Tag Archives: australia

The Patron Saint of Eels by Gregory Day

The Patron Saint of Eels by Gregory Day: Noel is woken one night to the sound of hundreds of eels sloshing about in the roadside ditches, having been washed out of the river by a recent string of heavy rains. It’s the most exciting thing to have happened in this tiny Australian town for ages, but even more remarkable is the stranger who appears the following night, chanting and ringing his bell for the eels. Noel and his friend Nanette spend the next day talking with the stranger. While it’s clear this is supposed to be a fable, the lessons are vague. My best guess is “stop complaining and do something about your problems” but then at other times it seems to be “relax and go with the flow”. So I dunno. Not a whole lot happens in this book – in fact, basically nothing happens – but I enjoyed the descriptions of the Australian bush. I wouldn’t mind living in a fire tower overlooking such lands. All the same, it’s a quick read, so if you’re looking for something different from your normal fare, this might just fit the bill.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Dreaming Again edited by Jack Dann

Dreaming Again edited by Jack Dann: A surprisingly consistent collection of quality fantasy stories by Australian authors. I haven’t read much Australian lit – and indeed had only heard of one of the authors (Garth Nix) – but this was marvelous. Only a couple of the stories were boring and/or needlessly unpleasant to read. (I don’t object to unpleasant reading as a general rule, but when it’s unpleasant for no reason I feel manipulated.) The range is broad, from angels to zombies, humor to tragedy, modern Australia to the Garden of Eden. All in all a great sampler.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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