In Brief

Anna MacDonald reviews 'Her' by Garry Disher

Anna MacDonald
22 December 2017

In this dark historical novel, Garry Disher imagines a world in which small girls are sold by their desperate families and enslaved to men such as the brutal ‘scrap man’ – ‘a schem More

Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Art of Navigation' by Rose Michael

Lisa Bennett
21 December 2017

Conceptually, The Art of Navigation is as intriguing as it is ambitious. The narrative is part near-future time travel, part historical drama, part nostalgic Australian Gothic – More

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Dancing Home' by Paul Collis

Jay Daniel Thompson
24 November 2017

Dancing Home opens in forthright fashion. The author, Paul Collis, urges readers to ‘[t]ake sides. Be involved in the ideas I’ve written into this book.’ The novel offe More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Pacific Room' by Michael Fitzgerald

Gillian Dooley
24 November 2017

Simile haunts The Pacific Room. So many sentences begin ‘It’s as if ...’ that the phrase seems like an incantation. Michael Fitzgerald writes that he agrees with Robert More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'Half Wild' by Pip Smith

Anna MacDonald
24 November 2017

In this inventive début novel, Pip Smith recounts the multiple lives of Eugenia Falleni, the ‘man-woman’ who in 1920, as Harry Crawford, was convicted of murdering his first wife, Ann More

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'Rubik' by Elizabeth Tan

Cassandra Atherton
25 October 2017

Invoking the Rubik’s Cube – a puzzle where twenty-six ‘cubelets’ rotate around a core crosspiece – Rubik is less a novel and more a book of interconnected short stories More

Kirk Graham reviews 'Everybody Lies: What the Internet can tell us about who we really are' by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Kirk Graham
25 October 2017

With the help of new data such as Google searches, economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz promises to reveal our innermost secrets. ‘Everything is data!’ he writes, ‘And with all this ne More

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Wimmera' by Mark Brandi

Jay Daniel Thompson
27 September 2017

The tagline of Wimmera is ‘Small town. Big secret’. Mark Brandi’s first novel does indeed feature a secret (and a grim one, at that), but it also offers a disturbing insight More

Gretchen Shirm reviews 'Rain Birds' by Harriet McKnight

Gretchen Shirm
27 September 2017

In Harriet McKnight’s début novel, a story about early onset dementia is offset by a second conservation-focused narrative involving the glossy black cockatoo. This braided structure im More

Sonia Nair reviews 'The Hope Fault' by Tracy Farr

Sonia Nair
25 August 2017

The minutiae and messiness of family life as it comes together and unravels time and time again are delicately rendered in Tracy Farr’s second novel, The Hope Fault. The unrelenting rain that forms the lugubrious backdrop for much of the novel conjures up the same rich, atmospheric setting of the late Georgia Blain’s More

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