The second half of this really went south in a pretty big hurry for me.
Richard Flanagan's third novel Gould's Book of Fish was a surprise hit of sorts, so I was curious to see what his take on post 9/11 paranoia would look like.
The first half of this literary thriller moves along and essentially concerns an exotic dancer Gina, known through most of the book as "the Doll" who after a single dalliance with a software whiz who looks vaguely Middle Eastern, gets pegged as an accomplice to his terrorism related activities.
She's on the run, the media has whipped Sydney, Australia into blood lust and well.. it sort of falls apart by the end.
Flanagan wouldn't let his characters alone. He felt the inexplicable need to but in with his own take on things and after awhile it felt like reading a fairly pedestrian political blog.
That's not a bad thing to do necessarily, but I already have those bookmarked.
That the character Doll was pretty much screwed over and made a media ready target to satisfy some craven career ambitions of a snake like fading producer well, that's a story one can tell without frothing about with a lot of unneeded exposition. It kept getting in the way of a thriller-like plot that was having enough trouble getting out of first gear.
A decent premise and an engaging first half of a novel ran into trouble of the authors own making and well.. give it a pass.
Posted by Dave