ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK —— A struggling would be novelist, Kif Kehlmann, is given the opportunity to ghost write the memoir of Australia’s most wanted con-man, Siegfried Heidl. As Kif begins work on the book, Heidl becomes more and more evasive taunting Kif with well deployed psychological games. Loosley based on Flanagan’s own experience of ghosting infamous fraudster John Friedrich’s biography, this is a darkly comic yet equally disturbing read as Kif slowly struggles to hang on to his own personality and resist submitting to Heidl’s stronger will. A gripping read from the 2014 Man Booker Prize winner. Greg Waldron
The new novel from Australia's Man Booker Prize winning author Richard Flanagan.
What is the truth? In this blistering story of a ghostwriter haunted by his demonic subject, the Man Booker Prize
winner turns to lies, crime and literature with devastating effect
Kif Kehlmann, a young penniless writer, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious con man and corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl offers Kehlmann the job of ghostwriting his memoir. He has six weeks to write the book, for which he’ll be paid $10,000.
But as the writing gets under way, Kehlmann begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. As the deadline draws closer, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghostwriting a memoir, or if Heidl is rewriting him – his life, his future. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: who is Siegfried Heidl – and who is Kif Kehlmann?
As time runs out, one question looms above all others: what is the truth?
By turns compelling, comic, and chilling, this is a haunting journey into the heart of our age.
An almost deserted town in the middle of nowhere, Nebulah's days of mining and farming prosperity - if they ever truly existed - are long gone. These days even the name on the road sign into town has been removed. Yet for Pete, an ex-policeman, Milly, Li and a small band of others, it's the only place they have ever felt at home.
One winter solstice, a strange residual and mysterious mist arrives, that makes even birds disappear. It is a real and potent force, yet also strangely emblematic of the complacency and unease that afflicts so many of our small towns, and the country that Murphy knows so well.
Partly inspired by the true story of Wittenoom, the ill-fated West Australia asbestos town, Soon is the story of the death of a haunted town, and the plight of the people who either won't, or simply can't, abandon all they have ever had.
With finely wrought characters and brilliant plotting, it is a taut and original novel, where the people we come to know, and those who are drawn to the town's intrigue, must ultimately fight for survival.
ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK —— The new book from the Miles Franklin Award winner! This is an episodic novel in five parts, with different characters to the fore, though the reader realises that one in particular is always there. Looping round Sydney, with diversions to Paris and connections to Sri Lanka, this is an elegant examination of modern life’s inability to create intimacy, despite all the ways we can connect technologically. Full of wise observations and arresting images, this masterful novel is a pleasure to read. Lindy Jones
'I so much admire Michelle de Kretser's formidable technique - her characters feel alive, and she can create a sweeping narrative which encompasses years, and yet still retain the sharp, almost hallucinatory detail.' Hilary Mantel
'Michelle de Kretser knows how to construct a gripping story. She writes quickly and lightly of wonderful and terrible things...A master storyteller.' A.S. Byatt
Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don't tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.
Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.
Profoundly moving as well as bitingly funny, The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present. This extraordinary novel by Miles Franklin-winning author Michelle de Kretser will strike to your soul.
On stage, a woman named Sybil Jones is making a speech. She is talking about the significance of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story 'The Yellow Wallpaper'. Behind her sits a panel of writers, facing their audience, and one writer drawing Sybil’s likeness in a contemplative daze.
The Sybil in the writer’s drawing starts to move, like the women behind Gilman’s wallpaper. She shakes. She takes the writer by the hand and leads her down into the paper, into the dark recesses of her mind, and into Australia’s past. Into the real and imagined lives of Australia’s women writers. Drawing Sybylla is novel about the challenges women writers have faced in pursuing the writing life.
‘This is a work that wears its significant research very lightly and provides the reader with a tremendously original and imaginative set of pictures about the ideas of creativity and using language to make stories, over and again.’ The 2016 Dorothy Hewett Award judges’ report
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Inspired by the author's own family experience.
The Brennans - parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby - have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart to subtropical Murwillumbah. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they're still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple weatherboard, when one morning, tragedy strikes.
In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who's to blame?
Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah - his innocence lost - faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.
Sixty Seconds is a haunting, redemptive story about forgiveness and hope.
