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Dyschronia

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3.22  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  41 reviews
One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet? Does she have a disorder that alters her perception of time? Or is she a gifted and compulsive liar?

Mills' novel takes contemporary issues of resource depleti
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Paperback, 354 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Picador
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Showing 1-30
3.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  41 reviews


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Collin
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
There are no zombies in the dystopian future of Dyschronia. No belligerent alien species hell bent on taking over the planet. No infectious virus that spreads with alarming speed across the globe, wiping out our race as the countries on the screens turn from blue to red. No, in the dystopian future of this novel, the instrument of our destruction is the sea, or lack of it. In the small coastal town of Clapstone, the sea has disappeared.

Sam is in class when she experiences her first intense, migr
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Jennifer (JC-S)
‘How do we see what we can’t imagine ?’

One morning, the residents of Clapstone, a small Australian coastal town awake to find that the sea has disappeared. Thousands of sea creatures are left dead, and the stench is horrific.

‘Nothing like this has ever happened to us, not here on the uneventful instep of Australia, facing away from the world .’

One of the residents, Sam (short for Samandra) has been troubled by visions of this event for years. What does this mean – both for Sam and Clapstone? Is
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Deborah Ideiosepius
Dyschronia is a difficult novel to classify, character driven in a lot of ways with beautifully descriptive narrative it is full of strange self referential loops, some of which tie time into pretzels, others which wind the characters into strange shapes and experiences.

The setting is a small coastal town somewhere in Australia - the great Australian bight, one suspects - sometime in the not present. While in many ways consistent with 2018, there are subtle elements of dystopian future throughou
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Figgy
Review to come.

In the meantime: some sincerely beautiful and raw and dreamy and tangible writing here. It's not what you would call plot driven, but it doesn't exactly fall into character driven, either... it's somewhere in between.
The story takes places across three different times within the same small (fictional) Australian town.

The opening chapter is actually the start of one timeline, but 8+ years after the other timelines, and near the end we get to discover stuff from right back at the b
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Laura
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, aus-fiction, fiction
A haunting, circular tale that loops between timelines in a small Australian town. Some beautiful writing centered on a strong sense of place.

The novel operates within three timelines: two of which are from Sam's POV, the third from the remaining townspeople's POV, the collective 'we' who narrate the post-disaster present. There is something Kafka-esque about their dealings with bureaucracy, machinations in which private corporations move in, holdings pass hands, town investors receive mysteriou
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Tien
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Baffled.

Hence my star rating of 2 probably doesn't worth much. I loved the cover and I was intrigued by the blurb, "One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared." I, therefore, expected some sort of post-apocalyptic sort of novel and while it was in a way 'post-apocalyptic', it wasn't... not really.

I struggled by the time shifts; I can't even tell you how many there were supposed to be... There were the future (in visions?), t
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Jay-Dee Davis
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is terrifying and beautiful.

Terrifying because of just how close to home it feels. Set in an Australian coastal town, the sights, smells, and touches feel so familiar that the events depicted seem likely to happen 20 minutes away from my house.

Beautiful because of the writing. The author is clearly incredibly talented. The prose is consistent and well suited to the story.

It’s mostly driven by character rather than by plot, switching narrator and time period between chapters. This isn’
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Michael Livingston
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bleak and intriguing climate dystopia, about greed, small towns and the inevitable destruction of our environment that's coming at us while we all pretend it's not. I sometimes struggled to keep the three different threads of the story untangled in my brain, but loved some stylistic approaches (like the collective narration of sections from the town's perspective) and found the whole book very powerful.
Kimberley Starr
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the way this book is imagined. For instance, time doesn't just have speed, it has weight. A young child accepts that she seen things that NOW hasn't quite caught up with. Once surprise at its narrative world wore off in the second half of the novel, perhaps it could have moved more quickly to its conclusion.
Sarah
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was provided to Farrago, the student magazine of the University of Melbourne as a media release by Picador, the review is also available on the website. Link provided below.

