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Old 10-05-2019, 11:07 PM   #556
Bookpossum
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I really enjoyed Malouf's Remembering Babylon when we read it in the Literary Club. It was very interesting to learn more about Australia's history and social issues.
I’m glad you enjoyed it so much Bookworm-Girl. I think it’s a wonderful book, and definitely one of those that I keep on thinking about long after I have read the last page.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:03 AM   #557
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Not Patrick White? I admit I waded through a few of his novels decades ago and I wouldn't care to have to do it again.
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Waders are definitely needed. I know he’s supposed to be The Greatest, but he does nothing for me at all. (Don’t tell anyone!) My loss, no doubt, but I find him lacking in human warmth I think.
Perhaps "Greatest" was a literary studies assessment? I cannot offer an opinion as I have never read any of his work, but I don't recall ever hearing anyone speak of his books in flattering terms so I have never been tempted.

Peter Carey is an Australian author of some renown (three time winner of the Miles Franklin Award), but is yet another I cannot offer an opinion on as I don't think I've ever actually read any of his books; I've only seen some of the film productions.

Thea Astley won four Miles Franklin Awards, but I haven't tried one of her books yet. And Tim Winton is another four-time winner of the Miles Franklin Award, but the first book I tried of his didn't do anything for me and I haven't been back to try any others.

Having brought up the Miles Franklin Award*, I have to admit that I have not read any of her books either.

... The more I look the more it seems my education in Australian literary authors is rather lacking. And so my TBR list grows again.


* The Miles Franklin Award seems like it should be relevant because it is for "a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases" and so, in theory, matches what I am looking for in trying to find an author offering a distinctly Australian experience.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:28 AM   #558
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Perhaps "Greatest" was a literary studies assessment? I cannot offer an opinion as I have never read any of his work, but I don't recall ever hearing anyone speak of his books in flattering terms so I have never been tempted.
It's the Nobel, of course. Winning it means the author is both important and good, or so one is supposed to think. It's the whole problem with literary prizes; there are a lot of factors, many of which have nothing at all to do with merit. Just looking at the list of largely unreadable early Nobelists should put paid to the notion that the Nobel is a measure of anything but a combination of the zeitgeist and politics.

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Having brought up the Miles Franklin Award*, I have to admit that I have not read any of her books either.
I've read a few of her books and I thought they were pretty forgettable. At least I've mostly forgotten them. I know I thought Bring the Monkey was extremely unfunny. But it was set in London, IIRC, so maybe that doesn't count.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:03 PM   #559
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One thing in White’s favour is that he put the Nobel money into some sort of trust to help struggling authors, if I am remembering that correctly.

I agree on Miles Franklin - pretty forgettable. For the most part, I think the prize winners have been good (not that I have read them all) though there was a huge scandal some years ago over one winner which failed on so many levels, including plagiarism.

I tend to find many authors have some really good books and others that are so-so. Hence my hesitation. For instance, I thought Eucalyptus by Murray Bail was wonderful, but then I didn’t enjoy a couple of other books by him nearly so well - it sets the bar very high.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:59 PM   #560
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For instance, I thought Eucalyptus by Murray Bail was wonderful,
So did I. It made my top ten list in 2014.
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Old Today, 02:48 AM   #561
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AU shoppers - which I guess means Bookpossum - you might like to take a look at The Toymakers by Robert Dinsale, currently on special at Kobo AU and Amazon AU.

I stumbled over this quite some time ago while searching out other books for this club (see May 2018 "Doomed to Repeat It" nomination thread). It turned out to be one of my 5 star readers for this year. It is highly emotive, which isn't everyone's cup of tea. Here are a few of the quotes I thought worth sharing. Obviously YMMV, but I loved it.
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Old Today, 06:28 AM   #562
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Thanks very much for this gmw. I don’t think I can do anything while on Lord Howe Island, but if the offer stands for a few days, I shall check it out when I get home. The network I am using is an unsecured one.
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