Seth Robinson is the author of Welcome to Bellevue, published by Grattan Street Press (GSP) in 2019. Welcome to Bellevue is the first full-length novel in GSPs original fiction collection.
In 2021, Seth was selected as one of the inaugural winners of the Ultimo Prize (fiction). His other creative works have featured in Aurealis Magazine, TCK Town, the GSP Flash Fiction Anthology, the University of Sydney Anthology, Farrago and Woroni.
Seth received a Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing from the University of Melbourne in 2018, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2014.
Born in Seattle, Washington, his family emigrated to Australia when he was four years old. Seth draws on his experiences of being a dual-citizen in his written work, in his thinking about people, place, politics, and the wider world.
At any given time, Seth is likely to have half-a-dozen creative projects in the works – which has led to his exploration of creating within many mediums. This has included: producing, co-creating and hosting podcasts, such as the Australian Podcast Award winning Women are the Business, working as a producer at a commercial radio station, and freelancing as a music journalist. His byline has featured in publications such as Beat, the Brag, Vulture, BMA Magazine, and inthemix.
Seth is currently working on his next novel, and on completing his Doctor of Arts (Creative Writing) through the University of Sydney. When not writing, Seth’s time is dictated by the household alpha dog, his Cavoodle, Swayze.
I have no idea what to rate this book. (I think it's a 3 stars for me.) It was pitched as 'a fantasy action and adventure novel' and while that is technically true, it's not exactly the right description. It felt very insular, slow moving, with a bit of lurking atmosphere and a character-driven plot at the heart of it. What I liked was the writing style, it was easy to absorb and read really quickly. The atmosphere that it invoked made the town feel like a character in and of itself, and the almost cult-like polite eeriness that came with it intrigued me as well. Some parts of it seemed to take a while to get to their point though, like a lot of dialogue that was polite interaction and description that seemed cheesy at times. Although, the politeness of the dialogue could have been intentional, to fit the overall mood/theme, so it's just a personal preference -- I prefer snappier, quickly moving dialogue. I think I was the problem with this book. It's intriguing, enjoyable and oddly mysterious and I can see a lot of people enjoying it and its introspection. For me, I expected action and adventure in the form of some sort of quest, but the scenery didn't particularly change. Harry as a character seemed to stay fairly the same throughout the whole thing, except for a quicker change in the climax and conclusion of the book. There were a bunch of elements to this book in terms of plot and characters and I wish the depth of them were explored more; I felt like I knew of them but didn't truly know them deeply. But I don't even know if that makes sense hahaha. I've just finished the book and it has a super palatable writing style, the protagonist Harry is in his early 20s so his tone was rather relatable, and the atmosphere of the setting really stuck out to me. Definitely give this a go if you like a short, intriguing and eerie book.
Thank you to Gratton St Press for sending an e-copy to me for review.
Welcome to Bellevue is an outstanding debut novel from Seth Robinson. Full of intriguing supporting characters in addition to the protagonist Harry, the story captures you from the get-go and keeps palpable suspense in the air till the time is right for the mystery to unravel. Perhaps even more impressive, however, is Robinson's ability to colour the mind of readers with vivid descriptions of the seaside town of Bellevue. As a result, Bellevue becomes a place that you wish you could visit yourself, if only it weren't inhabited by certain townspeople...
The hard copy is 272 pages in length, which was a smart choice, as there are no unnecessary side plots or filler that takes you out of the action. Harry has a mission, and he's determined to see it through. A real page-turner that can be devoured in a single afternoon for the determined reader.
The perfect read for fans of the TV show "Lost"! Harry wakes up on a ferry arriving at a mysterious island, with little memory of his past, and no way to leave. The townsfolk seem determined to keep something from him - but what is it? Does he want to know?
This is more of a character driven story at first, rather than plot driven, but that slowly changed as Harry began to unravel the mysteries of Bellevue. Our main character is a writer, so his wonderfully sarcastic inner-voice adds an extra descriptive flair to the story.
The plot twists were done incredibly well - I didn't see them coming, and yet when I think back, I can see how they were foreshadowed.
I recommend this book for fans of fantasy, or mystery!
Thank you Grattan Street Press for providing me with a copy of this book to review.
The author created an eerie sense of intrigue from page one that stayed with me even after I had finished reading.
I didn't connect with Harry as the main character, and, at times, I didn't particularly like him. But, somehow I really cared what happened to him. I couldn't quite tear myself away from Bellevue. Every time I thought I had figured out the crazy little world unfolding within the pages, I was taken down a different path.
What I loved most about Welcome to Bellevue was the beautiful writing style and turn of phrase. A thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read.
I found myself stuck on the sofa deeply committed to Harry's journey and ignoring everything I had to do this weekend. I went through a few early rotations of where Bellevue was, then I got a bit more involved and got even deeper into it before working my way out the other side barely hanging on to Harry. I loved this book would thoroughly recommend it and can't wait for another one from this talented author.
It was a delight to read this debut novel. Robinson creates a world you can completely lose yourself in; every time I started to read I was instantly dropped into Bellevue. It felt completely 3D, in that 3D cut out way that Harry comes to see it. I love how Harry's thoughts voice what the reader is thinking, and the constant tease of the fourth wall. I read this in record time - could not put it down!
Welcome to Bellevue was an easy read and complete page-turner. Harry and his mysterious surroundings had me intrigued from the beginning. Just when I thought I knew what might happen there's s twist that kept me wanting more. I really enjoyed connecting with Harry and Xanthe and particularly enjoyed the descriptive nature of the text. Bellevue lifted off the page and into my imagination. I could even smell the pine-needles!
The central mystery of Bellvue absolutely pulled me in and wouldn't let go of me. I finished the last quarter of the book at midnight, desperate to know the answer to the question behind Bellvue, and how our protagonist, Harry, wound up in this tiny town without any apparent way to leave.
It's not often that we see a book of this particular genre, so Robinson's debut is an absolute delight to read. Off the basis of this, I'm really excited to see what he writes next!
A suspenseful, twisty plot that had me thinking one thing, and then wrong-footed me in the closing chapters, and I found the ending very satisfying. This is a novel about creativity and story, but never goes quite where you expect it to. Full review on my blog.
After smashing out this book in less than two weeks and a handful of sittings, I can honestly say that this book is a real page turner. I loved the imagery the author sets, the character developments, plot twists and turns, and overall language and vibe that Welcome To Bellevue provided to me as a reader. Absolutely well done 👏🏼
"Welcome to Bellevue" by Seth Robinson is imaginative, vivid storytelling. It is well paced, energetic, and thoughtful, which makes for a very satisfying read. Put it at the top of your holiday reading list!
Intriguing debut novel from up-and-coming author, Seth Robinson. The narrator grabs you from the start and keeps you engaged as he wrangles with discovering who and where he is. An excellent read for these times.
What a fantastic book. Absolutely hooked from start to finish. It’s been a while since I’ve had such trouble putting a book down. Highly recommend ‘Welcome to Bellevue’ but clear your schedule, you won’t want to put it down!