Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 18 May 2014

Details:

Title

Sunday Territorian 18 May 2014

Collection

Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT

Date

2014-05-18

Notes

This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.

Language

English

Subject

Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Darwin

File type

application/pdf

Use

Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

License

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C1968A00063

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/250745

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/552844

Page content

42 REVIEW SUNDAY MAY 18 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V3 TOP 5 CHARTQueensland inspires author AUSTRALIAN expatriate author Janette Turner Hospital, a Queenslander in exile, is a tad homesick. From her vantage point in Columbia, in the US, where she teaches writing at the University of South Carolina, Queensland is a lost world, a magical place that inspires her writing and has done for decades. So its no surprise to find that Turner Hospitals new novel, the somewhat labyrinthine The Claimant, brings it all back home again. It opens in Manhattan in 1996 when the trial of the socalled Vanderbilt claimant is finally coming to an end. The case, long and complex, has attracted much media interest as the court seeks to establish whether or not a certain man is the son and long-lost heir of the Vanderbilt fortune. The son went missing, presumed dead, while serving in Vietnam. But could a handsome cattle farmer from Dayboro really be the Vanderbilt heir? And if so, why is he so reluctant to be found? These are questions the novel seeks to answer as it explores notions of fraud and identity, themes also explored by that other Aussie expat author, Peter Carey, a contemporary of Turner Hospitals. Both claim to yearn for their homeland at times and Turner Hospital comes back once a year to get her Queensland fix. For the last 25 years I have spent part of every year in Brisbane, she says from her home in the US. Queensland figures in my work because Im a Queenslander. And an elusive one at that. Turner Hospital is a little like Ti-Loup, the mysterious character in The Claimant. She doesnt like to be found either, and when here she keeps a low profile or rather, no profile at all. I have no interest in attracting media attention when Im back and I find it a bit weird that if the media is not aware of our presence then we must be not here, She says. But I never want the media to know anything about me or how to reach me. She used Queensland as one of the settings in The Claimant because, she says, I always go with what I know viscerally cattle stations I have stayed on in Queensland and dairy farms in the river valleys around Brisbane. The Claimant is actually a brilliant contemporary reworking of the Tichborne case, a 19th-century legal cause celebre involving a NSW butcher who was supposed to have been the heir to an English title and estate. Like most of Turner Hospitals fiction, The Claimant is complex, yet accessible. Now 71, she has built her career on lucid, literary prose that doesnt alienate the general reader. She was 35 when her first short story was published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1978. Four years later she won a major Canadian literary prize with her first novel, The Ivory Swing. Critical acclaim and awards have flowed steadily ever since. Turner Hospitals short stories are among the finest in our literature and many are set in Queensland. HOMESICK: Author Janette Turner Hospital, based in the US, still features Queensland. Fourth Estate, $29.99 By PHIL BROWN THE CLAIMANT By JANETTE TURNER HOSPITAL COURIERMAIL.COM.AU SATURDAY MAY 17 2014 CANVAS 19 V0 - BCME01Z01CV Jessica Shirvington is the first to admit she does it too. Invited along to a special, intimate showcase gig by Alicia Keys recently, the teen-lit star and her husband Matt were keen to capture the moment. Matt and I were as bad as anyone else, getting the phones out and videoing it all, taking photos, she recalls. Hyper-connectedness, without real human connection, is a state of affairs Shirvington has been turning over lately. And also the way technology is shaping us, our interactions and broader society. Shirvington has two young daughters and is very aware that the cultural landscape they inhabit is vastly different from the one any of us knew when growing up. Such concerns inform Shirvingtons latest novel, a dystopian piece of speculative fiction called Disruption. Best