Topic archives: book reviews

Book review: <em>Questions of Travel</em> — first class writing

Book review: Questions of Travel — first class writing

July 8, 2013

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.

Trying and failing at Febfast: on Jill Stark’s <em>High Sobriety</em>

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

May 13, 2013

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."

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

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

May 6, 2013

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.

Book review: Ron Rash’s <em>Nothing Gold Can Stay</em>

Book review: Ron Rash’s Nothing Gold Can Stay

April 8, 2013

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.

Book review: <em>The Burial</em>, by Courtney Collins

Book review: The Burial, by Courtney Collins

February 28, 2013

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.

When clickbait turned serious: defending <em>Love in the Time of Cholera</em>

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

December 10, 2012

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.

Book review: Zadie Smith’s <em>NW</em> — crossing boundaries and capturing voices

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

November 9, 2012

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

Of luck and love: Gillian Mears’ <em>Foal’s Bread</em>

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

September 19, 2012

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.

Money <em>can</em> buy you love: Martin Amis’s <em>Lionel Asbo</em>

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

July 25, 2012

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.

Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow’s <em>Left Turn</em>

Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow’s Left Turn

July 17, 2012

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.

Miles Franklin Countdown: Favel Parrett’s <em>Past The Shallows</em>

Miles Franklin Countdown: Favel Parrett’s Past The Shallows

June 21, 2012

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.

The Miles Franklin Countdown: Tony Birch’s <em>Blood</em>

The Miles Franklin Countdown: Tony Birch’s Blood

June 18, 2012

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.

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

May 16, 2012

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.

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

April 23, 2012

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

Finding love beneath the shadow of The Cove

April 11, 2012

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.

Repositioning Lolita: Martha Schabas’ Various Positions

March 20, 2012

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.

Tokyo I go-go: observing culture in Japanese literature

March 15, 2012

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.

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

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

March 9, 2012 6

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 ...

‘A writer first and a woman after’: <em>Overland</em> journal’s <em>Women’s Work</em>

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

March 8, 2012

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.

Chris Flynn’s <em>A Tiger in Eden</em> — morbidly hilarious

Chris Flynn’s A Tiger in Eden — morbidly hilarious

March 5, 2012

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.