June-July 2015, issue no. 372

Jane Sullivan reviews 'The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher' by Hilary Mantel

Jane Sullivan

Jane Sullivan reflects on the 'literary cathedrals' Hilary Mantel has erected in her new collection of short stories, The Assassination of  Margaret Thatcher.

More

Claudia Hyles reviews 'A God in Every Stone' by Kamila Shamsie

Claudia Hyles

In 515 bce, Scylax, explorer and storyteller, sets sail from Caspatyrus in King Darius’s empire. Eclipsing time, this antique glimpse shifts to an archaeological dig in Turkey in 1914, one that is abandoned when war breaks out.In the service of ‘king and country’, lives change immeasurably. Vivian Rose Spencer exc ... More

Christian Griffiths reviews 'Navigatio' by Patrick Holland

Christian Griffiths

Patrick Holland’s Navigatio tells the story of Saint Brendan, a monk in early-Christian Ireland who embarks on a sea-bound pilgrimage. The religious nature of this premise offers Holland a degree of freedom from historical realism, and the oceanic regions explored by Brendan are thereby conceived as a realm of mythic and apocalyptic imagination. Brendan’s ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'The Wild Goose' by Mori Õgai

Alison Broinowski

Elegantly evoking Japan with cream paper and ink-painted foliage on the cover and inside pages, this slim paperback from the small Braidwood publisher Finlay Lloyd is headed by the single, bold character for ‘wild goose’ (karikarigane). The events recounted in Mori Õgai’s novella occur in Tokyo in the late nineteenth century, in the area north of Kanda ... More

Brian Matthews reviews 'Jovial Harbinger of Doom: short stories of Laurie Clancy'

Brian Matthews

A story called ‘The Burden’, which appears at about the halfway mark of this collection, begins like this: ‘Graham was finding the burden of freedom a little too much for him …’ He is working alone in his room above a Chinese restaurant near the Berkeley campus of the University of California, where he is a visiting Australian Fellow, writing a novel about ... More

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Bapo' by Nicholas Jose

Felicity Plunkett

In Charles Simić’s book about Joseph Cornell’s assemblages, Dime-Store Alchemy (1992), he quotes his own translation of Croatian poet Slavko Mihalić to describe Cornell’s sculpture ‘Deserted Perch, 1949’, noting ‘the very tiny crack in which another world begins and ends’. Simićmarvels at this ‘Illusionist art ... sleight of hand’.

< ... More

Sophia Barnes reviews 'Lila' by Marilynne Robinson

Sophia Barnes

Lila is the third of Marilynne Robinson’s novels to take the small Iowan town of Gilead as its setting. It follows the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead (2004) and the Orange Prize-winning Home (2008). Robinson has attributed her earlier return to this fictional territory, and the lives of the Ames and Boughton families, to her unwillingnes ... More

Doug Wallen reviews 'Wolf in White Van' by John Darnielle

Doug Wallen

Despite the acoustic guitar driving most of his music as the leader of celebrated American band The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle hung out with the ‘metal kids’ in high school. During more than two decades as a songwriter, he has returned again and again to young misfits who find solace in music and other forms of escape – whether comic books, games, movies, ... More

Catriona Menzies-Pike reviews '10:04' by Ben Lerner

Catriona Menzies-Pike

In Ben Lerner’s second novel, 10:04, weather maps that promise hurricanes deliver mere showers. The symptoms presented by an ailing human body don’t always yield a diagnosis and the night sky is a mystery. Excavated dinosaur bones can suggest that a creature as wonderful as a brontosaurus might have existed and then, on review, reveal that marvel t ... More

Rachel Robertson reviews 'Six' by John Clanchy

Rachel Robertson

At the start of ‘True Glue’, Dale the postie is called a Luddite by his mate and wonders if this is some religious or political splinter group he hasn’t yet heard of, before going home to google it. In ‘Slow Burn’, Daryl Turtle has a troublesome close encounter with a yellow toaster while suffering from ‘man flu’, resulting in a hilarious scene in a ch ... 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