Posts Tagged ‘Iain Pears’
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Richard Aedy, presenter of Life Matters, ABC Radio National
My books are in several categories.
Most of my reading for the show is necessarily non-fiction. Of these, one stands out:
The Well at the World’s End by A. J. Mackinnon – it’s an amazing story of a year (more or less) travelling from Australia to Iona in the Hebrides without flying. Sandy Mackinnon is a traveller seemingly from another age. He gets into scrapes – he’s stranded on a Komodo beach with the island’s Dragons closing in; he finds himself inexplicably married to a princess of a Laotian hill tribe; he’s jailed in China and nearly dies half a dozen times. Despite all this, and a great deal more, he’s unfailingly optimistic and displays an enviable insouciance about what might happen next. Sandy eventually gets to the well at the world’s end, meeting one of his literary heroes en route. His book was a pleasure to read and he was a pleasure to interview.
The novel that blew me away this year: The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett.This story fits into the category of Young Adult (YA) and could be read by a 15 year old. But it tackles big themes – love, family, war and the nature of evil. Fittingly, the characters at the heart of the book are young themselves – and they have to be much more responsible than they want to. It’s a short novel and it’s so beautifully written that it made me break my own rule about not bothering with magical realism. There, I’ve said it, this book contains magical realism! I loathe magical realism but l loved this. (more…)