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Customer Review

on 17 December 2010
This novel has a pleasant relaxed narrative style that, although it was written little more than forty years ago would never now be allowed through modern creative writing filters. Some of the best scenes are related from the view point of a detached third party narrator, with a good feeling for the ambience of Appleyard's College, the surrounding landscape and the numinous Hanging Rock. The book tends to emphasise the divorce of the staff and girls from the vibrant natural world around them, whereas the better known film is more suggestive of personal repression. The narrative approach avoids the difficulties that might have come from being confined to the thought processes of mainly young minds. When this book was turned into a much more renowned film in 1979, it was widely thought to be based on a real disappearance. This idea is now ridiculed. However, it does not take many clicks of the browser to show aspects of the area's background that hint a a more mundane tragedy that some might prefer forgotten. As for faults, the writing is less sure footed with reported speech than narrative accounts, and attempts to convey the servants etc. associated with the story, particularly in speech, are a bit clunky.
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