'A beautiful work. One of the most moving and artistically satisfying endings I've read in a long while' Susan Johnson, Courier Mail
'An unflinching but tender exploration of what happens when the worst happens, this achingly beautiful novel broke my heart. And then put it back together' Wendy James, author
Roland lives with his parents, Graham and Joyce, and his younger sister, Lily, in the golden light of a leafy outer suburb - Glenella. He dreams of escaping, of finding an intoxicating life somewhere else. He is fascinated by Cassie Noble, who lives down the road with her brash parents, Colleen and Reg. But when Darren Wilson moves into the neighbourhood with his Triumph motorcycle, everything changes. After his brilliant debut, The Vintage and the Gleaning, Jeremy Chambers' new novel, Suburbia, is a revelation - a coming-of-age drama about the end of innocence set in a baffling world of hardwood fences and fragrant lawns, amid the flickering light of memory and desire.
'When he was in gaol, he'd begun to prepare himself for the fight of his life, a showdown with the policeman, McWilliams a he'd face life with death, and see who blinked first.' Blackie and Rips are fresh out of prison when they set off on a road trip back to Wiradjuri country with their mate Carlos. Blackie is out for revenge against the cop who put him in prison on false grounds. He is also craving to reconnect with his grandmother's country. Driven by his hunger for drugs and payback, Blackie reaches dark places of both mystery and beauty as he searches for peace. He is willing to pay for that peace with his own life. Part road-movie, part 'Koori-noir', Dancing Home announces an original and darkly funny new voice.
Kaye Dobbie returns with a captivating new family saga. An interrupted phone call and a mysterious disappearance bring a family's secret past crashing into the present...
1969: Small-town girl Faith Taylor leaves her family home in Willow Tree Bend and lands a job at the Angel - Melbourne's most infamous nightclub. While Faith relishes her new-found freedom, she can't help noticing that some things about the club don't add up. So when a policeman reveals that a former waitress was murdered, Faith realises she must help to bring down the shadowy owner behind the club's activities.
More than thirty years later, what happened at the Angel remains a closely held secret. When Faith disappears, her sister Hope - now a famous movie star - is left with an intriguing, though frustrating, piece of the puzzle. But with a tell-all documentary film crew constantly by her side, how can she find where Faith is - and what she's hiding-while making sure her own secrets stay hidden?
Faith's daughter, Sam, is also concerned by her mother's uncharacteristic behaviour. When she overhears a clue to Faith's past, she's determined to unearth the truth. What is the connection between the Angel and Willow Tree Bend? What does Faith's disappearance mean? And what will happen when the final secret is revealed?
The Blue Mountains 1907: Eureka Jones, a young pharmacist's assistant with historical eyes , falls in love with Harry Kitchings, a man who photographs clouds and the shadows they cast and thinks of his work as images of the mind of God.
The Service of Clouds, Australian writer Delia Falconers first novel, tells the story of their romance, which unfolds in a small town full of colorful eccentrics. It is a courtship in which the first kiss comes only after a couple of years; only after Harry leaves her will Eureka tell their story. Like a photographic print that gradually comes into focus, her account reveals the vast hole Harry's departure left in her life and in the landscape he so loved to photograph.
The Service of Clouds, which owes something to Proust and Proulx alike, is superabundantly full of metaphors for the Australian land and the high sky above. This fiercely original and memorable first novel brings a place, a time, and a cast of mind vividly to life.
The breathtakingly suspenseful new novel from the bestselling author of The Mothers' Group and Wife on the RunSix strangers from across the world meet on the tropical island of Bali to attend a course designed to help them face their fears. Their backgrounds are as diverse as their fears, which range from flying, public speaking and heights, through to intimacy, failure and death. Friendships and even romance blossom as the participants are put through a series of challenges that are unusual, confronting and sometimes hilarious. A week of fun in the sun suddenly turns into something far more serious, however, when the unthinkable happens - a tragic disaster that puts the group in deadly danger, testing the individual courage of every member. Shocking, powerful and utterly gripping, Fearless takes you to the edge and makes you look down.
In the 1860's in the Colony of Victoria, Tabu an aborigine goes 'walkabout' after a violent tribal fight during which his brother is killed. He rescues the wife of a drover/farmer - Michael, who is an escaped Convict. He hires Tabu, to help him drove sheep into the mainly unexplored northern districts of Victoria to the Murray River.
