Sunday Territorian 15 May 2011
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48 Sunday Territorian, Sunday, May 15, 2011 www.sundayterritorian.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 5 -M A Y -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 4 8 C O L O R : C M Y K sundayterritorian.com.au SUNDAY REVIEW Books SUNDAY BOOKS sundayterritorian.com.au BOOKREVIEWS AMANOFPARTS David Lodge (Harvill Secker, $32.95) DAVID Lodge has not been known for biographies, so its life-affirming to see someone in their mid-70s branching out into a new field; or perhaps he feels he owes a debt to thememory of H.G. Wells, the subject and object of this quasi-fictionalised life story. For many years, Herbert GeorgeWells was the best-known literary figure in theworld. He was also one of his eras most ardent socialist theorists, as well as one of its best-known scandalous amorists. DRAWING CONCLUSIONS Donna Leon (WilliamHeinemann, $29.95) THIS is Commissario Brunettis 20th outing. And that means anyonewho has stuckwith him this far will probably notmuch care that the plot, involving an organisation helpingwomen at risk, a nursing home run bywise nuns and a sonwhomay ormay not be grieving, is notably lacking in tension or direction. The denouement, when it finally arrives, feels more like awrapping up than a climactic end to a gripping read. THEGREY CAT Toryn Chapman (Cubefarm, $23.95) JILL Barretts elderly father is unwell, and convalescing in hospital following a stroke, when hermother, Elizabeth, begins to behave unusually. Hospital staff advise Jill (herself a nurse) that her mother has Alzheimers disease. During the next five years, Jill and her husband devote their time to Elizabeth, alongside their own paid work. The Grey Cat recounts the experience. A present-day carers story is complemented by memories from Elizabeths past. THEMAYANPRIEST Sue Guillou (Sid Harta, $24.95) ANACTION thriller, The Mayan Priestmoves across the Americas and Australia following clues left by Kinix, a brilliant boywho is taken into the priesthood. At stake are the lives of a team of archaeologists literally left hanging in an ancient lift shaft. Guillou has clearly done some research on theMayan civilisation and the story has all the hallmarks of this fast-paced genre. Chief protagonists are a young American archaeologist, Gillian Bright, and AdamHousner, a school teacher. What are you reading? The biography of Bob Hawke, written by his wife. I was lucky enough to be at the launch of the book in Queensland. It is a very enjoyable book. Its about 400 pages long and Im about a third of the way through. Im not a big reader. I usually wait for a delightful opportunity to read, like on planes or times like that. Whatwill you read next? Im looking for the perfect crime story, and Im trying to find the best authors, like Harlan Coben. My quest is to find the ultimate crimewriter. Thats anything frommurder mystery tomajor thefts and things like that. I dont like books or movies that arent based on reality, so people crashing throughwindowswith glass going everywhere and them escapingwithout a scratch I dont like. Whoare your favourite authors? Jack Higgins, and all the noted crimewriters. Ive read a lot of all of their stuff, but they all seem to become predictable a bit like Agatha Christie. They all seem to get to a specific spot in a book, and it becomes predictable. Either that or they have the same twist in all of their books. Whatwould you like towrite a book about? Ive got a couple of ideas that I might follow up. Im thinking about writing a kidnapping story, or amajor crime of some sort. Maybe amajor theft? Im not sure. But I enjoy the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child. The crimes he solves are all based on reality. TED EGAN FormerNTAdministrator and popular entertainer BEST SELLERS 1 Land of Painted Caves JeanM. Auel, Hodder 2 Sing YouHome Jodi Picoult, Allen & Unwin 3 Only TimeWill Tell Jeffrey Archer, PanMacmillan 4 Batavia Peter FitzSimons, RandomHouse 5 Those in Peril Wilbur Smith, Macmillan FICTION 1 Jasper Jones Craig Silvey, Allen & Unwin 2 Leopard Jo Nesbo, RandomHouse 3 GirlWhoKicked theHornets Nest Stieg Larsson, Quercus 4 ToKill aMockingbird Harper Lee, Vintage 5 Water For Elephants Sara Gruen, Allen & Unwin BIOGRAPHY 1 TheHappiest Refugee Anh Do, Allen & Unwin 2 TheKings Speech Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, Quercus 3 Battle Hymnof the TigerMoth Amy Chua, Bloomsbury 4Mennonite In A Little Black Dress Rhoda Janzen, Atlantic Books 5 Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert, Bloomsbury SCI-FI & FANTASY 1 KingdomBesieged Raymond E. Feist, HarperCollins 2 TheWiseMans Fear Patrick Rothfuss, Victor Gollancz 3 Heroes Joe Abercrombie, Victor Gollancz 4 TheNameof theWind Patrick Rothfuss, Victor Gollancz 5 Hellhole K.J. Anderson/B. Herbert, Simon& Schuster CHILDRENS 1 TheGruffalo Julie Donaldson, PanMacmillan 2 PossumMagic MemFox and Julie Vivas, Scholastic 3 WonkeyDonkey Craig Smith, Scholastic 4 Old BlokeWhoSwallowedA Chook P. Crumble, Scholastic 5 Giraffes Cant Dance Giles Andreae/Guy Parker-Rees, Watts Werewolf tale a winner for Glen THE LASTWEREWOLF Glen Duncan, Text Reviewer: Bron Sibree Glen Duncan has leapt over the genre boundary wall to write a book about werewolves Picture: MICHAEL LIONSTAR Ive always been interested inwriting about love, sex, death, the human talent for cruelty WHAT compels a respected literary novelist to leap over the genre boundary wall and write a book about werewolves? It is the question everyone began asking Glen Duncan the moment he penned his latest book The Last Werewolf. There is a long and venerable literary tradition of taking the stock mythic figure, the outsider, as a mirror to all which he or she feels outside, but Im always tempted to say , so Mr Kafka, why an insect?, quips Duncan, who has penned seven literary novels and was named one of Britains 20 Best Young Novelists by The Times Literary Supplement in 2005. Duncan is quick to remind you the narrator of his bestselling 2002 novel, I Lucifer, was, after all, the fallen angel of its title, so Im not sure that The Last Werewolf is that much of a leap. Nor is it too far distant from the thematic concerns of his previous novels which include Love Remains, The Bloodstone Papers and, more recently, A Day And A Night And A Day, which was deemed a New York Times Editors Choice in 2009. Ive always been interested in writing about love, sex, death, the human talent for cruelty and that human craving for meaning in a universe that demonstrates its absurdity on a daily basis, Duncan says. He has returned to these, his enduring preoccupations and more besides in this wickedly wry, sexy, bloody, page-turner of a novel that is, as many a critic has pointed out, probably the most enthralling, slyly erudite supernatural thriller to hit the global bookshelf since Interview With A Vampire. Others have compared it to Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, for the way it mirrors what it means to be human, or as simply, as The Observer put it, monstrously good fun. But perhaps the greatest triumph of this unabashedly literary, scandalously gory novel is the ironic, knowing, often playful, sometimes angry, deeply melancholic, world-weary voice of its lupine narrator, Jake Marlowe. The novel opens appositely as it turns out in a private London library where Jake hears the official confirmation that he knew all along, that he is now the last werewolf. This news brings on in Jake a feeling of profound existential ennui. He is, after all, 201 years old, and is weary of life. SOURCE: www.dymocks.com.au
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