Page 5 of our reviews

Richard Strauss by Louise Alder and Joseph Middleton

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Recently, while perusing the shelves at Readings, I was thrilled to discover young British soprano Louise Alder’s debut Strauss recording. My excitement was twofold: I recognised her as an acquaintan…

Read more ›

Rain Birds by Harriet McKnight

Reviewed by Ellen Cregan

Pina and Alan have lived in Boney Point, a town in rural East Gippsland, for decades. When Alan develops early-onset dementia, the fiercely independent Pina struggles to give up her life to care for …

Read more ›

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Reviewed by Alison Huber

Sometimes, it’s a single character that makes a novel unforgettable; sometimes an intense plot puts you in a book’s grip; other times still, it’s the writer’s craft that draws you in and keeps you th…

Read more ›

The Last Days of Jeanne d'Arc by Ali Alizadeh

Reviewed by Freya Howarth

Ali Alizadeh blends historical research and poetic sensibilities to imagine Jeanne d’Arc’s life, moving between her imprisonment and execution at the hands of the English, her heroic exploits and her…

Read more ›

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

Reviewed by Annie Condon

Claire Messud is the accomplished author of acclaimed novels The Woman Upstairs and The Emperor’s Children. The Burning Girl, is a mesmerising history of the friendship between two teenage girls. Jul…

Read more ›

The City Always Wins by Omar Robert Hamilton

Reviewed by Michael Skinner

The City Always Wins captures, in form and content, the frenzied optimism and the violent, reactionary turn of the Arab Spring as it unfolded in Tahrir Square, Cairo. We witness the action through th…

Read more ›

Once Upon a Small Rhinoceros by Meg McKinlay & Leila Rudge

Reviewed by Alexa Dretzke

There are those who are happy with their place in the world and how they are in it, and there are others who yearn for more. Small rhinoceros pines for the beyond – unlike her fellow rhinos. Watching…

Read more ›

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

Matthew hasn’t left the house for quite some time. Instead he sits in his bedroom (very clean and disinfected) or the study (within the acceptable limits of cleanliness, if he’s careful about what he…

Read more ›

They Came from Planet Zabalooloo! by Sean Taylor & Kate Hindley

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

I adore They Came From Planet Zabalooloo. This is probably one of my favourite books ever. It follows three very giggly, dancey and excited aliens – Zoron, Bazoo and Zob – on an important mission to …

Read more ›

The Salesman

Reviewed by Stella Charls

With The Salesman, acclaimed writer-director Asghar Farhadi offers up another analytical yet deeply empathetic film about modern Iranian society under a repressive regime. Here, as with his previous …

Read more ›