Page 472 of our reviews

The Spare Room: Helen Garner

Reviewed by Sean O'Beirne, Readings Carlton

Helen Garner’s new novel starts with a woman called ‘Helen’ putting out fresh sheets for a friend who’s coming to stay, and thinking: what colour should they be? Helen’s friend, Nicola – lovely, play…

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The Biographer: Virginia Duigan

Reviewed by Chris Gordon, Readings Events Coordinator

This is a sad book about successful people living in fear of judgment and discovery. Duigan has written about a complex woman in her second book, The Biographer. Greer Gordon is a woman who makes de…

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Disquiet: Julia Leigh

Reviewed by Annie Condon, freelance reviewer

Disquiet is the much awaited second novel from Australian Julia Leigh, whose first book The Hunter was critically acclaimed both here and overseas. While the length of this work may be a disappointme…

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Luke Davies: God of Speed

Reviewed by Paul Landymore, Manager Readings Malvern

The book opens in 1973 with Howard Hughes, enigma and twentieth-century icon, hidden from the world in a London hotel room, where he sits in bed waiting for the dawn and a meeting with an old friend.…

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The Abstinence Teacher: Tom Perotta

Reviewed by Jo Case, editor of Readings Monthly

Tom Perotta is a master of smart suburban satire (Election, Little Children), specialising in hot-button issues at the heart of the American psyche. In *The Abstinence Teache*r, Perotta takes on the …

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Julius Winsome: Gerard Donovan

Reviewed by Kylie Stevenson, freelance writer and reviewer

Irish-born writer, Gerard Donovan, wanted Julius Winsome, his third novel, to whisper to the reader – and readers will be seduced by Julius’s quiet wisdom, just as his springtime lover briefly is: ‘A…

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The Lifeboat: Zacharey Jane

Reviewed by Michelle Calligaro, Assistant Manager of Readings Carlton

The Lifeboat is a beautiful fable about an old couple found at sea. They have no memory of who they are or where they have come from. It is narrated by a young interpreter from the unnamed island nat…

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The Invention of Everything Else: Samantha Hunt

Reviewed by Toni Jordan, author of Addition, a book in which Nikola Tesla plays a central role

Novels that reimagine history walk a difficult line – too much factual detail and they become an untrustworthy biography, too little and they disrespect the framework of their story. Samantha Hunt av…

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Northline: Willy Vlautin

Reviewed by Michael Awasoga-Samuel, Readings Carlton

Willy Vlautin’s style of writing is almost script-like, reminding the reader of a David Lynch film. The story centres around Alison Johnson, a 22-year-old high school drop-out with self-destructive t…

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American Journeys: Don Watson

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo, Managing Director of Readings

American Journeys is a very, very fine book. In 2005, Watson spent almost six months on and off criss-crossing America, across the Amtrak tracks and its roads and highways. Watson’s America is not th…

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