Lyrically Looming, Jennifer Mills’ Dyschronia.
Jennifer Mills: Dyschronia
Picador by Pan Macmillan Australia, 2018.
ISBN 9781760552206, pp. 357, $29.99

“Here’s a prediction: the future never turns out the way we think it will. Simple enough, but that’s not the end of it. The past isn’t what we thought it was either.
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Alison
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Devastating. a poetic and yearning critique of industry, capitalism, greed, and people's passive belief in life going on. Amazing split narrative between the collective and the individual, and the precarious and random movements of time in individual consciousness and the earth's life. A definite dose of climate change anxiety that I had to slow down reading in order to process. A tour de force.
Lisa
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first thing to say about Jennifer Mills’ fantastic new novel is that you should not be put off by its title. You don’t need to know what it means, you don’t need to worry about pronouncing it properly because even if you do get it right, the librarian or the shop assistant will probably look puzzled anyway. Best to write it down on a piece of paper!
(And no, it’s not the name of that blue creature on the front cover. That’s a type of cephalopod, better known to us as a cuttlefish, the interna
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Kim
Read 100 pages and while the great descriptive writing kept me going in parts, the plot and narrative are just too disjointed and the characters are too shallow for me.
I really liked the premise too, but it's handled very unconvincingly.
I think I'm too grounded in a Science and economics based education to swallow the many leaps in logic.
A great title but not one I'll race to pick up again.
I was looking forward to the only Sci-Fi on the MF long-list but really I can only say it's the weakest
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Steph
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This is an intense book. It’s not what you’d call fun, and it’s not gripping in the sense of a fast-moving narrative full of cliffhangers. But it’s one I kept reading, mostly because the imagery is so unsettling that I wanted some resolution to prevent those rotting cuttlefish hanging in my mind, unable to dissipate because I didn’t know what would happen next.

The book jumps back and forth in time, focussing on the main character, Sam, and a second narrator whose name I’m not sure we find out. T
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Linda in Utopia
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cover-beauty
Spottet this beautiful cover in an Hobart Bookshop, turned it around and the first sentence did electrify me straight away: "One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewehre in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared."
This book is strange, wonderous, alien and written with well chosen words. You can feel that the author "gave birth" to this book, that is must have been a long writing process. This is nothing you can just write down in 3 months. The characters are too compl
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Clare Rhoden
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and I'm still thinking about it. That's a sign that it has some important things to say, I think. There are also many phrases that I noted as worth re-reading, and adding to my list of cool things written by excellent authors.
The story in this novel is like a cracked mirror - there are shards of time and we don't always exactly know where or rather when we are - but every piece shines with reflections of reality that we almost recognise, but of course everything looks differen
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Jodie- Readthewriteact
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was sent to me by the publisher for my honest review.

Have you ever wondered how the world will end? Maybe, you stop and think about the impact we are having on the planet with our need for more, more, more? Dyschronia isn’t the answer to your questions, or is it?

Despite the stunning cover, this is not a pretty book. Well constructed story? Yes. Interesting characters? You bet. Happily ever after? Hells to the N.O. This is a tragic tale of a child (Sam) with exciting foresight, that rev
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Josephine Waite
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
OK maybe I read too much genre, but I struggled to finish this. It seemed to get more muddy and pretentious just as one might expect resolution and enlightenment. There are good things in it; character, evocation of small town life, and warnings about the future (part of the artist's job is as Disaster Preparation Officer), but I wanted more. I am not the kind of feminist reader that needs all her female characters to be strong, brave, beautiful and clever, but Sam is so sickly and feeble that I ...more
Carolyn Taylor
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
I really wanted to love this book. The concept is brilliant. The whole way through, the story was very dreamlike and fragmented. Although I found it clever, I kept feeling this overwhelming need for more substance. Things were beautifully described and yet were only touched upon in a way that left me feeling frustrated.

