Clouds of Magellan, $24.95 pb, 214 pp, 9780987403704
Ashley Sievwright’s second novel has several of the hallmarks of his Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-nominated début novel, The Shallow End (2008). At the heart of each is a mystery that slowly unfolds while never overwhelming the story. It is not the dénouement in either book that is important, but the effect that gradual revelations have on the main character’s highly internalised experience of life. Like the earlier book, Walter is filled with droll observations about life, presented at a gentle pace.