Fiction

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Nicole Abadee reviews 'Bridge of Clay' by Markus Zusak

Nicole Abadee
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Most writers seek to better their previous books, but in Markus Zusak’s case this goal was particularly difficult, given that his last book was The Book Thief. Published in 2005, it has sold sixteen million copies worldwide and spent ten years on the New York Times bestseller list ...

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Jack Rowland reviews 'The Second Cure' by Margaret Morgan

Jack Rowland
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

A plague with myriad weird effects spreads throughout the world in Margaret Morgan’s début, a speculative political thriller. The disease’s name is toxoplasmosis pestis: it causes people to develop intense synaesthesia, to act in impulsive and dangerous ways, or to lose their religious faith ...

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David Dick reviews 'Satan Repentant' by Michael Aiken

David Dick
Monday, 17 September 2018

It is time to repent my sins. Recently, I have been asking myself if poetry is exempt from a need to entertain. Is the act of reading a poem or a book of poetry an escapist, amusing, joyous diversion from the rigours of reality? Or is it something more tedious, cold-blooded, blandly ...

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Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s novel Beautiful Revolutionary chronicles the decade leading up to the Jonestown massacre in Guyana when Jim Jones, founder of the Peoples Temple, orchestrated the ‘revolutionary suicide’ and murder of more than 900 members of his congregation ...

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When I look at certain images of German-born photographer Roman Vishniac, the accompanying pain is acute, for his mesmerising monochromatic portraits of Eastern European Jews before their devastation in the Holocaust are not mere ethnological studies. Elie Wiesel refers ...

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Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Coves' by David Whish-Wilson

Gillian Dooley
Friday, 31 August 2018

A small bay is a cove, and so is a man, according to old-fashioned slang. The Coves takes advantage of this coincidence: it’s a story about a gang of men that rules ‘Sydney Cove’ in the mid-nineteenth century. But this is not the familiar Sydney Cove in New South Wales. There is another one ...

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In David Cohen’s collection of wry and quirky stories, he follows the lives of various men in their rituals of ordinariness – their failures, foibles, and fetishes – with a razor-like eye observing the disenchantments of modernity ...

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Susan Varga reviews 'Aesop the Fox' by Suniti Namjoshi

Susan Varga
Thursday, 23 August 2018

Suniti Namjoshi has made an international reputation as a fabulist and poet with a strong feminist bent. Some Australian readers will be familiar with her work, long published here by Spinifex. Another Australian connection: after leaving India, then Canada, Namjoshi settled in ...

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'Longing,’ thinks Hazel West, the twenty-five-year-old protagonist of Susan Midalia’s first novel, ‘I could begin a story with longing.’ This is a book about various kinds of longing: the desire for intimacy, for human understanding, for self-possession and self-forgetting. Most of all ...

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Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Man out of Time' by Stephanie Bishop

Johanna Leggatt
Thursday, 23 August 2018

Stephanie Bishop’s third novel, Man Out of Time, her most mature work to date, echoes Virginia Woolf’s psychological realism and the claustrophobic intensity of Elizabeth Harrower’s The Watch Tower (1966). Indeed, an unkind reviewer might compare Bishop’s latest novel to ...

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