Guest review: Andrew Wrathall on 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Harvill Secker, 2011 9781846555497 (hardcover, ebook: books 1 & 2, book 3)  by Andrew Wrathall Aomame is warned: ‘Things are not what they seem,’ before she leaves a taxi on a backed-up freeway in Japan and walks down an emergency stairway, which causes her to slip out of 1984 and into the alternate reality of 1Q84. … Continue reading Guest review: Andrew Wrathall on 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Seduced by an island of sea-wives: Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Allen & Unwin February 2012 (paperback, ebook) 9781742375052 I picked up this novel one morning from somewhere in the pile and was instantly drawn into its strange, contained world. The story is about the island of Rollrock, and the sea witch Misskaella who can draw forth human beings from seals. The novel is divided into … Continue reading Seduced by an island of sea-wives: Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. I aimed to read them all in 2011, but that's beginning to look unlikely. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I had vague ideas about Gulliver’s Travels. I remembered Ted Danson being tied up by some little people in a film version I … Continue reading 20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter

Ticonderoga Publications, 2011 9780980628883 (Aus, US, UK) reviewed by Lyndon Riggall In my first year at University I studied fairytales, and more specifically Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, a book which is arguably the poster-child of fairytale re-imaginings. Carter writes well, and in many cases her stories spin beautifully away from tradition while remaining neatly tied … Continue reading Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Five Wounds by Jonathan Walker & Dan Hallett

Allen & Unwin, 2010 9781742370132 (Aus, US, UK) To call your novel 'illuminated' is a dangerous thing. Five Wounds' claim holds with it the expectation that it should be something beyond a typical read. An 'illuminated novel' must be more than novel: no minor feat, and no small promise. I am glad to say that … Continue reading Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Five Wounds by Jonathan Walker & Dan Hallett

A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part one)

China Miéville’s Kraken (Aus, US, UK) is savvy, exuberant, sci-fantastical fiction – a novel about a stolen giant squid and the ensuing adventures of museum curator Billy Harrow. It’s a super-fun read, set in a richly imaginative alternate London, filled with sassy, dirty, sweet, dangerous and apparitious characters. It was great to be able to have … Continue reading A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part one)

Guest review: Chris Flynn on Justin Cronin’s The Passage

The Passage Justin Cronin (Aus, US) Orion 9780752897851 Reviewed by Chris Flynn It’s funny how movies influence books so much these days. The fact that The Passage was optioned by Sir Ridley Scott for $1.75 million within a week of Cronin settling on a $3.75 million publishing deal for his vampire apocalypse trilogy is unsurprising … Continue reading Guest review: Chris Flynn on Justin Cronin’s The Passage