Readings Recommends: Fiction

Zone One

Zone One

Colson Whitehead

A pandemic has devastated the planet, sorting humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuilding civilisation under orders from...

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Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia

Dana Spiotta

Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta's moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create - in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

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Tragedy Of Arthur

Tragedy Of Arthur

Arthur Phillips

A 'lost' Shakespeare play unearthed by highly acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips

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Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Laurel Ann Nattress

A Ballantine Books Trade Paperback original --T.p. verso.

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The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul

The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul

Deborah Rodriguez

In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. As these five discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever...

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The Breakers

The Breakers

Claudie Gallay, Alison Anderson

Chosen by Le Monde and by readers of Elle as their Novel of the Year - a beautiful, resonant novel set on Normandy's coastline.

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Exile

Exile

Jakob Ejersbo, Mette Petersen

The first novel in a major trilogy exposing the guilt, loneliness and nihilism of the ex-pat experience in post-colonial Africa.

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Ours are the Streets

Ours are the Streets

Sunjeev Sahota

Following the journey of a British Muslim and his fall into Islamist radicalization.

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For Love Alone

For Love Alone

Christina Stead

Set in Sydney and London in the 1930s, 'For Love Alone' is the story of Teresa Hawkins, an intelligent, ardent young woman, and her search for the ideal passion of love.

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The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories

The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories

Don DeLillo

The stories here, collected from all five decades of DeLillo's career, show an acknowledged master of the novel in complete command of the short form.

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 Read reviewIn Red

In Red

Magdalena Tulli, Bill Johnston

In Tulli's second novel, set in a mythical fourth partition of Poland, the world is unreal yet strangely familiar.

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Breaking Away

Breaking Away

Anna Gavalda, Alison Anderson

On the car journey to a family wedding, Garance reflects on how adult life, with its disappointments and responsibilities, has not always gone to plan for herself or her three siblings.

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 Read reviewA Visit From the Goon Squad

A Visit From the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan

A novel that circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. It is about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the...

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 Read reviewForecast: Turbulence

Forecast: Turbulence

Janette Turner Hospital

FORECAST TURBULENCE is a breathtaking and exquisitely lyrical collection of nine short stories and one memoir piece from internationally acclaimed Australian author Janette Turner Hospital. Featuring a compelling and enigmatic...

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The Year of the Hare

The Year of the Hare

Arto Paasilinna, Herbert Lomas

The international bestseller. A novel of one man's existential journey away from his life and in to the wild. With a hare. Vatanen is a journalist in Finland. The car he is riding in accidentally hits a young wild hare. The...

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 Special price Read reviewThe Stranger's Child

The Stranger’s Child

Alan Hollinghurst

Alan Hollinghurst's first novel since The Line of Beauty, winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize

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I Don't Know How She Does It

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Allison Pearson

Meet Kate Reddy, fund manager and mother of two. Factor in a manipulative nanny, an Australian boss who looks at Kate's breasts as if they're on special offer, a long-suffering husband, her in-laws, two needy children and an...

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 Read reviewInfrared

Infrared

Nancy Huston

After a childhood marked by pain, Rena Greenblatt has built a successful career as a photographer. Like the ultrasensitive infrared film she uses, Rena sees what others don't, and finds a form of love. In the spirit of her...

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The Honey Thief

The Honey Thief

Najaf Mazari, Robert Hillman

This extraordinary book, derived from the long oral tradition of storytelling in Afghanistan, presents a mesmerizing portrait of a people who triumph with intelligence and humor over the oppressions of political dictators and an...

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 Read reviewHow I Became a Famous Novelist

How I Became a Famous Novelist

Steve Hely

Sick of life as he knows it, Pete Tarslaw sets out to write a bestselling novel, armed with a formula for success cobbled together from previous bestsellers. This title tells the tale of how Tarslaw's 'pile of garbage' became the...

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 Read reviewHouse Of Sticks

House Of Sticks

Peggy Frew

Bonnie, never domestically inclined, has given up her life as a musician to become a stay-at-home mother to three small children. She tells herself she has no regrets, but sometimes the isolation and endless drudgery are...

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Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill

Helen Hodgman

Jill and her dad are happy enough after her mother dies. Theirs is a simple life in the outback, far from the big city. Until Jack arrives at their door one evening, and steps inside to find the skinny, wild-looking child sitting...

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 Read reviewHinterland

Hinterland

Caroline Brothers

An exquisite, unsettling novel about refugees and what it is to be underage, homeless and invisible in a foreign land

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Machine Man

Machine Man

Max Barry

When Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident, it's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity.

