Thursday, 7 December 2006

First Tuesday Book Club, don't forget, is on this weekend (Sunday) at 6.00pm. To be covered: Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist and Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion.

Flanagan's book copped a very negative review written by Rosemary Sorensen for yesterday's issue of The Australian Literary Review, 'A lazy summer thriller':

The Unknown Terrorist is clumsy, silly and desperately unequal to what are apparently very worthy intentions.

And:

The fellow who sat down to write The Unknown Terrorist seems to have taken Gould's admonishment [the exhortation at the end of Flanagan's previous book, Gould's Book of Fish, not to be complacent] to heart, and decided to get upset and excited about the hardening of our cultural heart within our increasingly greedy and callous body corporate. But if this novel is spitting mad, it also appears to be just plain mad. Dedicated to David Hicks, it begins with a weird little address claiming that Jesus, who accepted "the necessity of the sacrifice of his own life to enable the future of those around him", is "history's first, but not last, example of a suicide bomber".

Sorensen demonstrates little patience with Flanagan's polemic. I was put off this book when I first read about it, some weeks ago, in the weekend broadsheet supplements. I avoid 'engaged' literature on principle (probably a hang-over from my days of reading Nabokov). Now, I'll definitely steer clear. It'll be interesting to hear what First Tuesday host Jennifer Byrne's guests think about it.

As for The God Delusion, I reported earlier that it is expected to sell very well this Christmas.

1 comment:

Georg said...

I read an excerpt from it in Spectrum (or it could have been the Oz Review) and was totally underwhelmed by it. The writing itself did seem clumsy and a tad lazy but without having read the whole thing I am obviously in no place to give an educated opinion. The style thoughwas not endearing.