Australian Fiction reviews

A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo

One of my favourite books is Peter Carey’s Illywhacker, with its outrageous narrator Herbert Badgery and the sprawling basalt plains of Bacchus Marsh. It was a riot of fun that hid a message about th…

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Stories and True Stories by Helen Garner

Reviewed by Jo Case

I know I’m not the only Melbourne writer whose motto, at my laptop, is WWHGD (what would Helen Garner do?). From Monkey Grip – Readings’ first Australian bestseller – to last year’s collected non-fic…

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Domestic Interior by Fiona Wright

Reviewed by Ellen Cregan

When I was at uni, one of my favourite tutors gave me an excellent, simple piece of advice on writing poetry. She said the title of the poem should be treated as its first line, and ideally set the t…

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Mrs. M by Luke Slattery

Reviewed by Susan Stevenson

Over the course of a long, sleepless night, Elizabeth Macquarie composes an epitaph for her husband, Governor Lachlan Macquarie. From widowhood on the Isle of Mull, she revisits their part in the tum…

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Border Districts by Gerald Murnane

Reviewed by Kelsey Oldham

If you’ve ever read Gerald Murnane before, you’ll have some idea of what to expect with Border Districts, his thirteenth book and, apparently, his final work of fiction. It’s esoteric, thought-provok…

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Atlantic Black by A.S. Patrić

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

When I finished reading Alec Patrić’s latest book, I was surprised to find myself in the same room as I was when I started reading. Surely something must have changed. I had been swept away on a jour…

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The Passage of Love by Alex Miller

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

I don’t suppose Alex Miller is religious – nor am I, for that matter – however, I did think of Corinthians 13:8 when reading Miller’s new book, The Passage of Love. It goes something like this, depen…

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The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser

Reviewed by Ellen Cregan

I have to be honest – this is the first time I’ve ever read Michelle de Kretser. She is one of those names in Australian literature who has been on my mental ‘to read’ list for quite some time. I’m g…

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First Person by Richard Flanagan

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo

Probably Australia’s largest fraud case involved John Friedrich, executive director of the National Safety Council of Australia. Friedrich embezzled almost $300 million from a number of banks through…

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Soon by Lois Murphy

Reviewed by Michael McLoughlin

A fleet of forebodingly official-looking vehicles arrives one winter solstice in the West Australian town of Nebulah. The vehicles disappear as mysteriously as they appeared, and with them go the bir…

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