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Topic: adventure

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 […]

Between worlds: Dominic Smith on Bright and Distant Shores

Allen & Unwin, 9781742374161, 2011 (Aus paperback, ebook + US/Kindle) Bright and Distant Shores is hugely imaginative historical fiction. It’s set just before the dawn of the 20th century in Chicago and the South Pacific. Owen Graves is sent by Hale Gray, the president of Chicago First Equitable, to collect some ‘special items’ to display […]

Joel Magarey’s Exposure: A Journey

Exposure: A Journey Joel Magarey Wakefield Press (Australia) 9781862548237 2009 I write this review just moments after finishing the book, and really, I’m aching from it. Joel Magarey has just taken me on an adventure – around the world, through illness and through love. The narrative flows back and forth between periods in the ’80s and ’90s […]

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol goes well with cheap wine, corn chips and reading into the morning

The most blockbustery blockbuster of the year found its way into my lap and with curiosity piqued (and a break needed from festival preparations) I indulged in one solid reading session – cover to cover – and was mainly intrigued, despite a few small snags. In The Lost Symbol, Harvard Professor Robert Langdon is called […]

Such sensual books I’ve read lately – Rachael King’s The Sound of Butterflies

Picador, 2008, 9780330449175 (Aus, US) In 1904, Sophie awaits her husband at the train station in Richmond. He is returning from the heart of the Brazilian jungle, seeking a mysterious, rumoured species of butterfly. When he arrives at the station Thomas is a shadow – scarred with insect bites, thin, and not speaking at all. The narrative of […]

Racists – Kunal Basu

2006, Phoenix, 9780753821503 (Aus, US) The ultimate experiment. A black boy and a white girl, raised equally as savages by a mute Nurse on a desolate island. Her only instruction is to keep them alive. It is 1855, and expert British Craniologist Samuel Bates is debating with French scientist Jean-Louis Belavoix about racial superiority. The […]