Pageturners Mixed Reviews for The Son by Philipp Meyer
Book discussion group Pageturners had a lively discussion about The Son by Philipp Meyer – an epic journey spanning a century and a half in Texas – from Indians, to Mexicans to oil discovery. It’s been described a powerful family story about the wealth and destruction by humans. Our comments included:
“It covered an interesting period of time” . “I loved reading about the Indians”, “That woman, I just didn’t like her”, “Peter was gormless”, “I really enjoyed it”, “It was about 4 chapters too long”, “It was well written”, “It was hard to read the violence”, “It was interesting and educational”, “It was very visual, I could picture everything”, “Loved the historical aspect and American history”.
A powerful quote from the book is “Soil to sand, fertile to barren, fruit to thorn. It is all we know how to do”. Reminding us this author has turned the American dream on its ear.
If you would like to hear what the author had to say about his work, here is an interview from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23375703
Pageturners next read for Wednesday 11th September from 5.30pm is The Last of the Vostyachs by Diego Marani and translated by Judith Landry. It is an inventive tale of a long-lost language and culture, forgotten but for a single man……
Pageturners Read Still Alice with Special Guest
The next Pageturners meeting will be held on Wednesday 12 October from 5.30pm at Orange City Library to talk about Still Alice by Lisa Genova with special guest Gary Hillier Nurse Manager at Orange Health Service. Read more…
The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas on ABC TV
We told you when our Pageturners book club read The Slap, we told you when it won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Australian Book Industry Book of the Year award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the ABA Book of the Year, and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature Gold Award. And we told you when it was being filmed for TV.
Well it’s almost here. It starts Thurs 6th Oct ABC TV at 8.30pm (see promo photo) and each episode is told from the point of view of a main character – just like each chapter in the book.Check out all about it on the ABC website: www.abc.net.au/tv/theslap/
In essence this is the story: at a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event.
In the meantime you can see the author on ABC TV tonight Jennifer Byrne Presents: Christos Tsiolkas. His previous book titled Dead Europe, is being made into a feature film, and he’s just completed the first draft of his next novel. Don’t miss this candid and thoughtful interview with one of this country’s most important writers. Tonight 10pm ABC 1.
And the Miles Franklin Literary Award Winner is....
Kim Scott, the first indigenous author to win the Miles Franklin Literary Award, has won the accolade for a second time.
The West Australian author's novel, That Deadman Dance, was announced 2011 winner of the $50,000 prize at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne last night.
Also short-listed were multi-award-winning Braidwood author Roger McDonald's When Colts Ran and Melbourne-born author Chris Womersley's Bereft. Bereft was chosen by most of our Pageturners Book Group to be the winner.
Scott, 54, previously won the award in 2000 for his novel Benang, jointly with Thea Astley's Drylands.
That Deadman Dance tells the story of early contact of British colonisers, American whalers and the indigenous Noongar people on the south coast of Western Australia, the ''friendly frontier'', in the early 19th century.
Speaking for the judging panel, Morag Fraser said it was the ''largeness and the originality of the vision'' of Scott's novel that swayed the judges.
''As a literary achievement, it's breathtaking … it's clear-eyed about tragedy but it brims with what's possible.''
Pageturners Read Miles Franklin Shortlist
The Miles Franklin Literary Award celebrates the best in Australian literature and the winner will be announced soon. Our Pageturners book group has been reading the shortlisted novels:
It is 1919. The Great War has ended, but the Spanish flu epidemic is raging across Australia. Schools are closed, state borders are guarded by armed men, and train travel is severely restricted. There are rumours it is the end of the world.
In the town of Flint, Quinn Walker returns to the home he fled ten years earlier when he was accused of an unspeakable crime. Aware that his father and uncle would surely hang him, Quinn hides in the hills surrounding Flint. There, he meets the orphan Sadie Fox – a mysterious young girl who seems to know more about the crime than she should.
A searing gothic novel of love, longing and justice, Bereft is about the suffering endured by those who go to war and those who are forever left behind.
In playful, musical prose, this book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers. The novel's hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. But slowly – by design and by accident – things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing. As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby's Elders decide they must respond in kind. Supple and accessible in style, generous in spirit and outlook, That Deadman Dance is a fascinating, powerful portrait of Australia's earliest days.
In this sweeping epic of friendship, toil, hope and failed promise, multi-award-winning author Roger McDonald follows the story of Kingsley Colts as he chases the ghost of himself through the decades, and in and out of the lives and affections of the citizens of 'The Isabel', a slice of Australia scattered with prospectors, artists, no-hopers and visionaries. Against this spacious backdrop of sheep stations, timeless landscapes and the Five Alls pub, men play out their fates, conduct their rivalries and hope for the best. Major Dunc Buckler, 'misplaced genius and authentic ratbag', scours the country for machinery in a World War that will never find him. Wayne Hovell, slave to 'moral duty', carries the physical and emotional scars of Colts's early rebellion, but also finds himself the keeper of his redemption. Normie Powell, son of a rugby-playing minister, finds his own mysticism as a naturalist, while warm-hearted stock dealer Alan Hooke longs for understanding in a house full of women. They are men shaped by the obligations and expectations of a previous generation, all striving to define themselves in their own language, on their own terms. 'When Colts Ran', written in Roger McDonald's rich and piercingly observant style, in turns humorous and hard-bitten, charts the ebb and flow of human fortune, and our fraught desire to leave an indelible mark on society and those closest to us. It shows how loyalties shape us in the most unexpected ways. It is the story of how men 'strike at beauty' as they fall to the earth.
To read more about the awards go to http://www.thetrustcompany.com.au/awards/miles_franklin/
And the favourite to win among Pageturners is ….Bereft.