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The Fix

The Fix

Nick Earls

In need of some quick cash when he returns to Brisbane after years in London, Josh whores himself to his brother's PR firm and inadvertently becomes part of the fix . Josh Lang went to London with investigative journalism on his...

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The Story of Beautiful Girl

The Story of Beautiful Girl

Rachel Simon

On a stormy night in small-town America, a couple, desperate and soaked to the skin, knock on a stranger's door. When Martha, a retired schoolteacher living a safe and conventional life, answers their knock, her world changes...

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Burning Bright

Burning Bright

Ron Rash

A collection of short stories that melds the dark with the beautiful in deftly painted portraits of Appalachia, ranging from the Civil War to present day. It captures the essence of the region the author knows best, leading his...

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Grow Up

Grow Up

Ben Brooks

Jasper has his hands full. Finishing high school would be hard enough without a mother pushing him to overachieve, and his friends pushing drugs down his throat. And then there's his stepdad: moustache-wearing, patronising, and,...

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The End of Everything

The End of Everything

Megan Abbott

Lizzie and Evie are inseparable. They walk home from school together, sleep over at each other's houses, even flirt with boys together. And they tell each other everything. Or at least, that's what Lizzie thinks - until Evie goes...

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 Read reviewPepsi Bears and Other Stories

Pepsi Bears and Other Stories

Anson Cameron

Daring and provocative short stories from one of Australia s best comic writers. A collection of fables in which the intuition of animals is set against the hubris of man, Anson Cameron is part court jester, part acclaimed writer...

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There Should Be More Dancing

There Should Be More Dancing

Rosalie Ham

Margery Blandon has led a life of principles. Now she finds herself sitting on the 43rd floor of the Tropic Hotel, preparing to throw herself to her death. Margery Blandon was always a principled woman who found guidance from the...

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When We Have Wings

When We Have Wings

Claire Corbett

The dream of being able to fly is now physical reality but only the rich and powerful can afford the surgery, drugs, and gene manipulation to become fliers. Peri, a poor girl from the regions, will sacrifice anything to get her...

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 Read reviewThe Vanishing Act

The Vanishing Act

Mette Jakobsen

A story about a snow-covered island you won't find on any map. Minou is 12. A year ago, the morning after the circus, her mama walked out into the rain with a black umbrella and never came back. It's a story about a magician and a...

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 Read reviewThe Book of Lies

The Book of Lies

Mary Horlock

Guernsey, 1985. Fifteen-year-old Catherine Rozier has a secret she can no longer keep to herself. It's about the night her best friend fell from the cliffs. Twenty years earlier, Charlie Rozier stands at the edge of the same...

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 Read reviewRiver of Smoke: Ibis Trilogy Book 2

River of Smoke: Ibis Trilogy Book 2

Amitav Ghosh

The sequel to the bestselling, Booker-shortlisted, Sea of Poppies

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End of the Night Girl

End of the Night Girl

Amy T. Matthews

Molly, a sassy Australian waitress, is haunted by the ghost of a murdered Polish Jew. The two young women's stories, each a compelling page-turner, combine teasingly in one as End of the Night Girl explores shadows cast by the...

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Armani Angels

Armani Angels

Cate Kendall

Dynamic PR guru Gemma Bristol has her well-manicured finger firmly on the pulse of the Australian social scene. She regularly rubs shoulders with the country's A-listers at the glittering opening nights and exclusive launches she...

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 Read reviewThe Good Muslim

The Good Muslim

Tahmima Anam

In a remote Bangladeshi village, a telegram brings life-changing news to Maya Haque's door. Eight years before, a brutal war tore Maya's country and her family apart. Now it is time to return home. She arrives to find that...

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Shooting the Fox

Shooting the Fox

Marion Halligan (Author)

Shooting the Fox is brimming with surprising characters - the virgin and the pornographer, the adulterer, the translator, the defecting diplomat - and the inconveniences of modernity. In the end, though, it is a...

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 Read reviewYou Lose These And Other Stories

You Lose These And Other Stories

Goldie Goldbloom

What you staring at?' he said, looking quickly into the rearview and touching the place his eyebrow might have been. 'You're not exactly Marilyn Monroe yerself.' Short stories from Goldie Goldbloom.

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All The Time In The World

All The Time In The World

E. L. Doctorow

An astonishing book of short fiction by one of America's finest writers, theauthor of The March, Ragtime, and Homer & Langley.

