Laura Elvery reviews 'The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket' by John Boyne

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

by John Boyne

Doubleday, $19.95 pb, 261 pp, 9780857531476

A midnight birth on a Friday is the first suggestion that Barnaby Brocket is not an ordinary arrival. Seconds later, baby Barnaby slips through the doctor’s hands and floats towards the ceiling. For his parents, Eleanor and Alistair, life until this point has been satisfyingly normal, with ‘no time for people who were unusual or who made a show of themselves in public’. Barnaby’s airborne ways leave his family ashamed. Being different is the worst thing in the world.

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Laura Elvery

Laura Elvery

Laura Elvery is a PhD candidate and tutor at Queensland University of Technology. She has won the Josephine Ulrick Literature Award, and twice been shortlisted for the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers. Laura was joint winner of the QUT Postgraduate Creative Writing Prize, and was shortlisted for the Overland NUW Fair Australia Prize. Her novel was selected for the 2013 QWC/Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program.

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