known for her mega-selling supernatural romance Embrace series, released worldwide and with television rights held by the US CW network (The Vampire Diaries), Shirvingtons latest work has a very different thematic tangent. Disruption is the first instalment of a two-parter, with the sequel out later this year. Set in the northwest of the US a few years into the future, the protagonist is a plucky lass called Maggie Stevens, whose father has been cast out, too negative for a hitech world in which we are all bound to wear the Mercer Corporations MBands bracelets that define us and those we should desire. But Maggie has had enough, and is busy hatching a plan to take on MCorp and its young heir, Quentin. Maggie is a strong female lead and I gravitate towards strong heroines driving the story, Shirvington says. Theyre so often (in other young-adult novels) drawn unwittingly into a world they dont understand, usually by a male character. But Maggie is the one driving the information, she is the one driving the disclosure and she brings the male character into all that and he has no idea. She drives the flow of information to him, she manipulates him and introduces him to a world he is now part of. And a meticulously constructed world it is, with social structures built carefully upon the imagined technology, Its so intricate that Shirvington originally thought she might explore it via a range of shorter stories but in the end, Maggie kept pulling her back and so it is her attempts to change things at the core of the work. And its not too far-fetched. Since she began scratching ideas in her notebooks, Google has unveiled its Glass technology and smart watches have hit the market, while the Israeli and US armed forces are exploring microchipping their personnel. So a lot of the technology I refer to is in its early stages and you know how fast these things develop, it doesnt feel like its that far into the future that well see this technology, Shirvington says. Murders and revenge and worldweary, albeit intuitive, detectives make for good fiction. Draw the lead character as a divorced and single dad looking for a little warmth in his life and heres Detective Max Wolfe, a most involving hero. It is not just Wolfes individuality and problem-solving smarts that capture the reader, but also the business of raising a young daughter and her untrained puppy. Our Wolfe is a well-drawn protagonist and supported by decent prose throughout this thriller. Here the London copper, fresh from a terrorist drama, is drawn into the investigation of a series of strange and bloody murders. The tabloid press believe its the work of Bob the Butcher but Wolfe isnt so sure. As bodies keep popping up with gruesome detail, throats cut with a commando-style knife, Wolfe understands there has to be some connection between the victims. Its promised this is just the first of a series of novels featuring Max Wolfe. Hes a detective to keep an eye on. Verdict: Gripping FICTION THE MURDER BAG Tony Parsons, Random House, $29.99 Reviewer: Bruce McMahon This is either a remarkably brave or a remarkably tasteless book, depending on your point of view. In the end it may depend on how comfortable you feel laughing at and occasionally with the horrific figure of AdolfHitler. Vermes novel is satire as black as it gets. It opens in 2011, when Hitler wakes up in a park in Berlin. His last memory is of being in 1945, in the dying days of World War II. Now, as Hitler tries to figure out what has happened in the intervening 65 years, he has various misadventures, including being mistaken for a Hitler impersonator, becoming a YouTube sensation, and getting his own TV show. The highlight is when Hitler confronts the remnants of his Nazi organisation. Its a satire on modern society, as well as on the Nazi warmonger himself, but Vermes manages to keep it just on the right side of tasteful although there are many uncomfortable moments along the way. Verdict: Innovative satire FICTION LOOK WHOS BACK Timur Vermes, MacLehose, $30 Reviewer: Michael McGuire Diane Keaton, the embodiment of Woody Allens Annie Hall, suffers from New York angst, even though she now lives in LosAngeles. In her early-30s she was living in a tower apartment on New Yorks Central Park West which had a 360-degree view of thecity. Yet her chronic (undiagnosed, at least by her) inability to be happy is nowhere more on show than when she confesses to having rented, bought and sold almost 50 houses and apartments, each one Mission Revival, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Williams Spanish in pursuit of a new