Fiction

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Peter Rose reviews 'The Spare Room' by Helen Garner

Peter Rose
Thursday, 02 October 2014
The Spare Room marks Helen Garner’s return to fiction after a long interval. Since Cosmo Cosmolino (1992), she has concentrated on non-fiction and journalism: newspaper columns and feature articles. She has speculated in public about her distance from fiction... ... (read more)

Paul Carter reviews 'Game Day'

Paul Carter
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Miriam Sved’s début novel is a structurally innovative portrait of élite Australian football as a juggernaut that leaves lives scrambling and spent in its wake. Its fourteen stories, each told from a different narrative perspective, form a prismatic study of a single season in the lives of Mick Reece and Jake Dooley, two first-year recruit ...

Carol Middleton reviews 'Nest'

Carol Middleton
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Inga Simpson’s second novel is set in the lush subtropical hinterland of Australia’s east coast. Jen, a reclusive artist, goes back to where she grew up and where her father was a timber-cutter, to find peace among the birds and trees. But mysteries and disappearances trouble her idyllic life.

Like her artist protagonist, Simpson has acute powers of obse ...

Dean Biron reviews 'Beams Falling'

Dean Biron
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Beams Falling is a good example of its kind: a sweaty, grimy Sydney-based noir. I wish that were higher praise, but there is an endless procession of local crime fiction out there – much of which seems to emanate from Sydney – and the competition has not set the bar overly high.

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Rachel Robertson reviews 'Riding a Crocodile'

Rachel Robertson
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

There is a long tradition of physicians turned writers, including Chekhov, Keats, Conan Doyle, and Somerset Maugham. More recent doctor–novelists include Alexander McCall Smith, Michael Crichton, and Khaled Hosseini. In Australia, Peter Goldsworthy is probably our most prominent writer–physician, with John Murray and now Paul Komesaroff joining the tradition.

Luke Horton reviews 'Boyhood Island'

Luke Horton
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

In Boyhood Island, the third volume in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s internationally acclaimed My Struggle cycle, we are taken back to where the series began: an island in southern Norway, seven-year-old Karl Ove and his older brother Yngve live under the tyranny of a cruel and taciturn father in the mid-1970s. Unlike the first volume, A Death in the Fami ...

Patrick Allington reviews Peter Carey's 'Amnesia'

Patrick Allington
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Peter Carey’s new novel, Amnesia, is an odd-shaped – but not misshaped – tale about power and, more particularly, resistance to power. When the veteran leftist journalist Felix Moore writes the story of Gaby Baillieux, a young Australian cyber-activist, he finds himself, like Gaby, a fugitive. As if by magic, Gaby has unlocked Australian and US prison d ...

Alison Broinowski reflects on Haruki Murakami’s writing style and reviews his latest novel.

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Gretchen Shirm reviews 'Arms Race'

Gretchen Shirm
Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Characters on the verge of a breakthrough populate this impressive début short story collection. An aspiring artist in ‘Making It’ is unsure whether a tilt at greatness is worth the personal sacrifice. In ‘Scar’, a middle-aged geologist feels conflicted by prospective fatherhood and observes, ‘Against that slow patience of stone the need to reproduce had ...

Laurie Steed reviews 'After Darkness' by Christine Piper

Laurie Steed
Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Australia’s history is chequered at best. For every story of military heroism, there is one of discomfiting prejudice. So it is with Christine Piper’s After Darkness, which explores Australian history from the point of view of a Japanese doctor, Tomakazu Ibaraki, arrested as a national threat while in Broome, and sent to the Loveday internment camps in re ...