April 2015, issue no. 370

Susan Sheridan reviews 'Down in the City'

Susan Sheridan

Elizabeth Harrower’s début novel was first published by Cassell in London in 1957. Down in the City begins with a hymn to Sydney, with its beaches, harbour suburbs, city arcades – and disreputable Kings Cross, ‘a haven for the foreigner and racketeer; a beacon for long-haired boys, mascaraed women and powdered men. It is Montmartre: it is bright ... More

Kathryn Koromilas reviews 'The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies'

Kathryn Koromilas

‘Above the line’, a narrator begins a story. At a specific moment in time, a specific fictional character appears and something is about to happen. ‘Below the line’, another narrator begins a different story, a story in notes, footnotes, ‘citational backup’ for the story ‘above’. You have begun reading Bernard Cohen’s new novel: a work in sto ... More

Jen Webb reviews 'The Goldfinch'

Jen Webb

Donna Tartt has produced just one novel a decade so far: The Secret History, which came out in 1992 to enormous success; The Little Friend, ten years later, which barely rippled the surface of the literary world; and now The Goldfinch, which I suspect will achieve at least the standing of her first novel. Her novels possess a signature of sorts: ... More

The Goldfinch

Jen Webb

Donna Tartt has produced just one novel a decade so far: The Secret History, which came out in 1992 to enormous success; The Little Friend, ten years later, which barely rippled the surface of the literary world; and now The Goldfinch, which I suspect will achieve at least the standing of her first novel. Her novels possess a signature of sorts: ... More

Jay Daniel Thompson on 'How to Tell Your Father to Drop Dead'

Jay Daniel Thompson

The title of Jeremy Fisher’s latest tome is deceptive. This reviewer expected a zany children’s book. Actually, How to Tell Your Father to Drop Dead is a subdued look at masculinity in Australian history. The text comprises autobiographical fragments and short stories. Fisher recalls growing up in a culture where homosexuality was ‘invisibl ... More

Sara Savage reviews 'Banana Girl'

Sara Savage

Writing a memoir at the age of thirty may seem like an exercise in self-indulgence: what wisdom could one possibly impart amid the universal tumultuousness of the Saturn Return? Seemingly aware of the predicament, the author of Banana Girl doesn’t pretend to deliver any answers, her memoir instead giving a more immediate snapshot into the life of a tw ... More

Ray Cassin reviews 'Watching You'

Ray Cassin

Ever since Raymond Chandler decreed in The Simple Art of Murder (1950) that ‘Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid’, writers of hard-boiled crime fiction have queued up to take a shot at creating a hero who is less of a paragon than Chandler’s prescription and therefore supposedly ... More

Milly Main reviews 'The Shadow Year'

Milly Main

Shadows, shallows, tides, secrets, aching hearts, and tragedy. ‘The love and the grief and the joy and the pain and all the emotion’ – oh the emotion – in Hannah Richell’s new novel, centred around a secluded lake, can leave one feeling thoroughly water-logged. Richell’s close follow-up to Secrets of the Tides (2012) uses similar techniques ... More

Simon Collinson reviews 'Getting Warmer'

Simon Collinson

Fremantle is rapidly becoming a preferred setting for novelists seeking to explore the hidden costs of the mining boom. Within weeks of the publication of Tim Winton’s Eyrie, which is haunted by the crime and gritty emptiness of the city’s rough side, we now have Getting Warmer, Alan Carter’s second novel and the sequel to Prime Cut ... More

Ray Cassin reviews 'Bitter Wash Road'

Ray Cassin

Garry Disher’s World War II novel Past the Headlands (2001) was inspired in part by his discovery of the diary of an army surgeon in Sumatra, who wrote of how his best friend was trying to arrange passage on a ship or plane that could take them back to Australia before the advancing Japanese army arrived. But one morning the surgeon woke to find that ... More

Australian Book Review Logo

Studio 2
207-229 City Road
Southbank VIC 3006

Tel: (03) 9699 8822
Fax: (03) 9699 8803

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Close Panel

ABR Online Login