Fiction

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Bridge' by Enza Gandolfo

Carol Middleton
Thursday, 24 May 2018

‘Accidents happen.’ In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, one of two accidents that frame the narrative of The Bridge, these words are tossed up in the turbulent minds of a grieving relative. But accidents, unlike natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, droughts – don’t just happen. Whether it’s the collapse of the ...

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Geordie Williamson reviews 'Last Stories' by William Trevor

Geordie Williamson
Thursday, 24 May 2018

‘In nearly all Trevor’s stories,’ wrote V.S. Pritchett almost four decades ago, ‘we are led on at first by plain unpretending words about things done to prosaic people; then comes this explosion of conscience, the assertion of will which in some cases may lead to hallucination and madness.’ Even here, in this collection ...

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Beejay Silcox reviews 'Census' by Jesse Ball

Beejay Silcox
Thursday, 24 May 2018

You have come to see a magic show. You arrive at the theatre, take your seat. Before the show begins, the magician steps onstage in his street clothes and explains what you are about to see; where the mirrors are hidden – every trapdoor, false bottom, and wire. When the lights go down, impossibly – even after everything you ...

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Fiona Wright reviews 'Bohemia Beach' by Justine Ettler

Fiona Wright
Thursday, 24 May 2018

Bohemia Beach is a highly anticipated novel – the first work by Justine Ettler in twenty years. In many ways, it is a continuation of her oeuvre: a fast-paced, almost madcap tale about a wildly careening woman and the violent men she is drawn to, with obsession and addiction driving much of the narrative and narration ...

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‘Nothing matters very much,’ says Hilary Spinster, one of the main characters in Philip Hensher’s mammoth mêlée of a novel, ‘and most things don’t matter at all’. How true, we think to ourselves, how liberating! Is this the aphorism (borrowed from Lord Salisbury) that will finally pinpoint the Big Idea underlying ...

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Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Fortress' by S.A. Jones

Anna MacDonald
Thursday, 26 April 2018

This speculative novel is of the Zeitgeist. S.A. Jones imagines a civilisation of women – the Vaik – committed to ‘Work. History. Sex. Justice.’ Although they live apart, in ‘The Fortress’, there is a history of exchange between the Vaik and the outside world. All women are entitled to Vaik justice if they have been violated and ...

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Gretchen Shirm reviews 'You Belong Here' by Laurie Steed

Gretchen Shirm
Thursday, 26 April 2018

Interwoven short story collections are often at their best when they offer multiple perspectives on the same event. Laurie Steed does this well in his début novel You Belong Here, as he captures the life of a single family through the multiplicity of its members. Jen meets Steven on her way to a party in Brunswick in 1972 ...

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Josephine Taylor reviews 'The Lucky Galah' by Tracy Sorensen

Josephine Taylor
Thursday, 26 April 2018

In 1969, in a quintessentially Australian town on the remote north-west coast, the locals prepare to celebrate their role in the moon landing. In 2000, as the townsfolk brace themselves for a cyclone, Lucky, this novel’s pink and grey narrator, uses transmissions from a satellite dish tuned to galah frequency to make sense of what ...

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There is an observation in the titular story of Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha’s first collection to be published in English, which can be read as the thematic spine of the book: ‘Sometimes it seemed like there was nothing new to talk about. It was the same old story, repeated over and over, all stitched together.’  This notion ...

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On its first appearance in Russia, Dostoevsky’s novel 'Crime and Punishment' was the hit of the season. It was serialised throughout 1866 in the journal 'The Russian Messenger'. Nikolai Strakhov, Dostoevsky’s first biographer, described the novel’s effect on the reading public as spectacular: ‘[A]ll that lovers of reading talked ...

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