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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Book review: Questions of Travel — first class writing

Michelle de Kretser’s novel Questions of Travel has picked up two of Australia’s most prestigious literary prizes. It mines our political and personal dilemmas splendidly, writes James Waite Morgan.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Trying and failing at Febfast: on Jill Stark’s High Sobriety

After failing at Febfast, Stephanie Van Schilt decided — after reading Jill Stark’s High Society — that she was all out of excuses. Van Schilt describes Stark’s book and her relationship with “the demon drink.”

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

The net sucks, social media is bullshit: two new books on the ‘internet delusion’

Two new books explore the notion that the internet isn’t the commercial or democratic force it’s touted to be. Are they worth your time? James Rose gives his verdict.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Book review: Ron Rash’s Nothing Gold Can Stay

Set exclusively in the Carolinas, Ron Rash’s thrilling collection of short stories show us people for whom all hope has been vanquished, writes Paul Donoughe.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Book review: The Burial, by Courtney Collins

Courtney Collins’ fictional tale about Australia’s last bushranger is told through the dead eyes of Jessie’s newborn child. It’s a beautiful book but lacks depth and is tonally inconsistent, writes Erin Handley.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

When clickbait turned serious: defending Love in the Time of Cholera

An Age op-ed slamming Gabrielle García Márquez’s classic novel Love in the Time of Cholera seemed like harmless clickbait, but the Victoria Curriculum Assessment Authority took it seriously. Bethanie Blanchard defends a beautiful and intricate novel.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Book review: Zadie Smith’s NW — crossing boundaries and capturing voices

Fragmented, dizzying, nerve-jangling and sometimes frustrating, there are nevertheless flashes of brilliance in Zadie Smith’s NW, writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Of luck and love: Gillian Mears’ Foal’s Bread

It is a talisman of luck, and love. Foal’s bread — both the object and Gillian Mears’ new novel — is a strange, rare and mesmerising thing. Bethanie Blanchard says it shines through sadness.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Money can buy you love: Martin Amis’s Lionel Asbo

Forget all those stories about how material possessions can’t make you happy. Lionel Asbo is a novel about a vindictive anti-hero who is made immensely happy by money, writes Lucas Smith.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow’s Left Turn

Post-apocalyptic fiction in many ways mirrors current pessimism. This is one of many paths explored in New Left, a collection of political essays related to a resurgent brand of leftish thinking, writes Adam Brereton.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Miles Franklin Countdown: Favel Parrett’s Past The Shallows

Past The Shallows, a tragic reworking of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, is a dark and moody novel set in remote southern coastal Tasmania, writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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The Miles Franklin Countdown: Tony Birch’s Blood

Tony Birch’s Miles Franklin contender Blood is a dark, brutal and troubling story with the underlying quality of a classical children’s fairytale. It’s an Australian novel that isn’t suffused with “Australian-ness,” writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

When the adaptation ruins the original, or how I began to hate Jane Eyre

When books are adapted for the screen, how is the original work impacted? January Jones explains why Jane Eyre adaptations caused her to dislike Charlotte Brontë’s classic source material.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Exploring the dreamscape: Etgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock on the Door

Fantastical, absurd, surreal, playful, comic, bizarre, dark: Etgar Keret’s short stories have the quality of baffling dreams, writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Finding love beneath the shadow of The Cove

At its heart, The Cove, a novel by Ron Rash, is a love story about two misfits who come together against the odds. In the world of the Southern Gothic though, such romances are never without tragedy, notes Rebecca Harkins Cross.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Repositioning Lolita: Martha Schabas’ Various Positions

The plot of Martha Schabas’ debut novel is fraught with clichés but it is nevertheless an ambitious homage to Nabokov’s Lolita, writes Erin Handley.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Tokyo I go-go: observing culture in Japanese literature

As an unashamed lit nerd, Sian Campbell’s approaching trip to Tokyo meant an excuse to read a bounty of Japanese literature, including Banana Yoshimoto’s Asleep and Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills.

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The data that shows female writers don’t get a fair run

Bookseller+Publisher collects data on book mentions in Australia’s print media around the country each week, so Matthia Dempsey decided to count all the book reviews done of female-authored books in the last years. The results may surprise you …

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

‘A writer first and a woman after’: Overland journal’s Women’s Work

Women’s Work is Overland’s new anthology of short stories by emerging female writers launched today as part of International Women’s Day and developed in conjunction with the Stella Prize. Bethanie Blanchard reviews the stories.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Chris Flynn’s A Tiger in Eden — morbidly hilarious

Chris Flynn’s highly entertaining debut novel, written from the first person perspective of a loathsome Irish narrator, is dark, rollicking and very funny, writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds — observations of desire

Set in a small town in 1950s rural Victoria, Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds follows a single mother with two children. It is a reflection on various tangled forms of desire, love and lust, writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Therapy for the lovelorn: Jack Murnighan’s Much Ado About Loving

There’s no better therapy for the lovelorn than reading great literature. Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan’s Much Ado About Loving is a hybrid of literary criticism and dating advice, writes Rebecca Howden.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Michael Sala’s The Last Thread — touching dark places

The debut novel of Michael Sala, a semi-autobiographical account of his early life, is a book steeped in memory and the power of stories, writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Finding the people who sparked the Arab Spring: Johnny West’s Karama!

Karama! Journeys Through the Arab Spring, a travel book by former Reuters Cairo correspondent Johnny West, is a compelling book about the Arab Spring, writes Max Denton.

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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

The Good, the Bad & the Unlikely by Mungo MacCallum

The names and personalities of Australian Prime Ministers are often forgotten, reduced to trivia questions or bronze busts. Mungo MacCallum’s new book is all about the lives of those who came to lead the nation, writes Bethanie Blanchard.

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