ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Jacob lives on a remote farm with his father. He's never been anywhere else, so far as he remembers, and he can barely remember his mother who died long ago. Given a diary for his eleventh birthday to record what happens, or what he thinks about, he starts to confide in it things he can't share with his dad. Who the reader starts to understand, has something most definitely wrong with him... Jacob's close observations of his surroundings layered with a child's lack of understanding of the circumstances make for a creeping sense of dread and claustrophobia, particularly as he is enmeshed in his father's paranoia and yet realises that he has to act contrary to everything he's been taught. Another tense and atmospheric character-based book from Brandi (Wimmera; The Rip) whose talent is for underplaying horrible details and letting the reader's imagination fill in the blanks. Lindy
Mark Brandi's bestselling novel, Wimmera, won the coveted British Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger, and was named Best Debut at the 2018 Australian Indie Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards Literary Fiction Book of the Year, and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year. His second novel, The Rip, was published to critical acclaim by Hachette Australia in March 2019. Mark's shorter work has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, the Big Issue, and in journals both here and overseas. His writing is also sometimes heard on ABC Radio National. Mark graduated with a criminal justice degree and worked extensively in the justice system, before changing direction and deciding to write. Originally from Italy, he grew up in rural Victoria. Mark now lives in Melbourne and is working on his next work of fiction.
The Others is a nuanced exploration of the world view of a child whose life is curtailed and limited but whose curiosity and exuberance cannot be curbed. In Jacob, Brandi has created a memorable young narrator, and in The Others he has continued, with compassion and intelligence, to explore the place of the outsider in a world that is not always as safe or welcoming as we might hope * NATIONAL [PRINT] Weekend Australian [AUDIENCE : 219,242 ASR: 38,116] * Brandi flies a bit under the radar. That should change with The Others, his boldest book to date. This deeply unsettling novel is not The Road or Room, but it deserves a place beside them. * VIC [PRINT] The Saturday Paper [AUDIENCE: 100,000 ASR: $2832] * As intriguing as it is heart-rending. Brandi is skilled at turning a slow burn into a gripping read * NSW, QLD, VIC, SA [PRINT] The Daily Telegraph, Adelaide Advertise, Courier Mail, Herald Sun [AUDIENCE: 771,885 asr: $37,649] * It's both a very slow burn, and a can't-bear-to-put-it-down read. * VIC + QLD [PRINT], Herald Sun, Toowoomba Chronicle [AUDIENCE: 324,482, ASR: AUD 19,295] * Review * VIC [PRINT], Bellarine Times, [AUDIENCE: 19,000, ASR: AUD 1,127] * It's a remarkable achievement, full of tension and dread, as Jacob confronts his fears of the outside world. * ACT [PRINT], Canberra Times, [AUDIENCE: 19,268, ASR: AUD 2,572] * The Others invites readers to wonder whether a child's innate goodness can survive isolation and indoctrination and what the cost of such turmoil may be. * VIC [PRINT], The Saturday Age, [AUDIENCE: 241,029, ASR: AUD 24,796] *