Fiction

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Benjamin Chandler reviews 'Madigan Mine' by Kirstyn McDermott

Benjamin Chandler
Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Madigan Mine is the promising first novel by Kirstyn McDermott, who won the Aurealis, Ditmar and Chronos awards for her short story ‘Painless’.

... (read more)
Lawyer Nicki Greenberg spent six years converting The Great Gatsby to graphic novel format, an interesting project that was universally acclaimed and respected... ... (read more)

Ruth Starke reviews six children's books

Ruth Starke
Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Leigh Hobbs has won thousands of hearts with his most famous creations, Horrible Harriet and Old Tom. Time will tell if Mr Badger, the special events manager in a grand London hotel, will have the same enduring success. As he is thoroughly decent, generous, responsible, and hard-working, it is up to minor characters to provide the necessary nastiness. In Mr Badg ...

In the Young Adult novel Slice: Juicy Moments from My Impossible Life, you will meet Darcy Pele Franz Walker, a boy named after famous international footballers, but one who has no interest in the game... ... (read more)

Peta Murray reviews 'Girl Saves Boy' by Steph Bowe

Peta Murray
Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Jewel Valentine saves Sacha Thomas when she pulls him, unconscious, from a lake. Girl resuscitates boy, and, for better or worse, their fates are sealed. Jewel and Sacha’s voices intertwine throughout this beguiling début novel from Steph Bowe. Written when she was just thirteen, Bowe takes the teen romance genre and gives it an edge. Here is a journey to first love between an enigmatic girl ...

Patrick Allington questions ‘What is Australia, anyway?’

Patrick Allington
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
‘Arran Avenue, Hamilton, Brisbane, Australia ... Why Australia? What is Australia, anyway?’ 
(Dante, in David Malouf’s Johnno)

Some footy talk before the book chat: I saw Wayne Carey play once, in Adelaide. He was a puppeteer that day. You would have needed a panoramic view – television doesn’t capture ...

Geraldine Brooks has an extraordinary radar for a good story, a curiosity that has carried her, and her readers, from Year of Wonders (2001), set during England’s plague of 1666; to March andthe American Civil War; to medieval Spain and the People of the Book (2008).Her latest novel, Caleb’s Crossing, is set closer to the place Brooks calls home – in th ...

A native of Western Australia, Goldie Goldbloom now resides in Chicago with her eight children, whom she gleefully admits, in her amusing introduction to this volume of short stories, to trouncing regularly at Scrabble, ‘with little or no compunction’. Her lyrical and inventive use of language in these eighteen stories comes as no surprise, then. More puzzling is that only four of these ori ...

This is a book of rather brief short stories, few of which exceed a dozen pages. This leaves room for nineteen stories in a fairly short collection. Most of them read easily, each one effortlessly displacing its predecessor. There are, of course, standouts, to which I shall return, but the most striking overall characteristic is the distinctively personalised tone. The wide variety of personae ...

Mary Watson’s tale begins in Brisbane in the 1870s, when, aged nineteen, she flees an abusive and drunkard father and finds employment as a pianist in a whorehouse in Cooktown run by a Frenchman, Charley Boule. Determined to improve her prospects, she secretly signs on to more lucrative employment: spying on smuggling rackets. It is not clear what is being smuggled – it might be guns – bu ...

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