This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 347 ratings
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ISBN-13: 978-1922079206
ISBN-10: 1922079200
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF

‘“The Joan Didion of Australia” writes a masterful book about a real-life family tragedy....Her voice — intimate yet sharp, wry yet urgent — inspires trust as she pursues a twice-told tale that reveals an unsettling truth as relevant outside the courtroom as inside it: we tell ourselves stories in order to live but also in order to take revenge, to share guilt, to prolong pain, to blur memory and motive.’—The Atlantic

‘Two books in one: an expertly reported, brilliantly written story and, woven into that, Garner’s meditation on the meaning of that story.’—Head Butler

‘As involving, heart-rending and unsettling a read as you could possibly find, a true-life account of three deaths and a trial that leaves you with a profound sense of unease as its drama unfolds, and disturbing questions about how we judge guilt and innocence…Tailor-made for those who have gorged recently on the popular true-crime podcast Serial.’—The Times

‘A gripping account of a murder trial in which few of the participants act and react in ways we might predict. It’s an examination not just of what happened, but also of what we prefer to believe and what we cannot face believing.’—Julian Barnes

This House of Grief has all the trademark Helen Garner touches: harrowing scenes recorded without restraint or censorship; touching observations of characters’ weaknesses; wry moments of humor. And also customary with Garner’s work, her words, and the boys’ fate, will haunt us long after we’ve turned the last page.’—Guardian

‘Compassionate and dispassionate in equal measure, Helen Garner takes us into the courtroom and shows a melting-pot of venality. She writes with a profound understanding of human vulnerability, and of the subtle workings of love, memory and remorse.’—Economist

‘A masterful picture of the imperfect mechanisms of justice wound into a heartbreaking tale of sorrow and loss…It’s been a long time since I read a book that gripped me so wholly…Justice, Garner easily demonstrates, can disintegrate into a matter of how bored the jury is. She has a Jane Austen-like ability to whizz an arrow straight into the truest depths of human nature, including her own, with minimal observation. For Fans of: Janet Malcolm, Ann Rule.’—The Life Sentence

‘[A] masterful account of the trial of Robert Farquharson for the 2005 deaths of his three sons...The details of the story are fascinating, and Garner’s crystal-clear writing serves the story well. But the chief impression we are left with is of the complexity of human nature and the impossibility of any justice system to fully account for it...the resulting book is both troubling and deeply satisfying.’—Books|ut

‘The twists and turns of this true-crime story are, in Garner’s hands, more engrossing and dramatic than any thriller. Really, this is the kind of book you’ll devour in one go.’—Age

‘A magnificent book about the majesty of the law and the terrible matter of the human heart. It has its center a feeling of the engulfing powers of love and hate and the way any heart unlucky enough may kill the thing it loves and drown in an eternity of grief. If you read nothing else this year, read this story of the sorrow and pity of innocents drowned and the specters and enigmas of guilt.’—Weekend Australian

‘Clear-eyed and deeply moving…Garner’s skills as a novelist combine with her journalist incisiveness to give a vivid, compassionate and complex assessment of the crime and the societal issues surrounding it…This House of Grief is a book that preys on the mind—its themes are enormous, classical and highly contemporary. Some readers will find they have to put it down, now and again, because the story it tells is so tragically sad—but so compelling that they won’t put it down for long.’—NZ Herald

‘A superbly balanced book about a terribly freighted subject: a violation of parental care of the kind that provokes outrage rather than thoughtfulness. It is also an elegant reiteration of many of the themes and concerns that Garner has, over four decades, made her own.’—Saturday Paper

‘A brilliant, poetic work of jurisprudence…Another beauty of Garner’s writing is her exceptional lyricism. Garner’s spare, clean style flowers into magnificent poetry.’—Australian Book Review

‘Superbly done. Garner is one of the finest reporters in this country…In the crimes and misdemeanours we commit against one another, she has always found clues to being human.’—Monthly

‘No one can invoke the theater of the law the way Helen Garner does. It isn’t just her acute mind for human psychology or her shimmering gift for metaphor, the masterly economy and dramatic poise with which she shaped the material.’—Sydney Morning Herald

‘Garner sat through [all the trials]: sifting the evidence, observing the duelling lawyers, digging deep into the relationships which contributed to the catastrophe. She has turned a courtroom drama into something deeply human.’—Australian Women's Weekly

‘Helen Garner’s greatest skill is to encourage the reader not to make judgement but to listen.’—Jill Eddington, Best Books of the Year, Weekend Australian

‘A top-quality page-turner. Garner has the gift of universal sympathy: nothing human is alien to her.’—David Free, Best Books of the Year, Weekend Australian

‘Here’s clarity, ferocity and the seesawing ambivalence of love: it took my breath away.’—Ashley Hay, Best Books of the Year, Weekend Australian

‘Tender and electrifying. This House of Grief is Helen Garner’s masterpiece.’— Saturday Paper

Praise for THE SPARE ROOM
'Garner is perhaps most easily introduced to new American readers as the Joan Didion of Australia--a person who writes with a diamond drill, depicting human relationships with such brutal clarity they seem to be rendered for the first time.'—Los Angeles Times

'A Molotov cocktail of a book...Her voice is full of unexpected humor.'—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

'A book so sensitive, sad, funny, and alive that it surely deserves an honored place on many shelves.'—Diana Athill, The Daily Telegraph (UK)

'Two women who have known each other for fifteen years, spending three weeks together with the weight of one crushing disease. How do we calculate what's important in our lives? Highly recommended.'—Library Journal (starred review)

'Only great fiction demands us to reset our moral compass and look at our value coordinates all over again. The Spare Room achieves this.'—The Times (UK)

'A perfect novel, imbued with all Garner's usual clear-eyed grace but with some other magnificent dimension that hides between the lines of her simple conversational voice. How is it that she can enter this heart-breaking territory--the dying friend who comes to stay--and make it not only bearable, but glorious, and funny? There is no answer except: Helen Garner is a great writer; The Spare Room is a great book.'—Peter Carey

'Cleanly-written, sharp, with the authority of lived experience but an artist's penetration of the issues. It provides a portrait very hard to erase, of a child's ego trapped in a failing and ageing body, and it raises uncomfortable questions: what are the limits of friendship? Who will care for a generation that thought it would never get old?' Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall

'Swift, beautiful, and relentless, The Spare Room is a brutal novel in the best sense.'—Alice Sebold
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00KK3NT3C
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Text Publishing (August 20, 2014)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 20, 2014
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 930 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 248 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 347 ratings

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Helen Garner was born in 1942 in Geelong, and was educated there and at Melbourne University. She taught in Victorian secondary schools until 1972, when she was dismissed for answering her students’ questions about sex, and had to start writing journalism for a living.

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), won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Queensland Premier’s Award for Fiction and the Barbara Jefferis Award, and has been translated into many languages.

Helen Garner lives in Melbourne.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
347 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

GeordieReader
4.0 out of 5 stars A very personal account of a harrowing trial
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 7, 2020
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Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars An un-put-downable book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2016
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4 people found this helpful
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Linda S
1.0 out of 5 stars Drawn Out and Repetitious
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2018
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The Wise Wol
4.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANTLY IMMERSIVE READ
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 14, 2021
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Brunsparken
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder or something else? Make up your own mind.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 4, 2016
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