Eleni
Eleni asked:

it's getting better as i read on. the pace has picked up. i still don't find the some of the voices genuine e.g. the young vietnamese teen sounds ridiculous. what do others think? also too many literary allusions. the constant reference to Atticus finch is over kill.

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Stuart Thomson I actually found the dialogue between Jeoffrey and Charlie to be one of my favourite parts of the book. I found it to be funny and could imagine a similar conversation with a particular friend of mine when I was younger. Although I do agree Atticus Finch was mentioned waayyy to many times.
Grace Sankey the in textual referencing is amazing. Such as his reference to "one flew over the cuckoos nest" as it is a novel on escape prison and overcoming a female Tyrant, relating to Charlie's grounding and his mother.
Russell Proctor I found the voices very non-genuine. I lived in the 1960's in rural Australia and these "voices" just don't cut it. Why was the book set in 1965? There seems to be no reason for it. At one point Charlie specifically points out that the TV is in black and white. If he was genuinely supposed to be a 13 year old boy at that time he would have known no other type of TV. So why mention the picture was in black and white? It would not have occurred to him to remark on that at all. A minor point, but it's not the only example of "non-genuine" voice by any means.
Sandy Sexton I've just finished this book, and didn't mind the teasing dialogue between the teens, and I admired the way Jeffrey Lu coped with racism. His boasting was his way of boosting his ego, which could have been shattered by the treatment he received. There's a similar thread with Charlie. He lives in two worlds, the world of literature and the world of Corrigan. His reading experiences helps him to find a better way of thinking and being, and I'm sure everyone at Goodreads would agree that reading can open better possibilities. The trouble I had with the novel was the way women were portrayed. I didn't find the mother's character convincing. If she was the spoiled pampered child, where did she learn to become a harridan? Also, if Charlie's father was so kindly and compassionate, would it be in character for him to just ignore her obvious unhappiness? We don't get any other close ups of women in the town, except perhaps Eliza's mother. She is ineffectual to such an alarming degree that she's also not a believable character. However, despite this, I enjoyed the novel very much.
Davide Ariasso I agree with you a quite a bit, this is a very imperfect novel, but well constructed and engaging all the same. I started it during my first trip to Australia, to gain some kind of literary imagey of the place. Charlie has a lovely narrative voice, though at times he over-explains things, emotions and situations. There's a sense of repetitoin sometimes that I don't think is necessary. Also, revelatory moments/confessions are delivered in a rush and a bit too mildly, they lose the punch they might have had with a stronger visionary prose. Still, I loved the story and Charlie's character, the fairytale-ish feel of the bush and nature, and looking forward to read more from this author.
Gemma I love all that! The book's great! :)
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