Top Reviewer Ranking: 176
Helpful votes received on reviews: 83% (5,634 of 6,768)
Location: Melbourne



Top Reviewer Ranking: 176 - Total Helpful Votes: 5634 of 6768
The Ruby Slippers by Keir Alexander
The Ruby Slippers by Keir Alexander
The Ruby Slippers are, of course, the shoes worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz. And, as everybody knows, if you click the heels three times and repeat “there’s no place like home”, then home is where you go.

In Keir Alexander’s novel, we meet an old bag lady, Rosa, and her dog Barrell as they buy provisions from the Sunrise delicatessen, run by Michael Marcinkus. Michael is, we discover, Rosa’s nephew. As it goes, Michael is one to harbour a grudge and he has a pretty big grudge against Rosa who, it seems had swanned off to Hollywood to live it up whilst Michael and his family were left behind to face first the Germans and then the Russians in wartime Latvia. However,… Read more
All That is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is a fictionalisation of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and its impact on a group of families who were connected or become connected. It is a complex work relying on multiple points of view and different strands that connect the narratives. But, incredibly, it works. The complexity never confuses; Darragh McKeon keeps all the balls in the air, never colliding.

This is fiction. The reader has to keep remembering that, because the level of detail gives an authenticity and authority of a work of factual documentary. We don’t know for sure how people responded when the reactor exploded; we can’t know what steps were taken to cover things up; or… Read more
Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth
Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Animals commits the cardinal sin of being boring.

Most people like novels with sympathetic characters for whom you can wish success. Some people like novels with bad characters you can hate and hope bad things happen to. But Laura Joyce, her girlfriend Tyler and her pianist partner Jim are just dull. They do very little apart from drink (except Jim who doesn’t even drink) and although there is the occasional comic moment, mostly it is just alcohol-fuelled scatalogical dialogue that seems designed to shock but never quite succeeds.

Nothing happens.

And Laura and Tyler are not nearly as bad as they like to think. Laura holds down a job at a call centre; Tyler… Read more