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Cosmo Cosmolino: Text Classics Kindle Edition
'Helen Garner writes the best sentences in Australia.' Bulletin
Janet is a skeptic, a journalist; Maxine revels in New Age fantasies; and Ray, a drifter, is a born-again Christian. The common ground is the house they share. But their fragile domestic balance is about to explode amid the smashing of ukeleles, an unexpected ascension of an angel, and a sudden shower of jonquils.
Introduction by Ramona Koval.
Helen Garner was born in 1942 in Geelong, and was educated there and at Melbourne University. Her first novel, Monkey Grip, came out in 1977, won the 1978 National Book Council Award, and was adapted for film in 1981. Since then she has published novels, short stories, essays, and feature journalism. In 2006 Helen Garner received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature.
Ramona Koval is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. She is the editor of Best Australian Essays and for many years was the presenter of ABC Radio National’s The Book Show. Her most recent book was Speaking Volumes: Conversations with Remarkable Writers, a collection of her international literary interviews.
'No one writes these reports from the suburban front-line with quite the passion, the abrupt insights and kitchen table candour of Helen Garner.' Robert Dessaix
About the Author
Helen Garner: Helen Garner was born in 1942 in Geelong. Her first novel, Monkey Grip, came out in 1977, won the 1978 National Book Council Award, and was adapted for film in 1981.
Since then she has published novels, short stories, essays, and feature journalism. Her screenplay The Last Days of Chez Nous was filmed in 1990. Garner has won many prizes, among them a Walkley Award for her 1993 article about the murder of two-year-old Daniel Valerio.
In 1995 she published The First Stone, a controversial account of a Melbourne University sexual harassment case. Joe Cinque’s Consolation (2004) was a non-fiction study of two murder trials in Canberra.
In 2006 Helen Garner received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature.
Her most recent novel, The Spare Room (2008), has been translated into many languages.
- ASIN : B007CAJXFY
- Publisher : Text Publishing; Reprint edition (April 26, 2012)
- Publication date : April 26, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 621 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 224 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,802 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Janet is the owner of a large sprawling house that was once home to a large, bustling hippie commune. Now she rattles around her dilapidated home alone. Her short marriage has failed and she works as a freelance journalist, rarely leaving the house. Into her life and house arrive Maxine, a slightly mad artist and carpenter of impractical furniture and Ray, a penniless born-again christian. Ray's brother Alby was once Janet's lover and lived in the house for a short time in his drug addled youth. The three combine to make a strange household, never eating together or understanding each other.
I can't say I really enjoyed this book. The stories are quite bleak and depressing - all these middle aged adults who can't get their lives together. The writing is very good however and there are some very powerful images in the stories, such as the 'angels' who take Ray to hell in the second story.
Parts I did enjoy but it was a bit too weird - I just didn't get it. I must have missed the point.
It got great reviews and the subject matter at first intrigued me ... what became of the human remnants of the kind of 1970s shared households so brilliantly depicted in Garner's earlier work, Monkey Grip.
But then she added an element I have very little patience for - magic, angels, a sort of supernatural angle.
And the characters were to me jarring and deeply unattractive. I thought "I'm never going to empathise with these people", and there was no real plot to speak of, so I gave it up.
Garner DOES write brilliantly. Her phrasing, word choices and evocative descriptions are enviable.
I often have this sense when I read short stories (& CC starts with two, which are linked to the longer novella which follows) that there's a sadness, and I find Aust women short story writers inevitably conjure up melancholy. I enjoyed that when I was in a phase in my life in my early 20s, but not now.
So, while the reviewers are probably correct & this is terrific stuff, it could also be dated pretentious twaddle, and I didn't care enough to persist past 60 pages.
I think I prefer a good plot!