Alan Vaarwerk

Alan Vaarwerk is a former editorial assistant for Readings Monthly

Review — 29 Mar 2016

An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

The NSW Riverina town of Strathdee is fictional, but that doesn’t stop the setting of Emily Maguire’s fifth novel from being all too real. The storyline is familiar too, both…

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Review — 29 Jan 2017

Barking Dogs by Rebekah Clarkson

Set in Mount Barker, a once-sleepy country town now enveloped by Adelaide’s urban sprawl, Rebekah Clarkson’s Barking Dogs brings together multiple stories and perspectives to form a vivid snapshot of…

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Review — 23 Oct 2016

True Girt by David Hunt

Like a good many others, I found the version of Australian history taught to me at school fairly dry and boring – nowhere near as colourful or scandalous as ancient…

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Review — 25 Sep 2016

Goodwood by Holly Throsby

Goodwood is a quintessential NSW country town – sandwiched between a river and a mountain, known for its timber and its fishing – the sort of town where not much…

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Review — 27 Aug 2013

Cairo by Chris Womersley

Languishing in a country town in the 1980s, 17-year-old Tom Button yearns for escape. When his favourite aunt passes away, he seizes the opportunity to move into her old apartment…

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Review — 25 Jul 2016

The Island Will Sink by Briohny Doyle

Somewhere in the latter part of the 21st century, the planet has reached breaking point, the world watching grimly on as Pitcairn Island gradually, inexorably sinks into the Pacific. It’s…

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Review — 26 Jun 2016

The Toymaker by Liam Pieper

From the opening pages of Liam Pieper’s The Toymaker, the reader is left with no doubt as to what kind of man Adam Kulakov is. The head of a…

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Review — 26 May 2016

Portable Curiosities by Julie Koh

Comprising twelve darkly funny and allegorical stories spanning spec-fic, black comedy and mock journalism, Sydney writer Julie Koh’s Portable Curiosities is full of biting reimaginings of Australian culture and history…

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Review — 24 Jan 2016

Fear is the Rider by Kenneth Cook

Kenneth Cook doesn’t beat around the bush – from the opening lines of Fear is the Rider, the reader is thrust headlong into the baking heat and choking dust…

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Review — 29 Feb 2016

A loving, faithful animal by Josephine Rowe

One of the many threads that run quietly through the background of Josephine Rowe’s first novel is the idea of holidays – Easter, New Year, times of year that are…

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