Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 6, 2017

Six Degrees of Separation, from The Slap, to….

Yikes #6Degrees is back already, where does the time go?!

Hosted by Kate at Books are My Favourite and Best this month’s starter book is The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.  Having said my piece in my review, I refer you to …

Another book with the same name, Roger McDonald’s The Slap is fascinating reading.  Here, the slapped child is a firebug in a place prone to bushfire.  Dealing with this disturbed child like this is a dilemma faced by authorities all over Australia during the bushfire season.

We’ve been ‘lucky’ this bushfire season in Victoria.  It hasn’t been as disastrous as in some other years.  Memories of the catastrophic Tasmanian fires in 1967 inform Karenlee Thompson’s empathetic collection of short fictions, Flame Tip

One of Karenlee’s stories features most unusual characters: whistling kites, who hustle their prey using the path of a fire.

Medusa One Snake, large and regal and known for the pitch-perfect quality of her rising notes; Swifty, her handsome if not overly bright partner of three years; and their youngest son Scout Junior, capable of independence but not keen to branch out into the unknown. (p.46)

From birds as characters to other animals, and I am reminded of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild.  Even though so many of us live in cities now, wild places still fascinate us, which is why I liked ….

Wildlight by Robyn Mundy. I just loved the way she captured the teenage girl’s horror about being out of mobile phone and internet range when her family set off to spend months on one of Tasmania’s remote southern islands.  There’s more to this novel than just teenage angst, so why it didn’t capture more attention, I do not know.

I guess some books – even some of the best – just slip under the radar.  This year’s Miles Franklin longlist brought to light a novel called Waiting by Philip Salom.  Although I don’t – can’t – read everything, I like to think that I keep up with most of what’s new in Australian literary fiction, but I hadn’t heard a word about this one, and I am waiting (pardon the pun) for my copy to land in my post box so that I can see what it’s like.

And that segues neatly into a shout out to Leah Kaminsky and her debut novel The Waiting Room. This powerful novel is about a Melbourne woman living in Israel who has to confront living without the sense of security that we take for granted in Australian cities. I’ll be going to hear Leah Kaminsky speak at the 2017 Williamstown Festival very soon:)

From a novel about the fallout over a slapped child to a novel exploring how a sense of safety isn’t something all societies can share …  that’s my #6Degrees this month!

 


Responses

  1. Haha, loved your links Lisa. Lovely that you got in Flametips which is on my TBR, and which I’m looking forward to reading for multiple reasons – Karenlee, Tasmania, fire stories.

    • *chuckle* I like this meme, though I don’t always get time to do it. I’m glad you’re going to review Persuasion, though I think you’re crazy brave to do it… I always feel intimidated by the idea of reviewing a book that’s as well known as that, yet you always manage to come up with a new slant in your Austen posts.

      • Yes, I like it too.

        I agree, I feel nervous about doing the well-known classics but the joy of Austen is that whenever you read her you see a different angle and so I tend, these days, to just write about that. (I’d be intimidated about doing Finnegan’s Wake!)

        • Oh, FW is easy: I could write any old rubbish and no one could argue with it!

          • Haha, Lisa, I don’t think so. If it were that easy why would you bother reading it 😁

            • No, what I mean is, that FW is so weird and strange that anyone can interpret it in any way they like. So writing a review is easy: hardly anybody knows the book, hardly anybody understands it, and like the Emperor’s new clothes, no other reader of the book would question any rubbish I might write, for fear of looking stupid. But reviewing books like Austen’s, that everyone’s read and everyone’s an expert on, from people who studied it at school to all the PhDs, that’s crazy-brave!

              • LOL Lisa, I rather knew what you meant but you know me, I love to tease! And I do like the fact that you give things like FW a go. Sounds like we both think each other is brave 😀

  2. There’s something exciting about seeing ‘Flame Tip’ mentioned almost in the same breath as ‘The Slap’. :)

    • :-)

    • I like that you like that Karenlee.

    • Except that The Slap was turfed out without regret as soon as I’d finished with it whereas I’ve been re-reading Flame Tip on and off and ear-bashing my friends about it. (And no, I won’t lend it to them because they ought to buy it).

  3. The other ‘The Slap’ looks good.

    Re: Wildlight – when that book was released I thought it was YA. Perhaps it isn’t?? Every so often a book is hard to categorise and I think, by not declaring itself one category or another, can miss out on potential readers.

  4. this meme reveals a lot about how our minds work and the curious connections we make between seemingly disparate ideas


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