and unattainable dream. This is a seriously shallow book that chugs along on themes of beauty, prettiness, exboyfriends including Warren Beatty, then back to the way Keaton looks, or wants to, or used to. Age and decrepitude are very much on Keatons mind and the golden years metaphors only irritate her. Its a Baby Boomers lament but stylish all the same. Verdict: Fascinating but shallow MEMOIR LETS JUST SAY IT WASNT PRETTY Diane Keaton, Nero, $30 Reviewer: Penelope Debelle BOOKS TOP 5 CHART SOURCES: NIELSEN BOOKSCAN, BRISBANES BETTER BOOKSHOPS, BESTSELLERS FOR AMAZONS KINDLE AND ITUNES DISRUPTION HarperCollins, $20 EMBRACING THE FUTURE: Jessica Shirvington follows her Embrace series with Disruption. A FICTION NOT THAT FAR FROM REALITY Capturing moments appeals to author Jessica Shirvington both in life and on the page, writes Chris Hook INDEPENDENT 1. Foreign Soil Maxine Beneba Clarke 2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler 3. Jacks and Jokers Matthew Condon 4. The Strays Emily Bitto 5. The Claimant Janette Turner Hospital AUDIOBOOKS 1. The Fault in Our Stars John Green 2. How To Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie 3. The Peter Rabbit Collection Beatrix Potter 4. Rich Dad Poor Dad Robert T Kiyosaki 5. The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson BESTSELLERS 1. Chestnut Street Maeve Binchy 2. Divergent Veronica Roth 3. Insurgent Veronica Roth 4. The Fault in Our Stars John Green 5. Allegiant Veronica Roth LIBRARIES 1. The Target David Baldacci 2. By Its Cover Donna Leon 3. Unlucky 13 James Patterson & Maxine Paetro 4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan 5. Jacks and Jokers Matthew Condon EBOOKS 1. First Daughter Eric Van Lustbader 2. Search the Dark Marta Perry 3. The Tea Chest Josephine Moon 4. Copycat Erica Spindler 5. Divergent Veronica Roth COURIERMAIL.COM.AU SATURDAY MAY 17 2014 CANVAS 19 V0 - BCME01Z01CV Jessica Shirvington is the first to admit she does it too. Invited along to a special, intimate showcase gig by Alicia Keys recently, the teen-lit star and her husband Matt were keen to capture the moment. Matt and I were as bad as anyone else, getting the phones out and videoing it all, taking photos, she recalls. Hyper-connectedness, without real human connection, is a state of affairs Shirvington has been turning over lately. And also the way technology is shaping us, our interactions and broader society. Shirvington has two young daughters and is very aware that the cultural landscape they inhabit is vastly different from the one any of us knew when growing up. Such concerns inform Shirvingtons latest novel, a dystopian piece of speculative fiction called Disruption. Best known for her mega-selling supernatural romance Embrace series, released worldwide and with television rights held by the US CW network (The Vampire Diaries), Shirvingtons latest work has a very different thematic tangent. Disruption is the first instalment of a two-parter, with the sequel out later this year. Set in the northwest of the US a few years into the future, the protagonist is a plucky lass called Maggie Stevens, whose father has been cast out, too negative for a hitech world in which we are all bound to wear the Mercer Corporations MBands bracelets that define us and those we should desire. But Maggie has had enough, and is busy hatching a plan to take on MCorp and its young heir, Quentin. Maggie is a strong female lead and I gravitate towards strong heroines driving the story, Shirvington says. Theyre so often (in other young-adult novels) drawn unwittingly into a world they dont understand, usually by a male character. But Maggie is the one driving the information, she is the one driving the disclosure and she brings the male character into all that and he has no idea. She drives the flow of information to him, she manipulates him and introduces him to a world he is now part of. And a meticulously constructed world it is, with social structures built carefully upon the imagined technology, Its so intricate that Shirvington originally thought she might explore it via a range of shorter stories but in the end, Maggie kept pulling her back and so it is her attempts to change things at the core of the work. And its not too far-fetched. Since she began scratching ideas in her notebooks, Google has unveiled its Glass technology and smart watches have hit the market, while the Israeli and US armed forces are exploring microchipping their personnel. So a lot of the technology I refer to is in its early stages and you know how fast these things develop, it doesnt feel like its that