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Writing and design by Melissa Hill, graphic designer.

Posts tagged fiction
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton

Some people like to say, “I don’t read fiction” in the same way that a certain type of person likes to say, “I don’t watch T.V.” Both of these statements are pretentious and supposed to imply that the person uttering them doesn’t have the time to waste on such unworthy pursuits. These mediums aren’t intellectual enough, they provide nothing of value.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to live inside the kind of brain that can’t see the value in reading fiction. And I guess that is kind of the point of this post.

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The Heart Goes Last
by Margaret Atwood

The Heart Goes Last is a seemingly lighter venture into our dark future – while there is nothing one can reasonably laugh at in The Handmaid’s Tale or Oryx and Crake, The Heart Goes Last is presented with a tongue firmly in Atwood’s cheek: the atrocities committed in this book feel too ludicrous to be a future we can reasonably expect to encounter.

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Late to the Party: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

If any part of me thought that Northern Lights was going to be a light, fun, magical read, then I guess that part of me must be disappointed. The rest of me however, was thoroughly engaged with the blend of plot-driven adventure, complex and unusual characters and weighty moral and philosophical questions that are encountered throughout this book.

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Atlantic Black by A. S. Patrić

A.S. Patrić’s Atlantic Black is as shadowy liquid as the its title suggests. I read this entire novel feeling as though I was floating through a strange dream, moving through water, a shifting, uncertain landscape. Death comes up often here, sometimes as surrender, sometimes as liberation, a spectre never lingering far from the action at hand.

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The Circle by David Eggers

The Island Will Sink is an intriguing glimpse into a future that I would be entirely unsurprised to see happen. Neglected high-rise wastelands litter the poor areas outside of the city, conserving resources has turned into a competitive social media activity, and one can outsource memories and emotional intelligence to an app… built into your brain, of course.

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The Island Will Sink by Briohny Doyle

The Island Will Sink is an intriguing glimpse into a future that I would be entirely unsurprised to see happen. Neglected high-rise wastelands litter the poor areas outside of the city, conserving resources has turned into a competitive social media activity, and one can outsource memories and emotional intelligence to an app… built into your brain, of course.

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Black Rock, White City by A.S. Patrić

Black Rock, White City is set in the very near past: it is the story of a couple who have escaped the horrors of the Bosnian war to make a new life in Melbourne, Australia. The tragedy they have suffered has unfortunately pushed them apart and so, instead of finding solace and support in each other to help manage the displacement and isolation they feel in their new lives, they struggle on, each in their own private bubble of loneliness and pain.

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

After the fall of civilisation as we know it, an itinerant band of performers travels through an unpredictable and dangerous new world, bringing moments of joy to people’s lives through the unlikely medium of classical music and Shakespeare. It sounds like a rather humorous combination of themes, but Emily St. John Mandel takes this unusual premise and weaves from it a compelling and definitely un-funny book.

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The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry

This series tackles some heavy topics, big questions about how our memories shape us, the value in experiencing pain and the worth of a peaceful society if no one is free to live a genuine human experience. This aspect of it reminded me of A Clockwork Orange — how much value can you place on ‘good behaviour’ that isn’t chosen through free will?

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling & Jack Thorne

I read the other day that next year is the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter. Do you know how old this makes me feel? I have colleagues who hold JK Rowling as dear in their childhood memories as I do Enid Blyton. The Harry Potter books are the tales of their childhood. And I clearly remember reading them as an adult.

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Day Boy by Trent Jamieson

At the centre of Day Boy is Midfield, the kind of small town that I’ve passed through, but never lived in. I’ve never grown up in a place, feeling it to be home because it’s all I’m familiar with, the landscape of all my childhood memories, feeling its edges press against me as I grow too large for it, like an ill-fitting garment.

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Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

I went on a strange journey and now that I’ve returned, I’m not quite sure what just happened. Actually, Gould’s Book of Fish is what happened. I have to start off by saying that I loved this book. Loved it. We didn’t start off on the right foot together (admittedly, I may have just been grumpy that day), but once the narrative really kicked off, I was hooked. 

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Anyway, I digress. The 5th Wave is a burger. I read it, I enjoyed it for what it was, and haven’t thought about it since. Until now, obviously, but it is fairly difficult to review a book without thinking about it. I’m not saying that The 5th Wave is a bad book. It was entertaining enough to keep me reading and provided that sense of escapism, like many action films that we consume for mindless diversion without them making any further impact on our lives.

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