Rites of Passage
Faber & Faber, $14.95, 278 pp
Rites of Passage qualiﬁes for a notice in ABR because, although it is written and published in Britain, it is among other things an account of the adventures of one Edmund Talbot who has taken a passage to Australia sometime during a lull in the wars with France, towards the end of the eighteenth century.
That date is only a guess, and indeed the novel invites a lot of guessing. Golding has written a delightful, engaging parody – a true literary parody – of an eighteenth century traveller’s journal in which are described all the picaresque adventures we might imagine a ship’s company capable of during their months at sea.