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The Girl On The Page

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,262 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Two women, two great betrayals, one path to redemption. A punchy, powerful and page-turning novel about the redemptive power of great literature, from industry insider, John Purcell.

Amy Winston is a hard-drinking, bed-hopping, hot-shot young book editor on a downward spiral. Having made her name and fortune by turning an average thriller writer into a Lee Child, Amy is gi
ebook, 352 pages
Published September 24th 2018 by 4th Estate
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
The Girl on the Page by John Purcell is a behind the scenes look at the world of book publishing. As an avid reader I was looking forward to reading this. I certainly got more than I bargained for and I just loved it all!!

Amy Winston is a young, hotshot editor on her way to ruin. She sleeps around, drinks too much and says it like she sees it. She doesn't have to work but she's loves what she does. In order to save her job she is sent to help literary great Helen Owen with her next book. Both w
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a really hard book to review - I am so torn. Some parts were .... well, no words really ... that bad. Then other parts were just brilliant. Presented as a window into the world of publishing (a world I would not want to enter by the way, if this is anything to go by) I think this book suffers a real sense of a lack of identity.

I will confess that I did not fully appreciate this book as it attempted to tick too many boxes for me, in too short a space. In one chapter there might be drama f
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amy Winston is a woman who can make things happen. She is a talented editor who thanks to turning an average thriller writer into a household name has not only made her a ton of money but also is someone who is in demand. But her latest assignment is one that will push herself to the limit.

Amy's life revolves around a damaging routine of work and play with her favorite after-hours activities involving drinking, sex, and buying fancy clothes. But when her current boss requests her to get famous a
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
Mixed thoughts about this one. Really interesting perspectives about what is, or isn’t literature, but the main character, Amy, was completely ridiculous. Amy, is an “ideal woman” obviously written by a man. A Pretty, clever, under 30 nymphomaniac.

A page turner but sometimes I found myself thinking, “You’re kidding. Put this down now. It is trash.”

I finished but can’t say I’d recommend it.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy hell. I just finished and I’m reeling a little; I didn’t want it to be over yet. This is a love letter to books, to writers, to publishers. It is so very obviously written by someone who loves books and I appreciated that SO MUCH. Amy is a difficult character, and I will admit that I struggled with her at first, possibly because I see a little too much of myself in her destructive actions. Malcolm and Helen, a literary couple, are incredible characters and their stories were wonderful to wa ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

**3.5 stars**

The Girl on the Page by John Purcell. (2018).

Amy is a hard-drinking, bed-hopping, hot-shot young book editor who has made her fortune turning an average thriller writer into a Lee Child. Her new task is to collect a bestseller from literary giant Helen. Helen was given a seven figure advance and has yet to deliver the novel. Her husband Malcolm, also a novelist, thinks she is a sell-out. This is Amy's biggest challenge yet
Sarah Mcduling
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredibly difficult review to write. No kidding, I’ve been attempting to review The Girl on the Page for literally months. I must have started this review a dozen times only to delete every word and start all over again. I have procrastinated like crazy because a) I know the author, which makes things a little bit awkward and b) I work with the author which makes things extremely awkward and c) the author happens to be my boss, which means PRESSURE!

But before you dismiss every word I
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I read a glowing review in the Booktopia email and downloaded The Girl on the Page. I returned to check I had in fact purchased the right book as the reviews didn't seem to correlate with what I was reading. I then noticed that Purcell the author is also Director of Books at Booktopia and therein lies the conflict of interest and the review was always going to be biased. The book had so much unrealised potential with Purcell somehow managing to turn it into a soft porn novel mixed with decent di ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars, while I appreciate this was an insight into the publishing world , the name dropping of authors got a bit too much . There is no way that the main character could behave in the way she did and still keep her job no matter how ‘ good looking ‘ we are constantly told she is . This book did nothing for me .
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
[advance copy provided by netgalley in exchange for an honest review]

Let me get this out of the way: I didn't not like this. The writing style was very accessible, and the plot moved quickly enough to keep me entertained. Nevertheless, I felt that the book was a bit unfocused - like it wasn't quite sure what story it was trying to tell. Trying to appeal to too many audiences.

The story focuses on three central characters. Amy, who is the only character we have the honour of receiving in first pe
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This book has everything: a setting in the publishing industry, ageing and eccentric authors, bestselling authors, publishing personalities, editing and proofreading, manuscripts aplenty, sex, ambition, literary debate and tragedy. The Girl On The Page by John Purcell has been the most surprising read for me so far this year and I absolutely loved it!

Australian author John Purcell is currently the Director of Books at Booktopia and before that he ran a secondhand bookshop in Sydney for 10 years,
Francene Carroll
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was ok

The last man standing in this book is Malcolm Taylor an old white guy who delivers a sermon on literature and its role in life after driving his brilliant wife to suicide with his inexcusable behavior (and who didn't even bother to attend his own son's funeral after he also committed suicide). He delivers his words of wisdom on a panel at the Sydney Writer's Festival with a woman and a black man who he attempts to cure of his illusions that he could ever write more than commercial fict
Danielle Cotterell
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
While I liked this book, I definitely didn't love it. It was, however, a good 'read-next-to-the-pool-while-on-holiday' kind of book. Upon reflection, the storyline was quite dark in places and carried an overall vibe of general sadness and hopelessness, which my (obviously idealistic holiday-inspired) mindset found difficult to enjoy at times. It provided an interesting, and somewhat concerning, glance into the world of the publishing industry. I appreciated Purcell's writing style and found eac ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I'd seen some reviews around but most really only touched on the fact that John Purcell (who's well-known and heavily involved in the book / publishing industry here in Australia) had offered us an insider's view into that world. Almost all reviews I'd seen though, were overwhelmingly positive. 

