Author: Diane

The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates, USA, 2016

The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates, USA, 2016

This is a sad and, at times, frustrating book. At the centre is the man without a shadow – Elihu Hoopes (known as Eli) – who, after contracting a nasty viral infection while hiking on his own, has lost the ability to form new memories. The virus has damaged the hippocampus, and although Eli can …

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Blindness by José Saramago, Portugal, 1995

Blindness by José Saramago, Portugal, 1995

Without any prior symptoms and without warning, one person, stopping in his car at a red light, goes blind. A good Samaritan (who turns out to be a thief) helps him and he too goes blind. The first blind man’s wife takes him to an ophthalmologist, who also goes blind. More and more people go …

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Lunatics in Unmarked Graves by Susan Hollingworth, Australia, 2018

Lunatics in Unmarked Graves by Susan Hollingworth, Australia, 2018

This non-fiction book is a treasure trove of information and an important addition to those books dealing with the early years of Australian colonization. The aptly titled Lunatics in Unmarked Graves deals with some of the people who were incarcerated in the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, Victoria, between the years of its opening (1867) and 1884. …

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A Perfect Marriage by Alison Booth, Australia, 2018

A Perfect Marriage by Alison Booth, Australia, 2018

A book about domestic violence where the violence itself is not centre-stage. Alternating between Then and Now, A Perfect Marriage lines up a number of unordered images of Sally’s marriage to Jeff and a similar number of images post-Jeff. Central to Sally’s two lives is Sally and Jeff’s daughter, Charlie. Sally, a biologist based at …

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy, USA, 2006

The Road by Cormac McCarthy, USA, 2006

Although nothing is stated directly it is obvious that someone, somewhere, pressed that button and the world was thrown into a nuclear catastrophe. The novel begins about ten years after the event when the few survivors are trying to eke out an existence in a world where everything is dead and the surface is covered …

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The Brute by Guy des Cars, France, 1951

The Brute by Guy des Cars, France, 1951

When someone suggested that I should read The Brute, I assumed that it would be relatively easy to find a copy. However, this was definitely not the case. The library did not have it, and trying to purchase an English translation was impossible: obviously the book was out of print in English. My French not …

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