A gripping read!
‘…diverse and ambitious novellas’ – read Cameron Woodhead’s review in the SMH/Age here
Faraway Places is a collection of three novellas that goes to dark and dingy places that the faint-hearted might wish are truly faraway. But are they? Not when you take a crazed trip with an odd-ball who dreams of a faraway place, while all the while he is on a slow-burn to insanity. Maybe he can solve the problem of living in a caravan alongside a garbage tip with a foul-mouthed significant other and a companion dog. That’s not an easy problem to solve when you lack initiative.
Perhaps the frozen wastelands of pre-revolutionary Russia are a change of location, but still you’ll find that it’s that kind of faraway place where many bizarre things could be possible: dog-headed people might exist, a nasty con-man can become a tsar and, if you want to save your skin, there are people you should avoid. If that’s not enough, then waiting to be solved is the provenance of two mysterious trunks and their contents in the basement of St Petersburg’s Hermitage.
Finally, a misconstruction about a killing on an isolated farm in a British colony in 1815 leads to disastrous consequences. Decent men can commit abominable acts and criminals can be decent. In this faraway place, it’s brutal times all round – brutal times for the original native inhabitants, for settlers and their women, and for the convicts and child convicts.