on 27 September 2002
The first time I read this book I wasn't too sure. I knew I had enjoyed it, but wasn't quite sure how much I liked it.
So I read it again, and on this second read everything became clear. I fell in love with Robert Dessaix's writing style - his intricate, intelligent sentences and beautiful descriptive passages. The characters were a marvellous collection and superbly realised.
The final chapter of the book, and the single line ending, is one of my favourite endings to a book ever and has lived on in my mind. The images Dessaix conjures are beautiful and intoxicating.
A fantastic novel about coming to terms with one's own mortality.
on 11 June 2003
This is one of those books that it is read (and loved) in an intimate and very personal way, almost as if it has been written only for us, to our measure. RD is Australian and in this travel book disguised as a novel disguised as a notebook disguised as an essay on illness disguised as light amusement disguised as a collection of short stories, or everything in opposite, he stages a trip to Europe, to Venice of all destinations, that it is more than a self discovery journey, and more a travel of exposure and of acceptance. As if, contaminated on the inside, there is nothing left to the narrator than letting himself be "infected" by all the beauty and thought that reveals before his eyes and mind. A fascinating book, about the eternal themes of love and death, that has a definitive place in our luggage of improbable travellers.