Only a few hardy explorers and drovers had previously been through this country when bringing stock overland from Sydney to Melbourne. Their droving encounters many difficulties, crossing several rivers - bushfires - floods - theft of sheep and aborigine conflict.
Parallel family stories involve an aborigine battle - wild dog attacks - water rights and attempted piracy. The Novel also includes other tales involving their family's trial and tribulations, bordering on truth and fiction.
The Author's knowledge of Australian history has helped him interweave tales of early settlers and aboriginal lifestyles to bring together significant events that occurred within Michael's and Tabu's family. The Colony's scenery and unique animals are also vividly described, together with a surprising conclusion for Michael.
Collectively these descriptions have helped to complete an exciting must read story 'Of days gone by' and will be of interest to all readers, and will increase the knowledge of students of Australian History.
Fiona Forrest is devastated when her husband Charlie commits suicide after the accidental shooting of his mate Eddie. Though Fiona decides to keep farming their successful property, rumours that she intends to sell keep circulating. When Detective Dave Burrows arrives to sign off on the investigation into Eddie's death, his suspicions are aroused by some strange anomalies at the scene. As Dave becomes increasingly convinced that something sinister is going on, Fiona finds herself dealing with a series of disasters on the farm... By the bestselling author of Crimson Dawn, this suspenseful novel about a woman fighting to preserve her husband's dream and a detective determined to uncover the truth will keep you guessing till the very last page.
In Judy Nunn's latest compelling novel, compassion meets bigotry, hatred meets love, and ultimately despair meets hope on the windswept shores of Australia.
On a barren island off the coast of Western Australia, a rickety wooden dinghy runs aground. Aboard are nine people who have no idea where they are. Strangers before the violent storm that tore their vessel apart, the instinct to survive has seen them bond during their days adrift on a vast and merciless ocean. Refugees from wartorn lands, fate has cast them ashore with only one thing in common... fear. Rassen the doctor, Massoud the student, the child Hamid and the others all fear for their lives. But in their midst is Jalila who appears to fear nothing. The beautiful young Yazidi woman is a mystery to them all. While they remain undiscovered on the deserted island, they dare to dream of a new life. But good things aren't meant to last...
Forty kilometres away on the mainland lies the tiny fishing port of Shoalhaven. The people who dwell there have opinions. Many and varied opinions. The refugees are about to become the centre of attention - and Shoalhaven a microcosm of Australia at large...
Set against the colourful backdrop of a swinging sixties Sydney and the brutality of the Vietnam War, War Flower follows the journey of six young people through their lives in a turbulent era, and asks - can love still prevail when horror becomes almost too much to bear?
Can love prevail, when horror becomes too much to bear?
The 1960s are beating a fresh pulse of political and cultural upheaval through Sydney. For sheltered convent schoolgirl Poppy Flannery such changes seem irrelevant. But it doesn't stop her from longing to join in, especially if it means spending time with the popular boy she secretly loves, Ben Williamson. So when the opportunity for a dream escape to Surfers Paradise arrives, Poppy and her twin sister Rosemary seize it and find themselves in the midst of the swinging sixties at last.
Rosemary embraces their secret new life with a vengeance, discovering drugs, boys and radical politics in a haze of parties, music festivals and protest marches. But such freedom is stolen when Rosemary's great love, Angus, is sent to Vietnam, along with Ben.
Soon a war fought thousands of kilometres away will arrive on the twins' door in the form of orphaned refugee Thuy. As many more victims begin to appear, including shattered versions of Australian soldiers, they must decide how far they will go for the men they adore, and ask themselves whether love really is all you need.
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Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past - for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce.
Looking to make a new start, each sets out alone to walk two thousand kilometres from Cluny to Santiago, in northwestern Spain, in the footsteps of pilgrims who have walked the Camino - the Way - for centuries. The Camino changes you, it's said. It's a chance to find a new version of yourself. But can these two very different people find each other?
In this smart, funny and romantic journey, Martin's and Zoe's stories are told in alternating chapters by husband-and-wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. Two Steps Forward is a novel about renewal - physical, psychological and spiritual. It's about the challenge of walking an extraordinary distance and of working out where you are going. And it's about what you decide to keep, what you choose to leave behind and what you rediscover.