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Page: 1
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.24

2.0 out of 5 stars The Dreamers is a play, set in 'modern-day' Australia ..., 22 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: DREAMERS (Plays) (Paperback)
The Dreamers is a play, set in 'modern-day' Australia, focusing on a family of urbanised Aboriginal descendants and their sick uncle, Worru. The family is very much dysfunctional, with alcohol abuse and criminal behaviour prevalent throughout.

My first impressions of the play were quite negative; the author clearly has a point to make about the state of Aboriginal affairs in the modern world, but there is nothing subtle about the process of revelation or expression - it's much too blunt. In reflection, there are some interesting observations to be made, small parts of the story that carry some interesting questions about culture and social standing. This is lost, however, beneath a tidal wave of anti-white ("wetjala" in the play, as there is heavy use of Aboriginal terminology, which can be at first confusing) doctrine, complete with straightforward outbursts of rage that wouldn't look out of place on a Wikipedia article about the same subject matter from this perspective.

Don't let my negative comments put you off though. Jack Davis, the author, is highly commended as a playwright and a poet, and there will surely be something here for you if you're interested in this subject matter. I wasn't impressed, but perhaps you will be!

The Secret River
The Secret River
by Kate Grenville
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars The novel charts Thornhill's journey from a poor London family to his relocation to New South Wales, 22 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Secret River (Paperback)
The Secret River is the story of the colonisation of Australia, seen through the eyes of William Thornhill, an Englishman forcibly removed from his home after being convicted of a crime. The novel charts Thornhill's journey from a poor London family to his relocation to New South Wales, whereupon he engages in tentative and often fear-ridden encounters with the indigenous people.

Overall, I thought the novel was an interesting read, certainly worth a flick-through if you have the time. Be prepared, however, for going in a few circles before reaching the conclusion; the novel starts to drag a little and the action becomes a little repetitive. (p.s. the front cover has a rich look about it, very premium I may say).

Clockwork Angels
Clockwork Angels
by Neil Peart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but lacking, 25 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Hardcover)
Clockwork Angels: The Novel is the novelization of Canadian rock band Rush's 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels. The album itself is of a concept that made the band famous on "2112": excellent musicianship twinned with story-led lyrics, producing a wholly satisfying and engaging musical experience that I thoroughly recommend. And while the book here presents itself as a competent side to the main dish that is the album, as a standalone product it is found wanting.

Owen Hardy, and indeed most of the other characters (with the exception of the Watchmaker and the Anarchist) are gravely underdeveloped, and in truth it is hard to care what happens to any but the aforementioned exceptions. That both of these characters are then left in a disappointing cliffhanger of uncertainty over their fates means that the overall ending of the book also left me dripping with apathy.

The story itself also seems to have been rushed through, and although the author is restricted by the parameters of the album, the parts of the story that stray from Peart's vision and plug the gaps feel like a wasted opportunity. The story jumps from point-to-point, and while each destination is eagerly anticipated, upon arrival you are left very much to feel as though the words on the page really only need one thing; to be replaced by the song that inspired them.

However, I would like to say that I did enjoy the book. Upon reflection, it may not have been as accomplished but it was certainly worth a read. The book is rarely challenging, and presents a getaway into the pages that is easy to follow. With a small application of imagination and empathy, it was possible to bring the story to life and surprisingly, I found my enjoyment of the album was greatly increased as the imagery the book paints comes to the fore when listening. In conclusion: The album is a must-have for rock fans, one of Rush's best in many years, perhaps since Moving Pictures. The book is an easy, entertaining read, but if you are looking for Tolkien-esque story-telling, you will be disappointed.

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