As someone who tends to spurn Literary fiction (with a capital L) because I don't usually understand what the f*ck I'm reading, I was intrigued about thi
Monique Mulligan
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Girl on the Page by John Purcell is a pacy page-turner that raises interesting questions regarding the divide between commercial and literary fiction.

Through the characters of Amy, a commitment-resistant book editor, and Helen, a literary great who is struggling with the manuscript she’s been paid a whopping advance for, this novel gets to the essence of what it means to write because it is art, as opposed to writing to make money.

I appreciated the way this book gave such insight to the pu
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This novel by Australian writer John Purcell is supposedly about genre writing vs literature but really deep down amongst all the sludge it's soft porn. Every character mopes around hating themselves and everyone else while flinging money around and indulging in wild sex and booze. Need a shower to cleanse myself after wading through this muck. A love letter to writers?? Really? Where's my Maeve Binchy? ...more
Frances Nielsen
May 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-read, kobo-books
Not my cup of tea.
Bree T
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a lover of books, both the stories themselves and also the process of producing them, I really enjoy books that are set in the world of publishing. There’s something about them that really appeals to me – a glimpse behind the scenes, getting to know an author’s process but also editing as well as actual publishing, launch and promotion. And if you’re like me and enjoy that sort of stuff too then this book is definitely for you.

I absolutely loved this, from pretty much the first page. Amy is a
Danielle McGregor
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 4.5*

When I started reading this book I wasn’t really sure what it would be about. In all honesty the front cover first attracted me. The story is a behind the scenes look at the world of publishing and it doesn’t paint it in a positive light.

I fell in love with the 3 main characters and followed their journeys eagerly! The characterisation in this text is unique in the sense that there isn’t any real ‘baddies’ and that every character showed flaws.

There’s a story of sex and scandal
Arlene Oram
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Devoured this in less than 12 hrs. The characters were full of depth and flaws and wonder. I loved the insight and book recommendations and it was obvious just how much this author loves reading and writing. Would highly recommend!
Kat Betts
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Curious about how a book about editors would read, I picked up this book and went into it expecting a story about the publishing industry. This novel is so much more than that. It discusses the ramifications of our choices, damnation and redemption, love and lust, money and integrity, joy and sadness, life and death.

This book is not what I had expected it to be when I picked it up. It surprised me in its raw and uncompromising view of reality. This book is shocking and, in that, beautiful.
Jade Wright
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me just say this is most possibly the most beautiful book cover I have ever seen. I hope no other covers / editions of this book ever come out.

I loved the idea of this novel... a book about books!? Sign me up. It's an ode to readers, writers, publishers, editors... everyone that adores the world of literature will surely love this book.

The Girl on the Page dives into the scandalous, eccentric, backstabbing world of publishing.
It's about a destructive young woman in the editing industry who i
Lucy Bladen
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I completely agree with other reviews on here that say it was so clear Amy was written by a man. Amy is impossibly good looking and her looks are constantly and unnecessarily brought up. She also has a lot of sex and gives a lot of oral and these encounters were described very much in-depth, but added almost nothing.

The thing is, there was potential for her character. She clearly had a troubled backstory but that was only lightly touched upon, instead, most of her 'issues' in the novel seem to
Maya Linnell
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was immediately roped into The Girl on the Page by the central character Amy, with her wealth, beauty, self-destructive streak and high sex-drive. A talented editor and ghost writer, Amy is on a downward spiral when she is tasked to work with a revered literary author. The unusual pairing forces Amy to reconsider her beliefs and direction, and also sparks a major shift for the older author Helen and her husband Malcolm. I loved the changing point of view between the very distinct protagonists, ...more
Rebecca Bowyer
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Girl on the Page, by John Purcell, is a highly entertaining, brilliantly written novel about the clash between popular fiction and literary fiction; 20th century and 21st century feminism; wisdom and youth.

I got ridiculously excited about this book and wrote a 1400-word review which I think is too long to reproduce here! You can read it over at Story Addict.
Sam Still Reading
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of engrossing reads
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: given ARC
The Girl on the Page has been getting a lot of positive media coverage in Australia lately. It sounded like my kind of book – a heroine who couldn’t care less what the world thinks about her, life in publishing and two reclusive literary authors. So naturally I jumped in and started reading. The first thing I noticed is the writing. John Purcell’s writing is easy to read and easy to relate to – you’re in Amy’s world now, lock, stock and barrel. Amy is also a unique character as she should be unl ...more
Bec Begg
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous book about books for this lover of books! Crazily enough, a page-turner about non-page-turners.

And I found the central question - what constitutes ‘literature’ - so fascinating. Is it the difference between a ‘down hill’ read that is easy going and an ‘up hill read’ that you have to work on with every sentence? Is the difference in stories found plucked from universal truths rather than those plucked from life? Can we really judge people as a result of what they like to read and
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
My first impressions of The Girl on the Page were filled with intrigue. The cover was interesting; the blurb promised a bizarre story.
Then as I got to know alcoholic, sex-driven Amy, I became invested in the story.
Amy works for a publishing company awaiting the latest novel of Literary author Helen Owen, wife of Booker Prize nominee Malcom Taylor. Together the pair make an interesting couple as nomadic Amy is forced to move in with the a
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: auslit
This is a book for those who love reading, and is a fascinating exploration of the lines the publishing world draws between literary classifications, and the value we attach to books in considering them for literary prizes. Overall though for me, my experience reading this fell a little flat. Definitely check out other reviews as the overwhelming majority I have seen have been very positive!

I liked the range of perspectives we got in these characters, and felt as a reader we weren’t positioned t
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While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has ...more

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