Benjamin Chandler reviews 'All Fall Down' by Cassandra Austin

Benjamin Chandler reviews 'All Fall Down' by Cassandra Austin

All Fall Down

by Cassandra Austin

Hamish Hamilton $29.99 pb, 260 pp, 9781926428253

The collapse of a bridge is the catalyst in Cassandra Austin’s All Fall Down, isolating the small town of Mululuk in true Australian gothic fashion. Janice, crossing the bridge to flee her husband Craig and reunite with former lover Shane – or maybe not – manages to survive the fall, waking from a coma weeks later with a head injury people aren’t sure she isn’t faking. Charlie prays over her, not necessarily for her survival, while Father Nott and Gussy prepare to protest the government’s refusal to open the new bridge until Richard, who may or may not be an insurance assessor, is satisfied he knows what caused the first one to fail. Father Nott’s teenage niece Rachel is thrust into the middle of everything. Banished to Mululuk by her father, self-absorbed Rachel is oblivious to the shimmering tensions, lies, and half-truths that cloud Mululuk’s air as densely as the red dirt of the desert surrounding it.

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Published in May 2017, no. 391
Benjamin Chandler

Benjamin Chandler

Benjamin Chandler holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Fantasy. He writes Young Adult Fiction and has published academic work on popular culture, video game narrative theory, Japanese heroism, anime and manga, and Creative Writing pedagogy. Every now and then he teaches Creative Writing, English Literature, and Media Studies topics at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

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