far into the future that well see this technology, Shirvington says. Murders and revenge and worldweary, albeit intuitive, detectives make for good fiction. Draw the lead character as a divorced and single dad looking for a little warmth in his life and heres Detective Max Wolfe, a most involving hero. It is not just Wolfes individuality and problem-solving smarts that capture the reader, but also the business of raising a young daughter and her untrained puppy. Our Wolfe is a well-drawn protagonist and supported by decent prose throughout this thriller. Here the London copper, fresh from a terrorist drama, is drawn into the investigation of a series of strange and bloody murders. The tabloid press believe its the work of Bob the Butcher but Wolfe isnt so sure. As bodies keep popping up with gruesome detail, throats cut with a commando-style knife, Wolfe understands there has to be some connection between the victims. Its promised this is just the first of a series of novels featuring Max Wolfe. Hes a detective to keep an eye on. Verdict: Gripping FICTION THE MURDER BAG Tony Parsons, Random House, $29.99 Reviewer: Bruce McMahon This is either a remarkably brave or a remarkably tasteless book, depending on your point of view. In the end it may depend on how comfortable you feel laughing at and occasionally with the horrific figure of AdolfHitler. Vermes novel is satire as black as it gets. It opens in 2011, when Hitler wakes up in a park in Berlin. His last memory is of being in 1945, in the dying days of World War II. Now, as Hitler tries to figure out what has happened in the intervening 65 years, he has various misadventures, including being mistaken for a Hitler impersonator, becoming a YouTube sensation, and getting his own TV show. The highlight is when Hitler confronts the remnants of his Nazi organisation. Its a satire on modern society, as well as on the Nazi warmonger himself, but Vermes manages to keep it just on the right side of tasteful although there are many uncomfortable moments along the way. Verdict: Innovative satire FICTION LOOK WHOS BACK Timur Vermes, MacLehose, $30 Reviewer: Michael McGuire Diane Keaton, the embodiment of Woody Allens Annie Hall, suffers from New York angst, even though she now lives in LosAngeles. In her early-30s she was living in a tower apartment on New Yorks Central Park West which had a 360-degree view of thecity. Yet her chronic (undiagnosed, at least by her) inability to be happy is nowhere more on show than when she confesses to having rented, bought and sold almost 50 houses and apartments, each one Mission Revival, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Williams Spanish in pursuit of a new and unattainable dream. This is a seriously shallow book that chugs along on themes of beauty, prettiness, exboyfriends including Warren Beatty, then back to the way Keaton looks, or wants to, or used to. Age and decrepitude are very much on Keatons mind and the golden years metaphors only irritate her. Its a Baby Boomers lament but stylish all the same. Verdict: Fascinating but shallow MEMOIR LETS JUST SAY IT WASNT PRETTY Diane Keaton, Nero, $30 Reviewer: Penelope Debelle BOOKS TOP 5 CHART SOURCES: NIELSEN BOOKSCAN, BRISBANES BETTER BOOKSHOPS, BESTSELLERS FOR AMAZONS KINDLE AND ITUNES DISRUPTION HarperCollins, $20 EMBRACING THE FUTURE: Jessica Shirvington follows her Embrace series with Disruption. A FICTION NOT THAT FAR FROM REALITY Capturing moments appeals to author Jessica Shirvington both in life and on the page, writes Chris Hook INDEPENDENT 1. Foreign Soil Maxine Beneba Clarke 2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler 3. Jacks and Jokers Matthew Condon 4. The Strays Emily Bitto 5. The Claimant Janette Turner Hospital AUDIOBOOKS 1. The Fault in Our Stars John Green 2. How To Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie 3. The Peter Rabbit Collection Beatrix Potter 4. Rich Dad Poor Dad Robert T Kiyosaki 5. The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson BESTSELLERS 1. Chestnut Street Maeve Binchy 2. Divergent Veronica Roth 3. Insurgent Veronica Roth 4. The Fault in Our Stars John Green 5. Allegiant Veronica Roth LIBRARIES 1. The Target David Baldacci 2. By Its Cover Donna Leon 3. Unlucky 13 James Patterson & Maxine Paetro 4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North Richard Flanagan 5. Jacks and Jokers Matthew Condon EBOOKS 1. First Daughter Eric Van Lustbader 2. Search the Dark Marta Perry 3. The Tea Chest Josephine Moon 4. Copycat Erica Spindler 5. Divergent Veronica Roth


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