good story about family connection and disconnection, and how grief and secrets have a habit of disintegrating what was thought to be the shared 'truth'.
Steve Daykin
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This booked ticked lots of boxes for me- great writing, good story, good sense of place [Sydney and Palermo] and interesting characters.
I can appreciate the poetic nature of Jones writing, and her way of describing (particularly the Italian scenes) is very evocative. However, this book just never came together for me. Quite a brief novel, I was frustrated by the lack of character development and found the switches between perspective (especially between Noah and Martin) disconcerting - often having to double back to see whose eyes we were looking through now.
May 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Hazel Edwards
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Writing from varied viewpoints seems to be a current fashion, but here it was often confusing with the time jumps as to who was the father Noah and who was the son Martin and when things were happening. Maybe that was deliberate to indicate legacies and inheritances? The settings in Sicily were interesting as was the indigenous leper colony of Noah's youth, but generally the brother and sister and father were depressing characters. They existed rather than lived and seemed to have no purpose oth ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Noah Glass is an art historian based in Sydney. Shortly after his return from a sojourn in Palermo he is found dead, face down in the swimming pool of his apartment. Soon after the police arrive to investigate his possible involvement in the theft of a sculpture.

The novel begins with Noah's life in outback Australia where his father worked with lepers and moves forward in time as well as place. His son Martin travels to Palermo to try to understand the mystery, meanwhile, his daughter Evie move
Susan Steggall
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Gail Jones, ‘The Death of Noah Glass’, Text Publishing Co, 2018
The book is an enjoyable read on several levels – the well-evoked ‘personalities’ of Sydney and Palermo, the author’s deft way with words, the scholarship underpinning it. However, I am not too sure what to make of the book as a whole, possibly because it doesn’t quite know what it is either: mystery, romance, travel or a combination of all three. Rather aptly, the second paragraph of the back-cover blurb says, ‘None of it makes any
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Restorer
  • Quota
  • Autumn Laing
  • The Bush
  • The Heat (Wyatt, #8)
  • Atlantic Black
  • Cosmo Cosmolino
  • Tracker
  • The Dying Trade (Cliff Hardy, #1)
  • A Murder Unmentioned (Rowland Sinclair #6)
  • Wild Island
  • The Life
  • Floundering
  • The Last Garden
  • Bridget Crack
  • Good Living Street: Portrait of a Patron Family, Vienna 1900
  • Cardinal
  • Poison Principle
Gail Jones is the author of two short-story collections, a critical monograph, and the novels BLACK MIRROR, SIXTY LIGHTS, DREAMS OF SPEAKING, SORRY and FIVE BELLS.

Three times shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, her prizes include the WA Premier's Award for Fiction, the Nita B. Kibble Award, the Steele Rudd Award, the Age Book of the Year Award, the Adelaide Festival Award for Fiction and th
“As she stood on the deck of the ferry at Circular Quay, Evie was conscious of storing up things for future recollection. Here was the lustily gleaming harbour, the absurdly golden midday, and the bridge, swinging away like a door on brass hinges as the ferry executed a slow turn. Above was an infinity of blue-becoming-black reaching far into space, almost shocking after the grey security of Melbourne. The scale of things was all wrong, too lavish, too sunny, too geared to applause.
More quotes…