January–February 2018, issue no. 398

Catherine Noske reviews 'Terra Nullius' by Claire G. Coleman

Catherine Noske
24 November 2017

It is hard to review a novel when you don’t want to discuss two-thirds of it – not because it is not worth discussing, but because doing so risks undermining the genius of the novel’ More

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Dancing Home' by Paul Collis

Jay Daniel Thompson
24 November 2017

Dancing Home opens in forthright fashion. The author, Paul Collis, urges readers to ‘[t]ake sides. Be involved in the ideas I’ve written into this book.’ The novel offe More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Pacific Room' by Michael Fitzgerald

Gillian Dooley
24 November 2017

Simile haunts The Pacific Room. So many sentences begin ‘It’s as if ...’ that the phrase seems like an incantation. Michael Fitzgerald writes that he agrees with Robert More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'Half Wild' by Pip Smith

Anna MacDonald
24 November 2017

In this inventive début novel, Pip Smith recounts the multiple lives of Eugenia Falleni, the ‘man-woman’ who in 1920, as Harry Crawford, was convicted of murdering his first wife, Ann More

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'Atlantic Black' by A.S. Patrić

Kerryn Goldsworthy
24 November 2017

Writing this review in the first week in November, I look at the calendar and note that we are a few days away from the seventy-ninth anniversary of Kristallnacht, when, over More

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Demi-Gods' by Eliza Robertson

Felicity Plunkett
24 November 2017

In the preface to Demi-Gods, a boy burns moths with a magnifying glass. A girl – the novel’s narrator, Willa – watches ‘khaki wings’ that seem to be ‘folded from More

Brian Matthews reviews 'A Sea-Chase' by Roger McDonald

Brian Matthews
25 October 2017

As Ratty observed to Mole, ‘There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.’ In Roger McDonald’s A Sea-Chase, lovers Wes Bannister and Judy Compton would certainly agree, but before they achieve Ratty’s state of nautical transcendence much that does matter has to be dealt with.

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Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Book of Dirt' by Bram Presser

Anna MacDonald
25 October 2017

Within the last decade, a new wave of writers has emerged whose work is indebted to W.G. Sebald. Sebald’s name, become an adjective (‘Sebaldian’), is often used as shorthand for describing a writer’s approach to history and memory, or his or her use of images alongside word-text, or the presence of a peripatetic narrator, or the rejection of conventional gen ... More

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'Rubik' by Elizabeth Tan

Cassandra Atherton
25 October 2017

Invoking the Rubik’s Cube – a puzzle where twenty-six ‘cubelets’ rotate around a core crosspiece – Rubik is less a novel and more a book of interconnected short stories More

James Ley reviews 'First Person' by Richard Flanagan

James Ley
25 October 2017

The literature of the modern era contains any number of stories about doppelgängers, divided selves, alter egos, obsessive relationships, and corrosive forms of mutual dependence. The end More

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