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Australian Authors

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

I thought I was pretty much done with my reading from the 2010 Booker Prize longlist, and on the whole I have to say it was a pretty positive experience, with only one of those I read falling short of expectations. One that I really didn’t fancy reading was The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. Something about it just didn’t appeal, and some of the reviews I’d read didn’t inspire confidence either. But being a bit of a cheapskate, when the Kindle version came up on offer at a very good price I thought what the heck, let’s give it a go.

So how did I get on with it? Were my initial suspicions correct or was it one that I was lucky not to let pass me by?

Read on for a full review…

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Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey

Parrot and Olivier in AmericaBefore you read my review of Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America, I might as well hold up my hands and admit that I am probably not the most impartial reviewer. I’ve loved Carey’s writing for years, to the extent that he is probably my favourite living author.

Some of his novels have certainly fallen short of the very high standards he set himself with Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda and The True History of the Kelly Gang, but there is something about his style that always keeps me coming back for more even after some of his less than brilliant work.

Parrot and Olivier in America, I had high hopes for as it achieved a place on the 2010 Man Booker Shortlist, and it finally came to the top of my reading list last month. So did it live up to my expectations?

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Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram by Gregory David RobertsGregory David Roberts was born in Australia in 1952, and following the breakup of his marriage and loss of access to his daughter he became a heroin addict, a habit which he fed by a life of crime.

Shantaram tells the story of his life on the run, and by any standards it is an epic and extraordinary tale.

After the first two manuscripts of the novel were destroyed, Roberts finally succeeded in getting the book published in 2003.

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Illywhacker by Peter Carey

Illywhacker by Peter CareyPeter Carey has been a favourite author of mine since I first read Illywhacker more years ago than I care to remember. Some people just don’t get Illywhacker and seem to prefer Carey’s other early novels such as Oscar and Lucinda, and whilst I have to agree that it is at times a very strange book, I have always found it magical. My old copy is terminally worn out from being re-read and loaned out to friends, which has got to be a testament to a fine book in my view!

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