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 Read reviewThe Ottoman Motel

The Ottoman Motel

Christopher Currie

Simon and his parents arrive in the town of Reception and check into the Ottoman Motel. Then, while Simon is asleep, his parents disappear. Are they lost? Has something terrible happened to them? Have they simply driven away? All...

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 Read reviewBig Girl Small

Big Girl Small

Rachel DeWoskin

Everybody needs a friend like Judy. She is whip-smart, hilarious, and her story is so real. She's a wonderful singer, full of big dreams for a big future and she's a dwarf. But why is she hiding out in a seedy motel on the edge of...

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Letty Fox

Letty Fox

Christina Stead, Carmen Callil

Letty Fox tells her story as a self-styled woman in New York's world of passion, love and sexual bargaining. As a bright, uninhibited daughter of a middle class couple who believes the world is her oyster, Letty Fox tells it all -...

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Desert

Desert

J. M. G. Le Clezio, C. Dickson

The international bestseller, by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2008, available for the first time in English translation.Hailed by the Swedish Academy as Le Clezio's 'definitive breakthrough as a novelist', Desert...

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 Read reviewI Hate Martin Amis et al.

I Hate Martin Amis et al.

Peter Barry

It is 1995. Milan Zorec, an aspiring yet rejected novelist, travels from England to Bosnia to join the Serbian forces as a sniper in Sarajevo, in the final months of the longest siege in history.

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 Read reviewLittle People: A Novel

Little People: A Novel

Jane Sullivan

In 1870 the celebrated midget General Tom Thumb and his troupe are touring Australia. While in Melbourne, Tom Thumb is rescued from the Yarra River by an impoverished governess, Mary Ann. She is hired by the troupe, but soon...

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 Read reviewBearings

Bearings

Leah Swann

Bearings is about challenging the course of our lives as well as keeping a foothold during unpredictable times.Leah Swann burrows deep into the souls of her characters to reveal universal complexities, frailties and strengths....

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 Read reviewSnake

Snake

Kate Jennings

My life is about to begin. This is the only thought in Irene's head the day she marries a War veteran. But Irene is restless and rebellious, bored by her life as a farmer's wife. As they raise children and crops and dream of other...

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Paris Dreaming

Paris Dreaming

Anita Heiss

Libby is on a man-fast: no more romance, no more cheating men, no more heartbreak. But when fate takes Libby to work in Paris at the Musee du Quai Branly, she's suddenly thrown out of her comfort zone and into a city full of...

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Jamrach's Menagerie

Jamrach’s Menagerie

Carol Birch

London, 1857: After surviving an encounter with an escaped tiger, nine-year-old Jaffy stumbles into a job for its owner, the wild animal collector, Mr Jamrach. Commissioned by Jamrach to find and collect a sea dragon, Jaf joins a...

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Blueeyedboy

Blueeyedboy

Joanne Harris

'Once there was a widow with three sons, and their names were Black, Brown and Blue. And he was a murderer.'Blueeyedboy is the brilliant new novel from Joanne Harris: a dark and intricately plotted tale of a poisonously...

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 Read reviewThe Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ,

The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ,

Philip Pullman

In this ingenious and spellbinding retelling of the life of Jesus, Philip Pullman reimagines the most influential story ever told. Charged with mystery, compassion and great power, it says something new about who Jesus was and...

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The Anatomy of a Moment

The Anatomy of a Moment

Javier Cercas

Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean The new novel by the bestselling author of Soldiers of Salamis (1 million copies worldwide) has sold more than 160,000 copies in hardback in Spain since publication in 2009.

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 Read reviewGone

Gone

Jennifer Mills

A young man is released from prison, his hands empty, his identity gone. He catches a train out of town, then hitchhikes west. He hasn't been home for 15 years. Out of the past, as memories surface, something is coming that will...

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 Read reviewMr Rosenblum's List: or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Mr Rosenblum’s List: or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Natasha Solomons

A charming novel about an irrepressible man, his long-suffering wife and a Very English dream.

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Me And Mr. Booker

Me And Mr. Booker

Cory Taylor

Looking back, Martha could've said no when Mr Booker first tried to kiss her. But Martha is sixteen, she lives in a small dull town - a cemetery with lights - her father is mad, her home is stifling, and she's waiting for the rest...

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 Special priceDesert Fish

Desert Fish

Cherise Saywell

Gilly lives in a drought-ridden small town in 1970s Australia. She's left school but hasn't found a job, it's always hot and life seems a little pointless. Then Pete arrives. Gilly can't help but fall in love with him and one...

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August

August

Bernard Beckett

Trapped in a car wreck, upside down, bleeding, broken and in pain, Tristan and Grace are staring at death. As they await their fate, with only a glimmer of hope they might be seen and rescued, we discover the stories of their...

