Category: Book Reviews

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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These Are The Names by Tommy Wieringa, Holland, 2012

These Are The Names by Tommy Wieringa, Holland, 2012

This is a book on many different levels. It is about our need to belong and our search to find the place where we can belong. It is about identity; it is about who we actually are versus who we appear to be. It is about a less-than-perfect world and the migration it spawns. It …

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Appointment Northwest by Peter Skrzynecki, Australia, 2014

Appointment Northwest by Peter Skrzynecki, Australia, 2014

This book tells about Peter Skrzynecki’s appointment to a one-teacher school in Jeogla in the New England district of NSW. The year is 1967; it is Peter’s first appointment after finishing teachers’ college; he is twenty-two years of age; and he has never before lived away from his home in Sydney. Three things stand out …

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The Revenant by Michael Punke, USA, 2002

The Revenant by Michael Punke, USA, 2002

This is the story of Hugh Glass. In 1823 he is a fur trapper, but over the course of the book we learn a little of his past as a ship’s mate, how he was attacked by pirates and his life in an Indian village. His experiences have made him the man he is, and …

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Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, USA, 1952

Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, USA, 1952

Baldwin’s novel Go Tell it on the Mountain is autobiographical in the sense that Baldwin, like the central character, John Grimes, grew up in Harlem without ever knowing his biological father and had a religious fanatic as a stepfather – in Baldwin’s case, a Methodist minister, in John’s case, a Pentecostal preacher. There are even …

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