The Slap and Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living

Finished a couple of books recently, and thoroughtly enjoyed both. “The Slap” by Christos Tsiolkas is hard to dislike. Not only does he set his story mostly in Melbourne’s northern belt, but his characters are believeably complex and contradictory, and he makes Melbourne sound more multiculturally fluid than it is in real life. I ended up just wanting it all to work and he’d won me over long before the end – which, I have to say was a little less satisfying than I’d expected, but probably more realistic.

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More surprising was Carrie Fiffany’s “Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living”. Immediately attracted by the title, this 1930’s pre-war tale of the spartan, scientific lives of a wheat farming couple in the Mallee took me completely by surprise and I was blown away by the structure, quirks and perfectly captured emotional distance between the pair. Loved the Sebald-like black and white photographs also.

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Both get 4.5 stars.