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 Read reviewBlack Glass: A Novel

Black Glass: A Novel

Meg Mundell

Sisters Tally and Grace have always dreamed of moving to the city. Yet neither of them ever expected to be living there broke, homeless and alone as happens when they become separated after an accident. The city, dominated by...

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 Read reviewDream of Ding Village

Dream of Ding Village

Yan Lianke, Cindy Carter

The life and death of an entire community is told by a dead boy. His story reveals the moral vacuum at the heart of Communist-capitalist China. During a blood-contamination scandal in Henan province, villagers sell their blood,...

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 Read reviewBlue Skies

Blue Skies

Helen Hodgman

A young wife and mother watches a clock that seems forever stuck at three-in-the-afternoon. Her husband didn't come home last night. She lives for Tuesdays and Thursdays, when she can escape to a less humdrum life. Jonathan, man...

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 Read reviewAngelica: A Novel

Angelica: A Novel

Arthur Phillips

When Constance married Joseph Barton she believed she had found her ultimate husband and protector. But after three miscarriages and the troubled birth of their daughter, Angelica, Constance begins to fear his intentions. Sensing...

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 Read reviewOne Foot in Eden

One Foot in Eden

Ron Rash

The year is 1951 and Holland Winchester, the local thug and a war veteran, has gone missing from his small, backwater South Carolina town. The local sheriff, Will Alexander, has a gut feeling Holland's been murdered but the...

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 Read reviewThis Too Shall Pass

This Too Shall Pass

S.J. Finn

Jen Montgomery's life appears, almost suddenly, to be at an impasse. Nothing is as secure or as certain as she had previously thought. Love, marriage, parenthood, family, work, the very fabric of her identity seems to be shifting....

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Swamplandia!

Swamplandia!

Karen Russell

The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, its island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a competitor. To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a...

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 Read reviewCaribou Island

Caribou Island

David Vann

Gary, driven by thirty years of diverted plans, and Irene are trying to rebuild their life together. Across the water on the mainland, Irene and Gary's grown daughter, Rhoda is starting her own life. She fantasizes about the...

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 Read reviewThe Messenger

The Messenger

Yannick Haenel, Ian Monk

Jan Karski, a young Polish officer, joined the Polish underground after escaping from a Soviet detention camp, before he was captured and brutally tortured by the Gestapo. Escaping from the Germans, Karski was charged with the...

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The Indignities

The Indignities

Graeme Aitken

The Indignities by Graeme Aitken - the glittering sequel to Vanity Fierce (Random House 1986)In Vanity Fierce,Stephen Spear went to extreme lengths to snare his man.In this comic sequel, Stephen ingeniously bypasses his landmark...

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The Three Weissmanns of Westport

The Three Weissmanns of Westport

Cathleen Schine

Sense and Sensibility moves to Westport, Connecticut, in this New York Times bestselling homage to the classic novel.

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 Read reviewCrime

Crime

Ferdinand von Schirach

Crime is a collection of true crime stories told by one of Germany's most prominent defense lawyers. Some of the cases are strange, some bewildering and others heartbreaking, but all are told with genuine concern for those who...

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Before I Fall: The official film tie-in that will take your breath away

Before I Fall: The official film tie-in that will take your breath away

Lauren Oliver

As compelling as The Lovely Bones and as memorable as Jenny Downham's Before I Die, this will become a word-of-mouth phenomenon.

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 Read reviewMr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut

Adam Ross

David Pepin has loved his wife since the moment they met, and he can't imagine living without her - yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she's dead, and he's both deeply distraught and the prime suspect. The detectives...

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The Source of the Sound

The Source of the Sound

Patrick Holland

The Source of the Sound traces the journeys of exiles in search of home. The collection is littered with the mise-en-scene of being lost: motel rooms, alcohol abuse, prostitution ... Yet, in each story there is some elemental...

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 Read reviewJeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

Geoff Dyer

Jeff Atman is in Venice to cover the opening of the Biennale. He's expecting to see a load of art, go to a lot of parties. He's not expecting to meet the spellbinding Laura, who will completely transform his few days in the city....

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Undercover

Undercover

Keith Bulfin

A novel based on the life of Keith Bulfin, who is drawn into a world of drug smuggling and violence in Mexico City. Convicted of conspiracy to defraud, Keith is sent to a Supermax unit in Port Philip prison. There he befriends the...

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Djibouti

Djibouti

Elmore Leonard

A western on water from the grand master of American crime

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