UQP, $24.95 pb, 310 pp
Australian novels about World War I are typically tales of youth sacrificed and innocence destroyed in foreign lands for the Commonwealth. A good example is David Malouf’s coming-of-age novella, Fly Away Peter (1981). Nation and character matured simultaneously in the necessary baptism of fire. From the outset, John Charalambous’s second novel, Silent Parts, proves itself to be atypical and complex, with a forty-something anti-hero caught up in the not-so-Great War.