The author did an amazing job of giving the feeling of slipping in and out of dreams/reality. But this story was not one I enjoyed. I still have so many unanswered questions and i
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Rena Ong
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I like the way the author writes. I would like to read more of her work. I found this book rather confusing , i realise we are going to and fro in time but at times i couldn’t figure out the ‘now’ of when we were.
I read the entire story as it does draw you in. As a non Australian and a city dweller i was unable to understand why the main characters did not leave in the beginning.
So this may be a bias on my part. I liked the way she showed the interconnectedness of the earth/ time and consequen
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Jen
I picked this up because I liked the cover and really enjoyed it, even though it features time travel (of a sorts) which is not my favorite thing. It's post-apocalyptic (kind of), set in Australia, with a shifting timeline and point-of-view. Once the timelines of the points-of-view started merging, it was easier to follow - but the difficulty in following the timeline is part of the point. An interesting take on the future we're headed for if we don't curb global warming and resource exploitatio ...more
Paige
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. I really loved the concept of it and quite enjoyed it at the beginning but I think the way the story jumps back and forth in time requires focused attention from the reader - you need to read in large blocks at a time. I read this book in 5 and 10 minute intervals during lunch breaks over a month and it was quite hard to follow. Three stars because I think it probably is a very good story.
Jane
Jun 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was the most confusing sci-fi book I've ever read (well after 'Hull Zero Three' which was so confusing it was a DNF!). Who was the 'we' half the story was written in, what was 'the dome' that kept getting mentioned, why was more not made of the sea vanishing or did it not vanish? Sorry, it just jumped around in time (or in Sam's head?) too much for me to follow. Happy to finish it, though I was hoping for some great clarity at the end, which never came.
Deborah
Very interesting novel. Intriguing ideas, some empathetic characters, some lovely writing.

A lot of time will have passed before I finish reading this.

I found it an effort to keep going with parts of the book. Other times I was absorbed, fascinated, wanting to know what happened next, what had happened before...

Three & a half stars, which I could round down or round up...
Miguel
May 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I actually did not finish the book. I found it disjointed, uninteresting, it was not gripping me. I’m ok with the narrative going back and forth in time, but in this case it did not make sense. Some chapters were narrated from a “we” perspective, but I never understood who were those people. So I couldn’t be bothered finishing it. Too many good books in the world to waste time.
Tony Bertram
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I thought I was coming to grips withe time changes in the book when suddenly about half way through I realized I wasn't. After that it was a struggle to follow what was happening. This was compounded by an inability to understand who 'Ned, Ed and Greg' were and what they were doing. Nor did I understand what happened to Sam. A pity because she was a well formed character.
Alex Rogers
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Unusual and disturbing. I got completely lost and turned around, and never found my way out. I understand that the author wanted to move away from a narrative telling of this strange story, but ultimately I think I just didn't understand what she wanted me to.
Maria
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
The Book was okay. Sometimes it really felt like I was reading a waste of words and I would have liked more of an emotional rollercoaster, but other than that, the book was enjoyable once you understood Dyschronia and how Sam views time with her illness.
Nat
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I really loved this at first but somewhere around the middle it became tedious and kind of pointless and what the hell is with that ending? I like an ambiguous ending as much as the next literature nerd, but after a tough second/third act, it wasn't the payoff the reader deserved.
Gee
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: oz, fiction
I have no idea what happened at the end there. The writing is so good and the playing around with time was done in a really interesting way. I just didn't really like any of the characters.
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Jennifer Mills is the author of Dyschronia (Picador, 2018; longlisted for the 2019 Miles Franklin Award), Gone (2011), The Diamond Anchor (2009), and a collection of short stories, The Rest is Weight (2012). In 2012 she was named a Best Young Australian Novelist by the Sydney Morning Herald and in 2014 she was awarded the Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship from the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature ...more
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