Australian Fiction

Carmel Bird reviews 'The Roving Party' by Rohan Wilson:

Carmel Bird
24 May 2011

Stories of the impact of European discovery, exploration, invasion, and settlement on Australia are naturally a source of fascination to novelists. The microcosm of the island of Tasmania, with its cruel yet beautiful landscape and its unforgiving weather, offers these stories with a special kind of eerie horror. Against this setting, the stories emerge both in concert and in counterpoint, desc ... More

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Five Bells' by Gail Jones

Felicity Plunkett
06 May 2011

At the heart of Gail Jones’s Five Bells is a hymn to Kenneth Slessor’s dazzling elegy of the same name, published in 1939.

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Laurie Steed reviews 'Other Stories' by Wayne MacAuley

Laurie Steed
04 May 2011

How to review a book that includes, as major characters, Simpson and his donkey, the Dig Tree, and a bus that may or may not be a tram?

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Thuy On reviews 'The Philanthropist' by John Tesarsch

Thuy On
04 May 2011

The initial premise of John Tesarsch’s first novel sounds like a modern-day reworking of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol as seen through the prism of B-grade Hollywood melodrama . More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'A Waltz for Matilda' by Jackie French

Gillian Dooley
04 May 2011

Jackie French, a prolific author, is best known for her children’s books, with variations on historical themes clearly something of a specialty. A Waltz for Matilda, which seems to be aimed at a broader market, builds on the premise that the Jolly Swagman of Banjo Paterson’s song is not alone. His twelve-year-old daughter, Matilda, is with him and witne ... More

Pam Macintyre reviews 'Good Oil' by Laura Buzo

Pam Macintyre
04 May 2011

There is much to like in this début Young Adult novel: its straightforward storytelling, distinctive central characters, well-tuned adolescent dialogue, and humorous depiction of first lo More

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Noah's Law' by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Stephen Mansfield
04 May 2011
The teen detective novel is a rare breed in this post-Famous Five era, now that the catch-cry of popular Young Adult fiction is the familiar and the relatable ... More

Laurie Steed reviews 'The Ottoman Hotel' by Christopher Currie

Laurie Steed
21 April 2011

One feels greatly conflicted while reading The Ottoman Motel. While Christopher Currie’s début novel certainly shows promise, it would have benefited from further editorial development prior to publication.

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Melinda Harvey reviews 'Too Close to Home' by Georgia Blain

Melinda Harvey
21 April 2011

Something happened to the Australian suburban novel while Georgia Blain was trying her hand at memoir in Births Deaths Marriages (2008) and Young Adult fiction in Darkwater (2010). Put it down to The Slap juggernaut. The working family is now angry, high, horny, and mad about tattoos. Gone are the scenes of inarticulate loss at the kitchen ... More

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Sparrows of Edward Street' by Elizabeth Stead

Carol Middleton
21 April 2011

Elizabeth Stead’s fifth novel is set in 1948, when newly independent women, who kept the wheels of industry turning during World War II, were resuming full-time household duties. Stead, who married a naval officer in the 1950s, would have seen this domestic dynamic played out around her. The Sparrows of Edward Street tells the story of a family – a widow and her two teenage daughte ... More

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