Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

14 Sep 2008

Man Booker Shortlist Announced

Australian Steve Toltz's debut novel A Fraction Of The Whole has made the shortlist for this year's Man Booker prize.

The other shortlisted novels are :
White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Sea Of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
Clothes On Their Backs by Linda Grant

Kristy gives this book 5 stars *****

2 Sep 2008

Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel

This novel is based on a real case that occurred in Germany in the 1920s: an ageing farmer, his elderly wife, their daughter, the daughter's two young children and a maid were all brutally murdered on their farm in the remote countryside. Schenkel's narrative gradually untangles the mesh of events, each chapter being a different eyewitness's account of events. Its gentle sketching-in of events of the decade preceding the murders also makes this a fascinating portrait of postwar Germany (the murders are relocated by the author to the 1950s). I read it in two hours - it is not long, almost a novella, and is easy to read - but the story was extremely compelling and it kept me guessing until the very end. Without spoiling the story, more horrifying than the murders themselves are the dark family secrets revealed during the course of the investigation - this is a dark book. Would appeal to both crime and general readers alike.

Elizabeth J. (Elly!)