Fiction

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Sophie Splatt reviews 'Friday Brown' by Vikki Wakefield

Sophie Splatt
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Friday Brown is Vikki Wakefield’s second Young Adult novel, following All I Ever Wanted (2011), and although the protagonists of both are essentially facing the same dilemma – how to escape what they consider to be their own unshakeable destinies – I found this one far more rewarding.

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Dystopian fiction has surged in popularity in recent years, with books like The Hunger Games (2008) among the many Young Adult titles being devoured by younger and adult readers alike. There is a danger that the sudden influx of a genre in the marketplace, and the eagerness of authors to get their books into the hands of keen readers, will lead to a drop in the quality of writing, or t ...

Stephanie Owen Reeder reviews recent picture books

Stephanie Owen Reeder
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Stephanie Owen Reeder

 

Good picture books stimulate a child’s imagination. Nick Bland and Stephen Michael King celebrate creativity in The Magnificent Tree (Scholastic, $24.99 hb, 32 pp, 9781742832951). Bonny and Pops enjoy sharing ideas and making things together. Bonny’s inventions are ‘simple, clever and properly made’, wh ...

The making of a writer involves more than talent and ambition; perseverance and a thick skin are also prerequisites. The best that can be hoped for from a teaching institution is that potential writers are exposed to new ideas and encouraged to experiment with content and form. The results are seldom perfect, but at least they can prove interesting.

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David Gilbey (ed.): fourW twenty-two

Jay Daniel Thompson
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Jay Daniel Thompson

 

fourW twenty-two
edited by David Gilbey
fourWpress, $25 pb, 174 pp, 9780958675987

 

 

f ourW twenty-two is an initiative of the Booranga Writers’ Centre in Wagga Wagga. This current edition features short stories and ...

Do we choose our own destiny or does fate decide? This existential question is at the heart of Dancing to the Flute, a contemporary fable set amid the banyan trees and frangipani flowers of rural India.

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The cover of Kristin Henry’s verse novel All the Way Home shows a man at the wheel of a car, looking ahead at an endless dirt road. There is even a YouTube trailer for the book on the publisher’s website, with more driving. But in Henry’s book, as in all the best road movies, nobody ever seems to get anywhere.

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Dean Biron reviews 'Promise' by Tony Cavanaugh

Dean Biron
Monday, 09 July 2012

Promise is set on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, although it might as well be Siberia so far as any claims to historical or social verisimilitude are concerned. Just about every stereotype ever devised in the name of crime fiction has been assembled here, resulting in a story so over the top as to stretch credulity beyond breaking point.

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Ed Wright reviews 'The Remnants' by John Hughes

Ed Wright
Monday, 09 July 2012

The esteemed critic and lecturer Don Anderson once told me that Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past was a book you shouldn’t read until you were over forty. Still in my twenties at the time, hungry for erudition, I was annoyed and set out to read the book, only to put it down even more irritated some time later, thinking, If that boy calls out to his mother one more time, I’ll sc ...

James Ley reviews 'Canada' by Richard Ford

James Ley
Monday, 09 July 2012

Richard Ford has earned a place among the most venerable practitioners of a durable brand of American realism. His fiction draws strength from its stolid traditionalism: its faith in the idea that formal conservatism, respectful attention to the lives of ordinary people, and a line-by-line dedication to the craft of writing are the surest paths to literary significa ...

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